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Posts Tagged ‘tribute’

Coney Island Floral Tribute to Andy Badalamenti. July 27, 2011. Photo © Lou Dembrow

At the wake for Coney Island ride maestro Andy Badalamenti, our eyes were drawn to this special floral tribute featuring photos of Coney Island’s Cyclone, Wonder Wheel, Parachute Jump and Polar Express. It was sad to say goodbye to Andy, whose casket was adorned with touching photos and mementos from the past. If there’s a midway in heaven, we’re sure he already has “the ex” on the Himalaya. Thanks to photographer Lou Dembrow for this photo and the one below taken on closing day of Jimmy Prince’s Major Meats, Coney Island’s oldest butcher shop, which shuttered after 60 years in 2009.

Andy

Andy Badalamenti with Major Meats sign on closing day at Jimmy Prince's Mermaid Avenue shop. February 28, 2009. Photo © Lou Dembrow

The exquisite floral tributes at the wake also included a rosary with beads made of rosebuds and a horseshoe from Andy’s friends in the NYPD mounted police unit. An honor guard of mounted police kept watch outside the funeral home and an officer stood at attention by the casket. Andy worked for the past 11 years in the stables at Brighton Beach.

Historian and Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson’s moving photographic tribute features many photos with his friend’s beloved horses and cat. Watch for the photo of Andy riding the Steeplechase horse into the clouds as Pavarotti sings the aria “Nessun dorma” from the final act of Puccini’s Turandot.

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July 27, 2011: Coney Island Lost A Good Friend: RIP Andy Badalamenti

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Eldorado Ticket Booth. October 15, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Eldorado Ticket Booth. October 15, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The funeral services for Scott Fitlin, the operator and DJ extraordinaire of Coney Island’s Eldorado Bumper Cars were on Friday in Long Island. At 9 am in front of the Eldorado, guests began boarding a chartered bus. We’re told that while the passengers waited for everyone to arrive, a friend rolled up the steel doors of the Eldorado, put on some music, and turned up the volume in tribute to Scotty.

Eldorado Auto Skooter, Coney Island. October 15, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

Eldorado Auto Skooter, Coney Island. October 15, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita

By 10 am, the bus had left Surf Avenue. Before the friend locked up and left to go to the funeral, he paid one more tribute to Scotty: He turned on the lights of the Eldorado’s dazzling marquee and the neon lights in the ticket booth. That’s why we found the Eldorado all lit up, though it was closed, when we got to Coney Island at 4:30 and took these photos. The lights were still blazing at midnight when we passed by on our way home. The friend returned the next morning and turned off the Eldorado’s lights for the 2010 season. RIP Scott, your passion for Coney Island and knowledge of its history were greatly admired. You will be missed more than you could ever know.

Eldorado Canopy, Surf Ave in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Eldorado Canopy, Surf Ave in Coney Island. October 15, 2010. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

March 30, 2012: 60 Years of Family History in Coney Island End with Sale of Eldorado

November 18, 2010: Good News from Coney Island! Eldorado “Bump Your Ass Off” Bumper Cars To Reopen

October 13, 2010: Rest in Peace: Scott Fitlin, Coney Island’s Eldorado Man

March 14, 2010: Eldorado Auto Skooter: Coney Island’s Disco Palace of Bumper Cars

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Michael Jackson tribute posters on front of Neverlands Dragon Wagon Kiddie Coaster in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Michael Jackson tribute posters on front of Neverland's Dragon Wagon Kiddie Coaster in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

On Tuesday ATZ had the scoop that the Dragon Wagon Kiddie Coaster from Michael Jackson’s private amusement park at Neverland Ranch was in Coney Island for the summer. After news of the ride’s history spread, the park’s operators set up a tribute to Jackson. On the eve of Fourth of July, a DJ was playing the King of Pop’s greatest hits and memorial posters were attached to the front of the ride.

Meanwhile, over at Stillwell and Surf, “Thriller” was blaring from the giant speakers that were set up on Friday night in preparation for Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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