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Archive for September, 2013

Steeplechase Pier

Workers at Coney Island’s Sandy-damaged Steeplechase Pier, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Over the weekend, word on the Boardwalk was that Steeplechase Pier, which has been under reconstruction since March due to damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy, would reopen on Tuesday. Work is almost complete and will be finished this week, according to the workers who were heading off the pier.

ATZ checked with the Parks Department today and the pier will indeed reopen sometime in October, though not on October 1st. The pier will need to be inspected first, a Parks Department official told ATZ. The 1,000-foot-pier is a popular spot for fishermen as well as for photographers, who were already making plans to return to their favorite spot tomorrow and will now have to wait a little bit longer. The pier had to be completely reconstructed post-Sandy and was originally expected to be finished by July.

Update: The pier reopened on Wednesday, October 2nd. Here are the first photos!

Steeplechase Pier

Work is Nearly Complete on Coney Island’s Sandy-damaged Steeplechase Pier, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

April 14, 2013: Photo Update: Sunken Barge at Steeplechase Pier in Coney Island

March 14, 2013: Photo of the Day: Repairing Sandy-Damaged Steeplechase Pier

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

August 24, 2010: Video: Coney Island Pier Divers by Kevin C Downs

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Coney Island Boardwalk Kitty

Coney Island Boardwalk Kitty, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

This Coney Island kitten was sunning herself on the Boardwalk over the weekend. Donate to the New York City Feral Cat Initiative. $100 provides a winter shelter and straw insulation for 3 feral cats. $50 sends a TNR coach to provide hands-on assistance to a volunteer who is completing a Trap-Neuter-Return project for the first time.

Coney Island Kittens

Coney Island Boardwalk Kittens, September 28, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

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September 19, 2013: Photo of the Day: Coney Island Parakeets Go for a Walk

June 17, 2013: Photo of the Day: Paquito the Chihuahua in Coney Island

May 8, 2013: Traveler: The Cats of Rimini’s Italia in Miniatura Park

April 1, 2013: Sea Rabbits Swim Ashore in Coney Island, Up For Adoption

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Big Tex

The New “Big Tex” Was Unveiled at the State Fair of Texas on September 26. Photo via State Fair of Texas

The State of Fair of Texas opens on Friday with a new “Big Tex” who looks different from the old Big Tex ready to say “Howdy, folks!” with his new voice. The now 55-foot-tall figure stands in huge size 70 Lucchese boots featuring symbols of Texas such as the state flower and bird and Capitol building, as well as the State and U.S. flags. The welcome home ceremony will be streamed live at 2pm.

Last October, the original 60-year-old Big Tex was destroyed by flames from an electrical fire on the last weekend of the fair. The icon was rebuilt with the help of many donors, from Tall Texans ($1,000) and Big Tex – Reboot ($500) to Tex’s Friends ($25).

The new Big Tex’s big eyes, darker complexion and the configuration of his arms and hands are different than the old cowboy. On the Big Tex Grief Support Group page on Facebook, which was formed after the fire, reactions to the new Big Tex ranged from “Nothing like the old Big Tex!!!!!!” and “He looks great! – Just like a real Texan / Tejano! Love him!” to “He kind of looks like Howdy Doody!” and “Fail!” Here’s a slide show from KERA of North Texas showing how Big Tex has looked through the years.

Real Photo Post Card of The Worlds Largest Santa Clause Kerens, Texas 1949 Taylor Studio . From the Collection of Ed Williams

Real Photo Post Card of The Worlds Largest Santa Claus. Kerens, Texas 1949. Taylor Studio. Ed Williams Collection

Big Tex was originally a roadside “World’s Largest Santa Claus” built by the Chamber of Commerce in Kerens, Texas, according to The Great State Fair of Texas by Nancy Wiley. The 49-foot figure was constructed from iron-pipe drill casing and papier mache. The State Fair’s president bought the Santa in 1951 and hired Dallas artist Jack Bridges to transform him into a giant cowboy.

We’ve been fond of Big Tex since childhood. He was a familiar figure on vintage postcards in Mom’s shoebox of postcards from the road. ATZ met the big guy in 2006, the first time we visited the State Fair of Texas, which is worth a trip from anywhere. In 2012, the Dallas fair was once again no. 1 on Carnival Warehouse’s list of North America’s Top 50 Fairs, with an attendance of 2.56 million. The 2013 State Fair of Texas runs September 27 – October 20.

Big Tex Vintage Postcard

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Related posts on ATZ…

September 20, 2013: Photo Album: 87th Annual Feast of San Gennaro

June 17, 2013: Photo Album: The Front of the Show at Meadowlands Fair

August 9, 2012: Traveler: Skywheel at the Wisconsin State Fair 2012

October 8, 2010: Traveler: Most Beautiful Video of the State Fair of Texas

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