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Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of Brooklyn journalist and blogger Bob Guskind. His influential Gowanus Lounge blog inspired and nurtured many fledgling bloggers, hence his honorary title “Brooklyn’s Blogfather” in a borough that has been called the bloggiest place on earth.

As a foreign student in Japan, we learned the Japanese custom of honoring and celebrating a loved one on the first anniversary of death. In lieu of placing items on a household altar, we offer our thoughts and a video produced by Steve Duke of Blue Barn Pictures

We were a devoted reader of Gowanus Lounge and a regular tipster since we work in Coney Island. Before March 4, 2009, ATZ wasn’t even a glimmer in our mind. Bob’s death left a void in coverage of Coney and other Brooklyn neighborhoods. As we wrote at the time….

Coney Island is in desperate straits. No one cares as much or could give it as much in depth coverage as Bob did. Yesterday I watched an old vid of Bob on Brian Lehrer in which he said “I started Gowanus Lounge a few years ago because mainstream media had pretty much abrogated its responsibility to Brooklyn.” That’s pretty much how I feel as a former journo and why I admired Bob and his work.

In regard to Coney, I’m sad and afraid that many of the large and small stories that Bob would have covered will go unreported this season. The fact that he was an experienced journalist with his own blog, doing 10 or more posts a day, plus another 10 or so in his paying gig for the real estate blog curbed, and the fact that he cared so much, all came together to make it possible.

The NY Times City Room blog regularly linked to his stories instead of covering what was happening in Coney Island and other Brooklyn nabes. Bob broke many Coney news stories—too numerous to list here!– that were consistently “picked up” (often without credit) by New York’s daily newspapers and TV news. Bob’s work made a huge difference in our lives and he will be missed more than I can say.

Bob’s passionate coverage of all things Coney and the void left by his death inspired the launch of ATZ in April 2009. We dedicated our first news-breaking post to Gowanus Lounge, saying if Bob were still here, he would undoubtedly be covering this story and we would be at the beach.

When a juicy rumor comes our way, we always think “Omigod, Bob would have loved this one!” We like to think he will be smiling down on Coney Island this summer when the former Astroland site, whose last days he chronicled on AstroMania Monday (Feb. 2, 2009), will be reborn as the new Luna Park.

Yet Joe Sitt’s desecration of his Coney Island properties continues unabated. What would Bob have to say about it? Yesterday’s ATZ post about Thor Equities’ Coney Island led off with a link to a Gowanus Lounge post from May 2007 decrying “the Sitt-created blight along Stillwell Avenue.” It’s shocking that one could take any graf from Bob Guskind’s May 25, 2007 blog post and use it today because Joe Sitt is still “sitting” on what’s left of his empty lots waiting for his next $100 million payday!

Rest in peace, Bob Guskind. Journalist, Blogger, Brooklyn’s Blogfather. Coney Island misses you and your work continues to be a source of inspiration.

Note to readers: The archives of Bob Guskind’s Gowanus Lounge can be found at http://www.bobguskind.com/ and http://gowanuslounge.blogspot.com/

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Screengrab from lunaparknyc.com, the new website of Coney Island’s New Luna Park

Screengrab from lunaparknyc.com, the new website of Coney Island’s New Luna Park

Luna Park Coney Island’s new website and blog debuted last week on the same day as Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference at the Aquarium announcing the new park. Renderings of four of the park’s new rides, including a Mega Disk’O and a roller coaster, were released to the press. Sources said that Central Amusement International (CAI) will be releasing details of the ride line up and other info little by little over the next 100 days—now 95 days and counting till opening day. CAI is ride manufacturer Zamperla’s subsidiary for park operations and also operates Victorian Gardens in Central Park.

This is where some of the announcements will appear: Luna Park Coney Island NYC’s blog, which for the moment consists of an introductory post:

Central Amusement International, LLC is excited to be chosen by the NYCEDC to be a part of the revitalization of Coney Island. Our dedicated team is working hard to bring you Luna Park this summer, a new amusement park filled with new thrill and family rides, opening in May on Memorial Day Weekend. We are thrilled in becoming the newest destination for Coney Island visitors and look forward to seeing you all at Luna Park this summer. Keep checking our blog for the latest Luna Park updates.

Looking for a fun summer job? The Luna Park website already has job descriptions and downloadable applications. Job opportunities include ride and game operator, ticketseller, retail sales, food and beverage sales and logistics associate. The City’s press release about the new amusement park says “in its inaugural season Luna Park is projected to create 247 new jobs in Coney Island, increasing to 330 full and part time positions in 2011, with an emphasis on local hiring.”

Zamperla's "Air Race" Ride will debut this summer at Coney Island's New Luna Park

Rendering of Zamperla Air Race Ride Set to Debut in Luna Park Coney Island in 2010

The new park will have 19 new rides for 2010 and is scheduled to open on May 29. The rest of Coney Island–the Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park (22 rides), McCullough’s Kiddie Park (12 rides), 12th Street Amusements (4 rides), Eldorado Bumper Cars and Arcade, Coney Island Sideshow, Coney Island Arcade and games, and other independently owned businesses–will open as usual for the season on Palm Sunday, which is March 28th. Hope to see you at both opening days!

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Related posts on ATZ…

February 24, 2012: Summer Jobs: From Coney Island to the Carnival Midway

August 29, 2010: Video: Grand Prize Winner of Luna Park Coney Island’s Film Contest!

May 29, 2010: Photo Album: Preview of Coney Island’s New Luna Park

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

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Welcome to ATZ’s Coney-centric blog finds, which we’ve come across recently and not so recently. We wanted to do this kind of feature for awhile, but our blog was launched at the beginning of Coney’s 2009 season and it’s been a hectic five months reporting from the trenches of the amusement zone. Now that summer’s over, we’ll have more time to explore the blogosphere. Unless we decide to run away with another carnival…

Diving from the Pier. Photo © Bruce Handy (Pablo57) via flickr

Diving from the Pier. Photo © Bruce Handy (Pablo57) via flickr

“What is Coney to you?” A Canadian photographer in Kevin Downs‘ 2009 Coney Island USA Summer Photography Workshop asked the group members at the end of the summer. Coney Island resident and ATZ contributor Bruce Handy/pablo 57 posted a 14 point “My Coney Credo” on the group’s discussion board on flickr. We like #5: “It is timeless, like baseball, Coney reminds me of 1940. Summer after summer they play the game, the players change, but the excitement, the mathematics of chance never changes. It’s a place where Zoltar grants you the wish to remain young forever.”

Lori_b_Donny VomitThe summer season is over at the Coney Island Sideshow, but you can find out what Human Blockhead and Escape Artist Donny Vomit and friends are up to over at his blog. The Vomitorium was launched at the beginning of the 2009 season. Look for news about upcoming events, the new Krissy Kocktail documentary, behind the scenes photos at the sideshow taken with an antique camera, and Donny’s visual diary of a road trip to the Pima County Fair. More! More!

Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York followed up must-reads on Coney Island’s historic and endangered Shore Hotel and the Henderson Building with a look back at Lillie Santangelo’s World in Wax Musee, which was in Henderson’s until it closed in the 1980s. Featured are seldom seen photos by Costa Mantis of the wacky and macabre waxworks.

LSD-scoop-mauve-shirtLola Staar’s Dreamland Roller Rink and Boutique in the Childs Building is closed for the season, but her online boutique has been redesigned and is open for biz 24/7. According to Lola’s diary, you can shop for her Coney Island T’s and souvenirs at various flea markets around the City such as Green Flea and West Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue.

At Underwater New York’s launch party, Lawrence Kim and his Boss performed their original song (at 2:30 in the vid) “There’s a Dreamland under the ocean, there is silver under the sea…” The editors of the online anthology are seeking submissions of art, music and creative writing inspired by objects found underwater. Coney-related items on their list include Mermaid, Dreamland Bell, Island Growing on a Submerged Barge in Coney Island Creek, and 1968 Lincoln Continental found off Steeplechase Pier. The last one is new to us. “We are not looking for explanations, but rather for the stories these objects evoke, in whatever form such stories might take,” say the editors. “Tell us if you find an object to add to our list.” UNY’s bloggy new website was designed by our friend Adrian Kinloch of Brit in Brooklyn photoblog and features some of his photos of Coney Island Creek.

All summer long we’ve been cheered by blog reports about what visitors love about Coney Island. Here’s one of ’em. The blogger Wisconsin Girl in the UK, formerly known as Wisco Girl in NY, gave three reasons why she loves New York’s Coney Island. We’ll go with #2: “I always witness some bizarre activity going on while I’m there. Last time it was a group of Polar Bear swimmers in March or April and then this time some Jewish guy was reading his giant prayer book while throwing food at seagulls. The gulls went absolutely nuts and it was actually really pretty (I have photos).”

Thank you to everyone who visited this season despite the bad weather and rumors that Coney Island was closed for redevelopment! See you again soon…

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