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Posts Tagged ‘1990s’

This rare footage from 1992 is all that remains of the Mite Mouse roller coaster, which was in Coney Island for just a few seasons. Nestled against the Jumbo Jet, seen in the background, the little coaster kept a low profile. When YouTube user swampfoxer posted this video clip of two friends riding the Mite Mouse, he noted that “most people I know that frequent Coney Island never knew it was even there. Guess I picked the lucky year to visit Coney Island.” His footage of the Jumbo Jet, shot the same day, was featured in “Remembering Coney Island’s Jumbo Jet Coaster 1972-2002” (ATZ, April 21, 2011).

The first Mite Mouse came out of the Allan Herschell factory in North Tonawanda, New York, in 1959 and traveled with Conklin Shows. The manufacturer described the ride as “extremely portable and ideal for smaller carnivals and such permanent installations which want a Mouse ride but do not require the larger Mad Mouse.” The Coney Island ride had previously operated at a park in Ocean City, Maryland, where it was called Miller’s Gold Mine.

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After we posted the new vid shot in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park by the UK’s #1 boy band The Wanted, a reader sent us a link to this blast from the past from another boy band filmed in Coney Island. “I came across a pop video from the ’90s that you might enjoy. The song is pure cheese, but it might be the last music video ever filmed at Astroland,” said the reader.

We did enjoy it. The 1999 tune “Summer Girls” by LFO (Lyte Funkie Ones) takes us back to happier days on the Boardwalk, when the Astroland Rocket was perched atop Gregory & Paul’s roof and provided the backdrop for LFO’s teenage exuberance. This top 10 hit of the summer sold over 1.5 million copies in the U.S.

The lyrics are nonsensical fun: “New Kids On The Block, had a bunch of hits/Chinese food makes me sick/And I think it’s fly when girls stop by for the summer,for the summer/I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch/I’d take her if I had one wish/But she’s been gone since that summer/Since that summer…”

As one commenter said on YouTube: “I heard that he was joking when he wrote these lyrics but somebody liked it and they just ran with it. As somebody who hated it when it first came out, I love it now. It’s different, it’s fresh.”

Where are they now?

In 2009, after a brief reunion, the pop/rap trio announced “LFO is Over” via YouTube. Sadly, the lead singer Rich Cronin, who wrote “Summer Girls,” died of leukemia in September 2010.

What happened to the Rocket?

After Astroland lost its lease in 2009, the Rocket was removed from G & P’s roof and donated to the City of New York by the Albert family. “The Rocket will become a permanent and iconic part of the 27 acre redeveloped amusement district in Coney Island,” according to the press release from the Coney Island Development Corporation. The Rocket is in storage at an NYCEDC facility in Staten Island.

The iconic signage of Gregory & Paul’s, which is featured in the vid, is another soon-to-vanish piece of Coney Island Americana. Now called Paul’s Daughter, the 41-year-old eatery is being evicted from the Boardwalk to make way for the new Coney Island. Its location is slated to be taken over by a concession run by corporate giant Sodexo, Luna Park’s partner for “On-Site Service Solutions.”

Enjoy the trip back in time to the real Coney Island!

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July 19, 2009: Coney Island Hip-Hop Anthem: AMO1’s Fight for Your Right to Save Coney

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