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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Prince’

One of the pleasures of going to Coney Island for the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Plunge is greeting friends and luminaries on the Boardwalk, at Ruby’s Bar and at Coney Island USA’s Freak Bar. Among the people ATZ wished a “Happy New Year!” today were Jimmy Prince of Mermaid Avenue’s Major Market, which closed in 2009, and John Dorman of Philips Candy of Coney Island, now in Staten Island. These two old friends have a long tradition of meeting on the Boardwalk on New Year’s Day.

On a day when New York City was inaugurating its first new Mayor in a dozen years at 1pm (the same time as the Polar Bear Plunge), Coney Island USA’s Dick Zigun remained “The Permanently Unelected Mayor of Coney Island.” And tattooed ladies, the MetroCard Man and other zany characters were gladly posing for photos. Cheers to another fun season at Coney Island’s beach and boardwalk!

Dick Zigun

Dick Zigun at Coney Island USA on New Year’s Day. January 1, 2014. Photo © Tricia Vita

Related posts on ATZ…

January 2, 2014: Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge’s Best Dressed of 2014

December 25, 2013: Just Do It! January 1st Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

December 18, 2011: Playing Santa at the Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge

Jan 2, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Boardwalk, New Year’s Day 2010

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Major Meats

Ghost sign for Major Meats on Mermaid Ave. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

In 2009, Jimmy Prince closed Major Meats, his butcher shop at 1516 Mermaid Avenue, after more than 50 years. The hand-painted signage on the gate and the wall of the building next door stayed on. “Major has been proud to serve the Coney Island Community with the best Prime Meats since 1932. We are now looking forward to the 21 century,” says the lettering amid charmingly naive depictions of the Cyclone, Parachute Jump, Wonder Wheel and Astrotower. In the mural, Major Market is right next door to Nathan’s, which is actually at Surf and Stillwell, and has its own blimp in the sky!

Major Market, Coney Island

Detail of Ghost Sign for Major Market. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Out of nostalgia and respect for “The Prince of Mermaid Avenue,” who is now 81, and beloved in the neighborhood, the signage on the wall and the gate were never painted over. Whenever Jimmy is around Coney–he has a part-time job at a butcher shop in Marine Park– he can’t go 15 minutes without a former customer coming over and giving him a hug.

Sign at 1621 Mermaid Avenue

Keep Coney Island the Playground of the World, Sign at 1621 Mermaid Avenue. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Since the now faded and peeling signs appeared in stories about vacant stores in Coney Island one year after Sandy, ATZ wanted to highlight their history. “Keep Coney Island the Playground of the World. Keep Coney Island Clean,” says the message on the gate. Sandy didn’t do in the signs, though the storm did destroy the new deli that was there.

1621 Mermaid Avenue

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery has leased 1516 Mermaid Avenue. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill has leased the store, according to broker Joe Vitacco. The building is owned by the Russo brothers of Gargiulo’s, who have completely renovated the space for the new tenant. Golden Krust is relocating from 1621 Mermaid Avenue.

Established 1932

Established 1932. Sign for Major Market. October 23, 2013. Photo © Tricia Vita

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Related posts on ATZ…

October 28, 2013: Photo Album: Banksy Brings His Robot to Coney Island

January 31, 2012: Remnant of Under Boardwalk Bar Found in Coney Island

January 16, 2012: Photo of the Day: Signs of Coney’s Club Atlantis Resurface

October 27, 2011: Ghost Lettering & End of Season Color in Old Coney Island

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