Posts Tagged ‘New York City Parks’

A Life guard, Brighton Beach

A Life guard, Brighton Beach, N.Y. between 1901 and 1906. Library of Congress

The NYC Parks Department has scheduled qualifying tests to become a lifeguard for the 2016 summer season. The test is being held at Chelsea Recreation Center in Manhattan from December 7 through January 8, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, and is also underway at pools throughout the five boroughs. A Parks spokesman tells ATZ that assignments are by seniority, but lifeguards may request a preferred or convenient location such as Coney Island or Brighton Beach. Beach lifeguards must be able to swim 440 yards in 6 minutes and 40 seconds and must also complete a 300-yard ocean swim prior to receiving their assignment.

To qualify, you must:
• Be at least 16 years of age by the start of employment (the end of June).
• Have at least 20/30 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other – without corrective lenses. Glasses and contact lenses may not be worn during the eye exam.
• Be able to swim 50 yards in 35 seconds or less, with proper form.

Swimmers who pass the test will be enrolled in the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, which is free, and consists of 40 hours of swimming and rescue techniques, first-aid and CPR. First-year lifeguards earn a minimum of $13.57 per hour for a weekly salary of about $650.

These vintage photos from the early 1900s show an all-male crew. It wasn’t until the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s that the Parks Department waived height and weight requirements and recruited its first female lifeguards.

Lifeguards Coney Island

Capt. Riley and lifeguards, Coney Island, N.Y.
between 1900 and 1905. Library of Congress

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

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Hetzi Juniper Trees on Surf Avenue in front of Luna Park, Coney Island. October 18, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

Coney Island now has more trees than rides! The greening of Coney Island’s Surf Avenue from Sea Gate to West 5th Street is under way with 200 trees being planted by New York City Parks and Recreation. The trees in the amusement area are Hetzi Junipers and other species west of MCU Park. The tree planting crew started two weeks ago in the west end of Coney Island and worked their way east to the amusement area. This week curbside trees were planted on the south side of Surf Avenue in front of Nathan’s, the Eldorado Bumper Cars, Coney Island USA and Luna Park. Yesterday at a bus stop on the north side of Surf Avenue, the trees were planted adjacent to an empty lot instead of curbside, as seen in the photo below. Just for the record, the ride count in Coney Island is now at 64, according to ATZ’s latest ride census.

Coney Island is one of several New York City neighborhoods slated for block tree planting this fall. The Parks Department selects blocks with few or no trees, planting on both sides of the street. The street tree program is part of MillionTreesNYC, a public-private initiative with the goal of planting and caring for one million new trees across the City’s five boroughs over the next decade. According to the program’s website, they’ve reached 612,625 trees and are counting.

Trees on Surf Avenue

Hetzi Juniper Trees Being Planted on the north side of Surf Avenue. October 18, 2012. Photo © me-myself-i/Tricia Vita via flickr

UPDATE November 15, 2012:

Sadly, just a few weeks after the trees were planted, most were uprooted by Hurricane Sandy…

After Hurricane Sandy: Street Tree

After Hurricane Sandy: Street Tree on Surf Avenue in front of Luna Park. November 5, 2012. Photo © Tricia Vita


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Coney Island Barrels of Fun

Coney Barrels of Fun Painting. May 7, 2011. Photo © Bruce Handy

Here’s your chance to create art that will be seen by zillions in Coney Island this summer! On Saturday, May 5th, the public is invited to paint the Parks Department’s trash barrels at the 6th annual Boardwalk of Barrels of Fun event. Registration for the free event begins at 10 am on the Boardwalk between West 10th and West 12th Streets in front of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Luna Park. Paint and brushes are provided.

For inspiration, take a look at Coney Island photographer Bruce Handy’s slide show of last season’s Barrels of Fun. Amid a sea of colorful abstract compositions, you’ll find mermaids and other marine species as well as a gold-toothed Funny Face, Popeye the Sailor Man and the Wonder Wheel.


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May 3, 2011: Photo of the Day: Street Art by RAE in Coney Island

April 15, 2011: Photo Album: Whimsical Murals Blossom in Coney Island

May 4, 2010: Rare & Vintage: Major Debert the Tiniest Man’s Sideshow Banner

October 4, 2009: The Wonder of Artist Philomena Marano’s Wonder Wheel

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