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Posts Tagged ‘Norman Blake’

Wonder Moon cCney Island

Wonder Moon in Coney Island, March 26, 2013. Photo © Bruce Handy

One night last March, as Coney Island’s amusement parks stood dark and silent, a full moon peered over the track of the landmark Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel’s “Thrills” sign. Surf Avenue resident and “street photographer” Bruce Handy was taking his daily photo walk with a friend and brought home this exquisite capture. Beginning on Saturday, “A Stroll Through Coney Island Among Friends,” a photo exhibit featuring the work of five Coney Island photographers and friends who take photos of the People’s Playground year-round on a daily or weekly basis will be on view at Coney Island USA.

Bruce Handy, Jim McDonnell, Norman Blake, Kenny Lombardi and Eric Kowalsky are longtime friends of ATZ and contributors to this blog, so we selected five favorite photos from our archive for this post. You should know the work of these local photographers because in contrast to the many world-renowned photographers, occasional visitors and tourists who are drawn here, they know Coney inside out and in all of its seasons.

Rubys

Rubys Old Tyme Bar and Grill. November 20, 2010. Copyright © Kenny Lombardi 2010. All Rights Reserved

The show’s title should be taken literally as well as metaphorically because these friends are often seen together, cameras in hand, riding the Wonder Wheel at sunset and strolling on the boardwalk and the pier. Bruce Handy and Eric Kowalsky live right across the street from Coney Island’s amusement parks while Jim McDonnell resides a couple of subway stops away. Brooklynites Norman Blake and Kenny Lombardi are official photographers for Coney Island USA, where they take photos of sideshow and burlesque performers and mermaids galore. Norman’s delightfully quirky photos of kite flying on the beach and a sea lion smooch at the Aquarium have appeared on ATZ, as have Kenny’s atmospheric photos of the Boardwalk bars Ruby’s and Cha Cha’s.

Anjelica performing during the opening night party at the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival. © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

Anjelica performing during the opening night party at the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival. © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

As members of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, Bruce Handy and Jim McDonnell are among the hardy group who go for Sunday swims from November through April. On the Fourth of July back in 2011, Jim took the amazing shot below of Coney’s beach brimming with colorful umbrellas, which calls to mind photos from the 1930s and ’40s of the beach jam-packed with people, sans umbrellas. Among other notable photos of Jim’s that have appeared on ATZ are his heartbreaking set of images shot the day after Superstorm Sandy struck Coney Island. Jim, who works professionally as a footage guru as well as a photographer for Luna Park, has been compiling a summer’s worth of dance moves into “Coney Island Dancing” videos every September since 2010.

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island

Beach Umbrellas in Coney Island. July 4, 2011. Photo © Jim McDonnell via smugmug

Eric Kowalsky, 23, is like a kid brother to the other four photographers, who are in their 40s and 50s. Born and raised in Coney Island, he takes his inspiration from his grandfather Abe Feinstein, who has been documenting Coney Island since he moved to Luna Park Houses with his family in 1962. Among the notable photos by Eric that are posted on ATZ are images of the demolition of Thor Equities-owned Henderson Building and the Bank of Coney Island. On a happier note, two icons of American air and space history meet in Eric’s awesome photo of the Space Shuttle Enterprise flying over the Parachute Jump in 2012.

“A Stroll Through Coney Island Among Friends,” Saturdays and Sundays, February 22 -April 6, 12pm to 5pm. Opening reception on February 22 from noon to 5pm. Coney Island USA Shooting Gallery/Arts Annex, 1214 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

Space Shuttle over Coney Island

Space Shuttle Enterprise Flies Over Coney Island’s Parachute Jump. April 27, 2012. Photo © Eric Kowalsky. All Rights Reserved

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December 31, 2013: Amusing the Zillion’s Coney Island 2013 Year in Review

December 9, 2013: Photo Album: First Snow of the Season in Coney Island by Bruce Handy

September 17, 2013: ATZ’s Top 10 Coney Island Film Festival Picks

September 13, 2013: Coney Island Always: Visiting the Big CI Year-Round

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Skydiving in Coney Island? © 2009 Norman Blake by NB Photo Flash via flickr. All rights reserved

Skydiving in Coney Island? © 2009 Norman Blake by NB Photo Flash via flickr. All rights reserved

UPDATE…the 2015 Coney Island Kite Festival is this weekend, September 26 and 27. Go fly your kite or go take photos – FREE!

Last August in Coney Island, photographer Norman Blake photographed this airborne octopus and his skydiver friend. This weekend in Coney, you’re invited to go fly a kite at the Coney Island Kite Festival. The event will be held this Saturday and Sunday, October 2nd and 3rd, from 10 am to 5 pm on Coney Island’s beach. It’s free!

“This will be our first big official event of this year, ” said Leucio Parrella, a member of the American Kitefliers Association (AKA), who adds that the festival of 2009 was cancelled. “Our first test run of the Coney Island Kite Festival was the weekend before Thanksgiving of 2008. We had bad weather.” The good news for kitefliers and their friends is this weekend’s forecast is sunny, in the 60s.

From the official description of “The 2nd Coney Island Kite Fest” on the AKA calendar:

Fly for fun. On the beach there will be big kites such as an octopus kite. We also will have dual kites and Quad kites. Large area for free flights of kites for everyone. On the beach from Bay West 8th Street to the Steeplechase fishing pier. For additional info contact Leucio Parrella of the Kite in Motion Club at buggylou8[AT]yahoo.com or 646-912-2447

Parrella told ATZ there will be three kite fields: “Two fields for AKA members and one field for public use. AKA Dual Kites and Quad kite field is 300 x 300 square feet and starts from West Bay 8 Street, AKA Big One Line Kites is from about West Bay 10 Street (Playground Area ) to Stillwell Avenue, and Public fly field is between Stillwell Avenue and West Bay 15 Street to the Fishing Pier on the beach.”

The festival is sanctioned by the American Kitefliers Association (AKA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing kiting with the world.

The American Kitefliers Association was founded in 1964 by the late Robert M. Ingraham of New Mexico. Now, with over 3,000 members, in 25 countries, we are the largest association of kiters in the world. Our purpose is to educate the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites – to advance the joys and values of kiting in all nations.

We are men, women, adults and children, from all walks of life. Our interests run from kitebuilding to multi-line kite competition, from miniature kites, to aerial photography and more. Some of us are in the kite trade, but we are not a trade organization.

Octopus Spotted in Coney Island © 2009 Norman Blake by NB Photo Flash via flickr. All rights reserved

Octopus Spotted in Coney Island © 2009 Norman Blake by by NB Photo Flash via flickr. All rights reserved

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October 3, 2010: Photo of the Day: Kite Aerial Photography of Coney Island

September 17, 2010: On Coney Island Boardwalk, Ruby’s & Cha Cha’s Rock This Fall

September 4, 2010: Go Up, It’s Great! Coney Island’s & Deno’s Wonder Wheel

August 18, 2010: Luna Park NYC Halloween Gig for Famed Haunted House Creator

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When the Coney Island Girlie Freak Show premiered last month at BB King’s, Dick Zigun announced that in Summer 2010, Coney Island’s Sideshows By the Seashore would run seven days a week instead of five. The schedule will be expanded in anticipation of a busier than ever season in Coney Island after Memorial Day’s grand opening of the new Luna Park.

Heather Holliday spits a bit of Fire on stage at Coney Island USA. © 2009 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

Heather Holliday spits a bit of Fire on stage at Coney Island USA. © 2009 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

From June 12 through Labor Day, there will be two completely different sideshows at CIUSA. “The rough schedule is up on our calendar of events,” says Zigun. “During that time period the CONEY ISLAND CIRCUS SIDESHOW will feature Donny Vomit and Heather Holliday and the CONEY ISLAND GIRLIE FREAKSHOW will feature Angelica and Serpentina.”

That means two different female fire-eaters will be in residence at Coney Island USA. It’s a double wow! Heather Holliday, who is known as the world’s cutest sword swallower and the Princess of Peril, added a stunning fire act to her repertoire last season.

We welcome back Anjelica, who took a break from the ten-in-one last summer. Her fire act is hypnotic, sensuous and lovely all at once. Not to be missed! These amazing shots by Coney Island photographer Norman Blake capture the wonder of the “blow out,” the most dangerous and difficult feat of the fire breather’s art.

Anjelica performing during the opening night party at the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival. © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

Anjelica performing during the opening night party at the 2007 Coney Island Film Festival. © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

The Coney Island Girlie Freak show at BB King’s featured Angelica, Serpentina, Kryssy Kocktail, Pain Proof Rubber Girls and guest artist Bearded Lady Jennifer Miller.

The Coney Island Sideshow opens for the season on Saturday, April 3rd, 1-8 pm. The sideshow cast will also perform at CIUSA’s 30th Anniversary Gala on March 25th in Manhattan. Advance tickets are available online.

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February 12, 2010: Presidents Day Weekend at Coney Island USA’s Hall of the Presidents

February 3, 2010: New in 2010: Coney Island Fun Phone Addition to CI Fun Guide

January 25, 2010: March 14-17: Coney Island Sideshow Banner Painting School with Marie Roberts

December 1, 2009: TLC’s Cake Boss Sweet on Marie Roberts’ Coney Island Sideshow Banners

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Julie Finds a Friend © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

Julie Finds a Friend © 2007 Norman Blake. All rights reserved. NB Photo Flash via flickr

ATZ is celebrating Valentine’s Day with one of our fave portraits by contributing photographer Norman Blake. That’s Coney Island mermaid Julie Atlas Muz getting a smooch from a sea lion after her annual swim in the New York Aquarium’s tank on Mermaid Parade Day.

This Valentine’s Day and all year long, you too can get a sea lion kiss at Coney Island’s New York Aquarium! From ATZ’s inbox…

Catch one of the aquarium’s daily Sea Lion Celebrations in Aquatheater, and afterwards, book a Sea Lion Encounter to ask questions and get up close with our sea lion celebrities. Visitors will receive a meet-and-greet session with one of the aquarium’s California sea lions. Encounters occur every day after the Sea Lion Celebration show. Participants will learn about these magnificent animals, ask questions, and finally get a sea lion kiss. Sea Lion Encounters cost $20.00 per participant.

The Aquatheater demonstrations are included with general admission to the aquarium and take place twice daily. Winter shows are at 11:30 am and 3 pm. “Our pinnipeds (the scientific term for sea lions, seals, and walruses) also make great teachers,” says Jon Forrest Dohlin, Aquarium Director. “You’ll learn how to make seafood choices that are healthy for the planet, why predators like the great white shark are essential to maintaining a balanced food chain, and how the WCS [Wildlife Conservation Society] is helping to save threatened marine life and habitats around the globe.”

The New York Aquarium is open 365 days a year. Admission is $13.00 for adults, $9.00 for children ages 3-12 and $10.00 for senior citizens 65 and older. A general admission ticket allows you to explore the New York Aquarium and attend all animal feedings and demonstrations. Admission on Fridays beginning at 3 pm is pay-what-you-wish!

New York Aquarium, Surf Avenue at West 8th Street, Coney Island, 718-265-FISH

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February 3, 2010: New in 2010: Coney Island Fun Phone Addition to CI Fun Guide

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

September 27, 2009: Coney Island 1969 by Edwin Torres: Fave Poem from Parachute Festival

June 22, 2009: A Judge’s Photo Album of the 2009 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

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