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Posts Tagged ‘Save Coney Island’

Didja ever notice the first three letters of fundraiser are F-U-N? Saturday’s benefit for Save Coney Island is “Guaranteed to be a raucous good time!” The Save Coney folks have “Gone Country for Coney” with a Country/Bluegrass Musical Jamboree, Wild West Variety Show and chow from Jake’s BBQ. Extra Added Attractions include a Burlesque Show After Party. It’s all happening this Saturday from 3 till 9:30 pm at Galapagos Artspace in DUMBO.

Tickets are $20, $15 till 5 pm. The fundraiser benefits Save Coney Island, a volunteer, non-profit organization committed to restoring Coney Island as a world-class amusement destination for all New Yorkers and visitors. For additional info, visit SaveConeyIsland.net

gone country for coney

January 30, 3- 9:30 pm, Save Coney Island Benefit at Galapagos Artspace, 16 Main Street at Water Street, DUMBO. (A & C trains to High, F to York)

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Related posts on ATZ…

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

September 12, 2009: Coney Island After Labor Day: Rides Open Weekends, Special Events

July 27, 2009: Tall, Skinny & Destined to Kill Coney Island: High Rises on South Side of Surf

June 11, 2009: Coney Island Amusement Advocates Rally for More Acreage for Outdoor Rides

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Coney Island’s amusement rides reopen for the season on Palm Sunday, March 28. We’re already counting the days! But Coney Island the neighborhood is open year round. ATZ’s calendar of upcoming events includes a Save Coney Island meeting and country bluegrass jamboree fundraiser, live music at Footprints Cafe and the Freak Bar, and much more. The New York Aquarium, Nathan’s, Williams Candy and Coney Island Beach Shop are among the businesses that are open every day. During the winter, the Beach and the Boardwalk remain a popular destination for residents and visitors, including photographers, walkers, joggers, cyclists and even swimmers–if you happen to be a Polar Bear!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21

Public Meeting on the Future of Coney Island sponsored by Save Coney Island

Info and discussion about efforts to landmark historic buildings such as Nathan’s and prevent the permanent reduction of the size of the amusement area. Learn about initiatives underway to bring in additional amusements for the 2010 season and other key projects to revive the amusement area as the Playground of the World.

January 21, 7:30 pm, Save Coney Island Meeting, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Coney Island, 2801 W. 8th Street, Coney Island (F train to Neptune Ave)

Footprints round robin

TUESDAY, JANUARY 26

Arabian Knights Round Robin at Footprints Coney Island

Footprints Cafe, one of our favorite places to dine in Coney Island, just happens to be open year round and has live music on weekends. Sign up for their e-news to find out about upcoming special events like Brooklyn’s premier Round Robin on Tuesday, January 26. The round robin is held at over 18 bars and lounges in Brooklyn at a different location every week. This year’s theme Arabian Knights includes an appearance by a belly dancer. Pop/reggae singer Primadonna is the evening’s featured performer. ATZ highly recommends the seafood and vegetarian dishes on the cafe’s Caribbean fusion menu. Everything is carefully prepared with the freshest ingredients and always delish.

January 26, 9 pm until, Arabian Knights Round Robin at Footprints Cafe, 1521 Surf Ave between 15th & 16th Sts, Coney Island, 718-265-2530. No cover, no minimum. (B, D, F & Q trains to Stillwell Ave)

country in coney

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30

Gone Country for Coney: Save Coney Island Benefit

Country bluegrass jamboree and Wild West variety show featuring five bands–Animal Pharm, Central Valley Wildfire, Rob Hecht, Pinataland and Citigrass. Plus the Prospect Cowgirls dancers, burlesque show and food from Jake’s BBQ.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Save Coney Island’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the People’s Playground. Tickets are $20, $15 till 5 p.m.

January 30, 3- 9:30 pm, Save Coney Island Benefit at Galapagos Artspace, 16 Main Street at Water Street, DUMBO. (A & C trains to High, F to York)

Vintage Mermaid Parade Poster

SUNDAY, JANUARY 31

Apres Polar Bear Swim: Live Music by Canonball at the Freak Bar

After the weekly Polar Bear Club Swim at 1 pm, the Bears and friends will adjourn to Coney Island USA’s Freak Bar for brunch and live music by Canonball. This is the band that rock and rolled on the Boardwalk in front of Ruby’s on New Year’s Day. Bagels, cream cheese, coffee, espresso and cappucino will be available for purchase at this Sunday’s Polar Bear Brunch at
the Freak Bar.

The Coney Island Museum and Gift Shop at CIUSA are also open. Where else can you find a vintage Mermaid Parade poster or a Madame Twisto Tee? Winter hours are Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 pm.

January 31, 1:30-5 pm, Canonball at Coney Island USA’s Freak Bar, Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave, Coney Island. No cover, no minimum. (B,D, F, Q trains to Stillwell Ave)

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Related posts on ATZ…

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

November 7, 2009: Thru Dec 31 at Coney Island Library: Artist Takeshi Yamada’s Cabinet of Curiosities

September 12, 2009: Coney Island After Labor Day: Rides Open Weekends, Special Events

June 11, 2009: Coney Island Amusement Advocates Rally for More Acreage for Outdoor Rides

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astroland-park (3)
Astroland Park, Watercolor by Eric March. From the exhibition “Moments in Time: Queens to Coney Island” at Park Slope Gallery, October 16 – December 31.

The roof of Gregory & Paul’s, now known as Paul’s Daughter, looked empty this summer without the iconic Astroland Rocket. I kept having to remind myself: The Rocket is safe in storage in Staten Island. It’s been saved! But things were not the same in so many ways: Astroland was gone. Closed on September 7, 2008. In Eric March‘s achingly lovely watercolor study from the summer of 2008, G & P’s original sign is intact, the “Astroland Park” Rocket is perched atop the Boardwalk food stand, and all is well in this part of the world.

The artist, whom ATZ got acquainted with in Coney, recently sent us a link to a preview of his upcoming exhibition “Moments in Time: Queens to Coney Island.” The oil paintings and charcoal drawings of Queens industrial landscape are impressive. Naturally we felt drawn to successive images of the Rocket– the black & white and hand-tinted etchings done in 2009. “For ‘Astroland’ I thought the fine detail you can achieve in etching lent itself well to depicting all the signage,” says Eric March. “‘Parachute Jump’ has a lot of precise line work but I also used different biting techniques to get a softer sense of atmosphere in the sky. In addition, an additional layer of yellow ink rolled over the entire plate helps gives ‘Parachute Jump’ that sunset glow.”

astroland-bw (2)
Astroland, etching by Eric March, 2009

Whenever I ran into Eric in Coney Island he was busy gathering signatures for a petition to save the amusement zoning and move the proposed high rises north of Surf Avenue. How did all the Save Coney lobbying and events of the summer affect or inspire his work?

The show is actually about half Coney Island subjects and half Long Island City subjects. I moved to LIC in 2006 from Brooklyn and was attracted to all the industrial structures in Queens Plaza and other places in LIC. Coney Island has my heart, though, and I was drawn back to the beach when I started developing the work for this show. In 2006 I had my first solo show, “A Brooklyn Year”, which was all Brooklyn—including a lot of Coney Island pieces. So I already had ideas for paintings that I didn’t get to for my last show.

When I learned that Coney Island was potentially destined for the wrecking ball it definitely lit a fire under me to not only capture images of the Coney that I knew and loved, but also to get involved politically to help keep it that way. That’s when I started volunteering for Save Coney Island. I did some petitioning on the boardwalk and helped organize to raise awareness about the city’s redevelopment plan and it’s inherent threat to the existence of the vibrant, small scale, historic, and unique Coney Island that’s been drawing people there for over 100 years. The fight’s not over yet and I hope that when people see the work in this show they will also be inspired to fight for a Coney Island that remains one of the last places in New York City that is an open-access melting pot of people, creativity, color, and fun.

astroland-hc (2)
Astroland, hand-tinted etching by Eric March, 2009

parachute-jump (2)

Gallery Talk, Friday, November 6, 7 pm
The artist will discuss the artistic process and the political inspiration for his Coney Island images. Featuring guest speaker Juan Rivero from Save Coney Island

Moments in Time: Queens to Coney Island, October 16- December 31, 2009. Park Slope Gallery is a by-appointment-only art gallery in the historic Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Phone 718-768-4883 or e-mail parkslopegallery@mindspring.com

Parachute Jump, etching by Eric March, 2009

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World Famous Bob Speaking at Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr
World Famous Bob Speaking at Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

I’ve never had anything against tall skinny buildings. I’ve always thought Manhattan was beautiful. But in Brooklyn I just thought they’d like to keep it short and wide and that’s why I live here.

–Burlesque artist World Famous BOB, emceeing Sunday’s Last Chance to Save Island Rally.

The Burlesque at the Beach bombshell held up “Before” and “After” renderings to show the folly of the City’s rezoning plan. The plan would allow high-rises of up to 27 stories along the south side of Surf Avenue, walling off and casting shadows across the world famous seaside amusement district.

BOB urged New Yorkers to call their City Council members before the full Council votes on the plan this Wednesday. “I am a huge fan not only of Brooklyn, but specifically of Coney Island,” said the New York Burlesque Festival’s “Most Inspiring” performer. “There’s no better way I would personally like to spend a Sunday afternoon than with a bunch of people who not only love Coney Island but love it enough to actually came down here and request that it get saved.” If you missed the rally, here’s how you can request that it get saved.

ATZ will dutifully phone our Council member a third time. But we would feel more confident about the outcome of Wednesday’s Council meeting if the World Famous BOB were City Council Speaker instead of Bloomberg’s henchwoman Christine Quinn! Last week Coney Island’s Councilman Domenic Recchia said in a statement posted on his blog, “I know that there are those who would like to see lower buildings on the south side of Surf Avenue. We just couldn’t make this work and will be moving forward with project that you see today.”

On the plus side, the Councilman’s post mentioned discussions with the administration about expanding the area for outdoor amusements. “I hope that by the time the entire City Council votes on this plan, on July 29th, I will have great news for everyone.” We’re sitting on the edge of our seats till then, when presumably we’ll find out what kind of deal the City is currently cutting with real estate speculator Thor Equities behind closed doors.

Speakers at the Last Chance to Save Coney rally also included Juan Rivero of Save Coney Island, Mermaid Parade founder and Coney Island’s permanently unelected “Mayor” Dick Zigun, “Coney Island: Lost & Found” author and historian Charles Denson, Cyclone roller coaster operator and former Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert, Miss Cyclone Angie Pontani, Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique owner Dianna Carlin, activist and author Kevin Powell, Green Party mayoral candidate Rev. Billy Talen and musician Amos Wengler singing his anthem “Save Coney Island.”

Last Chance to Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

Mayoral candidate Rev Billy Talen Speaking at Last Chance to Save Coney Island Rally, Brooklyn Borough Hall. Photo © Robert & Robbie Bailey via jane_jacobs_saves_coney flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 9, 2009: Video: A Friendly but Urgent PSA from Coney Island’s ‘Mayor’

June 11, 2009: Coney Island Amusement Advocates Rally for More Acreage for Outdoor Rides

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Father and Son on Way to Last Chance to Save Coney Rally at Borough Hall. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Father and Son on Way to Last Chance to Save Coney Rally at Borough Hall. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Before the Save Coney Rally got started we asked this little boy what he loved about Coney Island. “The up and down ride!” he said. “He means the Free Fall in Deno’s,” explained his Dad, who added that they missed Astroland’s Water Flume. The log flume, which was dismantled when Astroland closed in September 2008, was one of our faves too. All that’s left are souvenir photos and historic signage.

We’re glad the City Council amended the zoning plan to ensure that the Vourderis family will continue to own and operate Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park. What about the rest of Coney Island? An amendment introduced by Councilman Tony Avella to expand the area for open-air amusements and restrict the height of the high rises on the south side of Surf was voted down. Save Coney Island is urging New Yorkers to phone their Council members to “fix the plan” before the full Council vote this Wednesday, July 29.

At today’s Last Chance to Save Coney Island rally on the steps of Borough Hall, Juan Rivero quoted some of the comments from the group’s petition drive. “When you’re asking a thousand people about Coney Island, you’re going to get a thousand different stories and a thousand different reasons why Coney Island must be preserved as an affordable amusement destination. Here are a few”:

Coney Island is the Grand Central Station and the Brooklyn Bridge of amusement parks in America—Alan Solomon

It was a wild carnival place but it has a rich history and it should be preserved and celebrated, not destroyed– Jacqueline Underwood

When our daughter was 2 years old in 1957 we brought her to Coney Island and we shall never forget her comment: “Everything I love is here.” –Rita Brettschneider

July 26 Last Chance to Save Coney Rally. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

July 26 Last Chance to Save Coney Rally. Photo © jane_jacobs_saves_coney via flickr

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 27, 2009: Tall, Skinny & Destined to Kill Coney Island: High Rises on South Side of Surf

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

July 9, 2009: Video: A Friendly but Urgent PSA from Coney Island’s ‘Mayor’

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View of Surf Avenues Henderson Building and Shore Hotel from Stillwell Station. Owned by Thor Equities, these historic structures are  endangered by the city’s plan proposes four high-rise hotels of up to 27 stories along the south side of Surf Avenue. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

View of Surf Avenue's Henderson Building and Shore Hotel from Stillwell Station. Owned by Thor Equities, these historic structures are endangered by the city’s rezoning plan allowing four high-rise hotels of up to 27 stories along the south side of Surf Avenue. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

I’m happy to report the adorable-looking, headline-grabbing 5- legged puppy was “saved” from being sold to a Coney Island freak show. Now can we please grab your attention for a minute to Save Coney Island? The grassroots group Save Coney Island has called a rally on Sunday, July 26, at 1 p.m. in Columbus Park by the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Juan Rivero of Save Coney Island told ATZ:

With the City Council set to vote on the plan this coming Wednesday, this rally is the public’s last chance to make its voice heard.

We are calling for more acres to be devoted to outdoor amusements, for the removal of the four high-rise hotel towers proposed for the south side of Surf Avenue, and for the preservation of Coney Island’s historic buildings. We share the hope and expectation expressed at the land use committee hearing by Council members Recchia, Katz, and others that the City will address our concerns through negotiations before the full Council vote.

If you live in NYC please phone AND email your City Council member, Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg. Remember, they are running for re-election in November and want your vote. Do they want to go down in history as the city officials who KILLED CONEY ISLAND? Of course not!

To find your City Council member, type your address on the City’s Council’s info page.

If you do NOT live in NYC, please send a DON’T KILL CONEY email to Mayor Michael Bloomberg
email:http://www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html
or phone 311 (1- 212-NEWYORK outside of the city) and
leave a “Comment for the Mayor.”

Visit Save Coney Island’s website for more info.

As for the 5- legged puppy story, I was dismayed to see the LA Times story “Coney Island freak show owner vows to fight for ownership of 5 legged puppy” knock the HuffPost editorial “How Mayor Bloomberg is Killing Coney Island” from the #1 slot in a Google search of “Coney Island.” The puppy was a featured attraction in yesterday’s NY Times, NY Post, NY Daily News and amNew York, as well as papers as far away as Ethiopia and New Zealand.

I’m pretty sure Coney Island sideshow operator John Strong’s threat to sue the puppy’s owner and reattach the dog’s amputated fifth leg is a publicity stunt. I kinda liked his earlier, more philosophical comment “Sometimes, you just gotta say: ‘OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals,’ and move on.” Yes, let’s move on to Save Coney Island. It may be our last chance.

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“You gotta fight for your right to Save Coney. A real landmark but they’re trying to make it phony,” raps Coney Island hip-hop artist AMO1. The anthem was written for the group Save Coney Island.

What makes this special is AMO1’s Coney roots. “They’re tryin’ to tear my land down…tryin’ to destroy a legend,” he says. “Don’t let it get destroyed by Thor Equities. Keep every acre of land for amusements.” The Cyclone roller coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, the freak show, and cotton candy on kids’ faces get a mention in the vid. AMO1 pays tribute to the go karts, which were bulldozed by real estate speculator Thor Equities in 2007.

The first time you ever drove was at the go kart races
Get hungry and go to Nathans
Most been here their whole life cause it’s amazing
Let’s stop them from tearing it down to the pavement
Cause this is all we got for the youth so let’s save it.

If there was ever a time to fight for your right to Save Coney, it’s now or never. The City Council’s Land Use Committee is expected to vote on the rezoning plan this week. Perhaps even as early as tomorrow morning! The full Council vote is scheduled for July 29. In a last ditch effort to save the People’s Playground, Save Coney Island is asking New Yorkers to call their elected officials and request changes to the City’s plan.

7/20 UPDATE: we just received an urgent email from Save Coney Island that The Land Use Committee met today and recessed without making any recommendations. The Zoning and Land Use Committees are now scheduled to vote tomorrow, Tuesday the 21st, on revisions to the Coney Island rezoning plan:

WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND AND MAKE OUR PRESENCE FELT!
When: 10:30 am
Where: City Hall Chambers.
PLEASE, GET THERE EARLY TO GET THROUGH SECURITY.

Bring a sign! The last time, they gave us a hard time about anything bigger than 8.5 x 11. You can download one no bigger than that here(pdf).

The vote by the Land Use Committee is the last chance for the plan to be fixed. If council members choose to vote on the plan without significant amendments dealing with the amusement area, we will know that they ignored your calls and that they are indifferent to the destruction of the “People’s Playground”. The vote by the entire City Council is scheduled for July 29th.

Keep making phone calls! Call Quinn, Recchia, and your council member. Tell them that Coney Island amusements are a city-wide issue, and that the plan must be fixed. All the info you need to make a call is here. Call now!

.

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