The Coney Island Experience
Today, I went to Coney Island for the first time (and probably the last since it will soon be closed down to make way for condos or so the rumor goes). I believe that between the 1880s and WWII, Coney Island was one of the largest amusement areas in the US. Now, it is somewhat neglected and run down, but still relatively popular with children, teens and a sort of cultish following. There seems to have been several different plans for the area in the past few years, for now, I only know that they're shutting it down...
To get there, my friends and I took the N train at Astor Place, and of course because it was Sunday it took us almost an hour to get there. We walked out of the the large subway station to find ourselves walking towards the fair grounds, noticing the countdown the the next hot dog eating contest above Nathan's Famous. The crowd was not very big, the day being overcast and dull. We strolled a bit on the boardwalk, bought refreshments and watched the crowd slowly build up.
There are many different kiddie games, the typical fair grounds water shooting/coin and dart throwing contests. It was full of enormous teddy bears and cheap framed poster clocks. We strolled a bit, watching people lose their money in silly ways and kids enjoying themselves on the rides.
Then we directed ourselves toward the famous Cyclone roller coaster. There was no line but we waited... and waited, we wanted to be in the first car of the raggedy old coaster...
Standing around, listening to the cars fly by around us, with the passengers screaming increased our anticipation, although at first sight, the coaster doesn't look like much.
Finally, after a long enough wait, we settled for the second row seat in the first car. The ride was not at all what we expected, it was exciting and scary (mostly because of the fear that the old contraption would break or that the cars would fly off the rails. The original coaster was built in 1927 and is the country's oldest wooden coaster. We were so thrilled, we stayed on for a second ride and jumped into the first row. I must say it was surprisingly fun!
We bought some food and planned on eating it on the beach, but opted for one of the benches on the boardwalk instead. After that, we walked on the pier where everyone seemed to be fishing...
Here, we took a few pictures
before heading to our last thrill, the Spin Top ride
which although was also very old, it was yell worthy.
Overall, it wasn't the most exciting amusement park experience, but at lest now I can say that I've been to Coney Island. Everything there was old, run down and almost decadent... it's no wonder everyone is talking of an overhaul.