A Visit To Coney Island: Boardwalk East

Coney Island Greeting Card

So, after reaching the place where Stillwell Avenue grounds at the beach –

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I looked West,

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Then East.

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See how deserted it is?  That did not last long.  Anyway, as is my custom (and the custom of the protagonist from my upcoming story), I set out to the East.

The reason I choose this direction is so I can travel from excitement to peace; most of the excitement and interesting things to see at Coney Island are to the East.

(At least for now.  Construction is underway.)

Clustered around Stillwell Avenue are the amenities for the tourists and the casual visitors.  The restaurants:

Another Coney Island Landmark

Another Coney Island Landmark

Nathan's really is everywhere at Coney.

Nathan’s really is everywhere at Coney.

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And the amusement parks:

A better look at the Wonder Wheel and the amusement park that houses it.

A better look at the Wonder Wheel and the amusement park that houses it before they open for the day.

Not technically an Amusement Park, but this fits best here. In terms of where you find it on the Boardwalk, it’s just a little bit past the colorful wall below.

But for myself, I’m more interested in the beach itself:

Those jetties punctuate the entire beach.  We'll get a closer look in the next post.

Those jetties punctuate the entire beach. We’ll get a closer look in the next post.

For the kiddies

For the kiddies

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As you keep walking, you see many interesting things, both scenic –

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(This wall is not just pretty, but covered with interesting Coney Island trivia.)

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Pretty proud of this, actually.

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Another look to the West - just couldn't bear to leave out a picture this pretty and colorful.

Another look to the West – just couldn’t bear to leave out a picture this pretty and colorful.

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What you're looking at above.

What you’re looking at above.

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And helpful.

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A public phone charger.

A public phone charger.

A public shower, for washing off sand and salt water.

A public shower, for washing off sand and salt water.

(I’m pretty sure neither of those last two things were there last Summer.  Maybe they’re taking the opportunity to make some improvements as they rebuild after Sandy.)

Actually, speaking of Sandy, take a look at this:

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That’s a public bathroom.  It’s brand new this year, and there are others like it (along with a First Aid station of identical construction) further down the Boardwalk, though they haven’t opened yet. 

This time last year, there were other public bathrooms that looked more like this:

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Dim and cool and gray and dingy inside.  Only they were below the boardwalk, on the beach.  Since Sandy, those public bathrooms are no longer with us. 

Anyway, as you keep walking –

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– the boardwalk becomes less of a tourist attraction and more of a local park. 

A reminder that The Projects are always with us at Coney Island.

A reminder that The Projects are always with us at Coney Island.

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(See that?  Where the texture of the walk changes?  That’s the first stage of a long-term plan to replace the wooden boardwalk with concrete and plastic.  It’s…controversial.)

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A little reminder where you are.

A little reminder where you are.

An old school public bathroom.

Once beyond the bright lights and hubbub of Stillwell, you can find some of those hidden-treasure places that are always much loved by the locals:

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(Just wanted to show the approach, there.  I love this place; it reminds me of the Country Store ice cream window back where I grew up)

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You also get to see more of the neighborhood.  In addition to the Projects and the shabby apartment buildings, you see echoes of past splendor:

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And, as you walk further and come to the luxury condos and beach houses, modern splendor:

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You also see that, out beyond the commercial hub of Stillwell, the damage of Sandy is still very much with the people of Coney:

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I wonder how far down that stairway actually goes?  How far down was the beach when it was built?

I wonder how far down that stairway actually goes? How far down was the beach when it was built?

Finally, you approach the end:

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Those are the beach houses I was talking about, beyond the end of the Boardwalk

Those are the beach houses I was talking about, beyond the end of the Boardwalk

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I used to like to walk straight off the end of the Boardwalk, onto the beach, but as you can see, that’s no longer possible.  I hope that once the repairs are completed, I’ll be able to do so again.  I miss it.  It seems wrong to stop before the end.

Anyway, this is where I take off my shirt and sandals, stuff them into my backpack, add some extra sunblock, and head out onto the beach.  Come back on Friday to see where my journey takes me from there.

3 Comments

Filed under Inspirations, New York Life

3 responses to “A Visit To Coney Island: Boardwalk East

  1. Interesting wheel-within-Wonder-Wheel design, and those new elevated restrooms are fairly odd. Are those covered walkway ramps intended for extra cover from high winds or something?

    • Ah, you see, that’s what makes the Wonder Wheel special. Those “inner” cars are actually on rails, so they slide back and forth between the outer wheel and the inner wheel as the ride turns. If you look closely, you’ll see that two cars are actually halfway out on their rails in that picture.

      As for the ramps, they’re not really covered. Those are just railings. The picture may give an odd idea of the scale of those bathrooms. They’re only about the size of your standard mobile home. A double-wide at most.

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