A Visit To Coney Island: The Home Stretch

Coney Island Greeting Card

So with a heavy heart, I turned from the Sea, and started my journey back to the land. 

By now it was about 2:30 in the afternoon, and the sand was literally burning hot.  Seriously.  Having my feet be wet from the surf protected me for about a quarter of the distance.  After that, I started feeling the heat.  I honestly believe that if I hadn’t run the rest of the way to the boardwalk, I’d have blisters.  I may be wrong, but I’m not fucking with you.  Wear your sandals, folks. 

So once I got to the boardwalk, I rinsed my feet off in the showers at a comfort station…

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…and set out for home. 

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I wasn’t thinking of much by this point, so I’ll just show you the sights.  Note the remaining scars of Sandy as we go. 

Beachfront property.  Not one apartment sold yet.

Beachfront property. Not one apartment sold yet.

...but the projects are always with us.

…but the projects are always with us.

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Don't know what Concert this was for.

Don’t know what Concert this was for, or if this is just a permanent venue.

After all of those distance shots, you finally get a close look at the Parachute Jump. Until recently, it was the last remnant of Steeplechase Park, but that’s changing. See below.

Depressing as this looks, it actually makes me happy.  I've explained why.

Depressing as this looks, it actually makes me happy. I’ve explained why.

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The entrance to Steeplechase Pier. I hope it re-opens before the end of the summer, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Another view of the pier.

Another view of the pier.

Part of the new Steeplechase park. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but there are fountains in the pavement.

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More of the new Steeplechase Park

More of the new Steeplechase Park

I should mention that it pleases me that Steeplechase Park is being restored.  My ex Mother-In-Law used to tell me stories of her youth, when Steeplechase Park – and especially that the Steeplechase ride itself – was one of the high points of Coney Island.  Her mother thought she was crazy for spending a whole four dollars (in the Sixties, mind you) just to ride a ride, even if four dollars did get you a full-day pass. 

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By now, Coney is was fully awake:

Stillwell comes back into view.

Stillwell comes back into view.

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But I was just too tired to partake.  Instead, I just turned off the boardwalk…

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…and headed out to the street.

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Here you get a glimpse of the historical Cyclone roller coaster, namesake of the local baseball team.  Nine bucks a ride.  Long way from that four-dollar-a-day pass, eh?  As you can see, though, it’s showing its age a bit. 

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Still, I like that.  Makes it more of the carny it was intended to be, rather than a polished modern imitation of the same.

Still, I can hardly complain about modern amusement parks.  They’ve brought some life back to Surf Avenue:

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Without them, the place would look pretty run down.  Especially after Sandy:

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Not everything is either new and shiny or falling to pieces, though.  The Coney Island Museum, which houses one of the last sideshows in the country, is being restored and will be back next year:

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So finally I get back to Stillwell, and bid one last goodbye to Nathan’s Famous:

See?  Fucker with the bus is still there!

See? Fucker with the bus is still there!

…get on the train…

The BMT line no longer exists.  If you're a fan of The Warriors, it's a relic of that era.

The BMT line no longer exists. If you’re a fan of The Warriors, it’s a relic of that era.

…and start the long, weary journey home.

That’s the end of our tour of Coney Island.  I hope you enjoyed it, I hope it helped you catch a little bit of the spirit of the place, and to understand why I love it so much…and I hope it helps you to follow the story that begins tomorrow. 

Come on back, and we’ll find out.  See you then.

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Filed under Inspirations, New York Life

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