11 August 2015

NYC #7: Coney Island, Brooklyn

Coney Island, Brooklyn is a fascinating piece of faded glory. There's a museum here which contains many exhibits reminding the curious of that glory, including a room with Thomas and Dundy's magnificent model of Luna Park. Unfortunately they don't allow you to take photos, which of course would advertise the museum far more and I'm sure greatly increase interest in the museum, but there you have it, and I'm reduced to showing what photos I can.
 
The smiling face you see from the baseball cap above – and as a kind of ghostly shadow in the image at the top – is all over Coney Island, a little like a logo of the place. This is Tillie, who seems to be named after George C. Tilyou who owned Steeplechase Park on Coney Island, which came to an end in 1964. The park of course – although a shadow of its former self – still exists and is still very popular.
 
As an indication of Coney Island as a continuing part of the psyche of New York, I reproduce this shot I took in 2008 with the Cyclone in the background: this was a Saturday afternoon and the occasion was the annual Mermaid Parade. Yes, of course Coney Island is horribly gaudy, noisy and irredeemably tacky. But sometimes tackiness has a certain beauty. And now, a few (sometimes bewildering) images that caught my eye this year:
 
'SEE
DANCING
SPACE MONSTER
The SPINNER
WITCH WITCHERY
& ALIGATOR' [sic]
 
'SEE
HANGMAN'S
DELIGHT
SCREECHY NELL
SHAGGY GHOST'
 
 
'HELP
1703'
 
 
'GEO C. TILYOU'S
CONEY ISLAND
STEEPLEPLACE
The
Funny
Place'

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