Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY USA - by Rawle C. Jackman
Coney Island is a peninsular residential neighborhood, beach, and leisure/entertainment destination on the Atlantic Ocean in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. The site was formerly an outer barrier island, but became partially connected to the mainland by land fill. The residential portion of the peninsula is a community of 60,000 people in its western part, with Sea Gate to its west, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Gravesend to the north.
Coney Island is well known as the site of amusement parks and a seaside resort. The attractions reached a historical peak during the first half of the 20th century, declining in popularity after World War II and years of neglect. In recent years, the area has seen the opening of MCU Park stadium and has become home to the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team, as well as the opening of a new amusement park among several adjacent ones.
The current amusement park contains various rides, games such as skeeball and ball tossing, and a sideshow including games of shooting, throwing, and tossing skills. The rides and other amusements at Coney Island are owned and managed by several different companies, and operate independently of each other. It is not possible to purchase season tickets to the attractions in the area.
Three rides at Coney Island are protected as designated New York City landmarks and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These three rides are:
Wonder Wheel – built in 1918 and opened in 1920, this steel Ferris wheel has both stationary cars and rocking cars that slide along a track. It holds 144 riders, stands 150 ft (46 m) tall, and weighs over 200 tons. At night the Wonder Wheel's steel frame is outlined and illuminated by neon tubes. It is located at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.
The Cyclone roller coaster – built in 1927, it is one of the United States's oldest wooden coasters still in operation. Popular with roller coaster aficionados, the Cyclone includes an 85 ft (26 m), sixty degree drop. It is owned by the City of New York, and was operated by Astroland, under a franchise agreement. It is now located in and operated by Luna Park.
Parachute Jump – originally built as the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair, this was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted 190 ft (58 m) in the air before being allowed to drop using guy-wired parachutes. Although the ride has been closed since 1968, it remains a Coney Island landmark, and is sometimes referred to as Brooklyn's Eiffel Tower. Between 2002 and 2004, it was completely dismantled, cleaned, painted and restored, but remains inactive. After an official lighting ceremony in July 2006, the Parachute Jump was slated to be lit year round using different color motifs to represent the seasons. However, this idea was scrapped when New York City started conserving electricity in the summer months, and it has not been lit regularly since.
Coney Island, Brooklyn USA by Photographer Rawle C. Jackman