Sunday, August 11, 2013

Coney Island Today

Sometimes I think it goes without saying: I love Coney Island. But then, I remember, not everyone has wandered the phasmatrope inside my head for the past few years as I wrote a novel inspired by the heart of this special place. They haven't heard the flap and slap of my character's feet against the loose wooden planks of the boardwalk or peeled back the sidewalk to reveal the underworld I created from the contrast of color and grit.

I take trips to Coney Island like I'm entering some magical land, one I have to shh and awe and gaze and point at only once or twice a year, because, to go there too often, well, I couldn't. I have never wanted to know every turn or bend. I prefer to leave Coney Island to my imagination and get lost there.

Last October, after the Sandy storm, there were questions about Coney Island's recovery. I'm not going to pretend that the people who call this place home are not still suffering from the tremendous loss. I'm not going to pretend there isn't work to be done. 

But this is Coney Island today (well, technically, yesterday) with its crowded boardwalk and thrill rides at Luna Park (what's your thrill level: extreme, high, moderate, or mild?) This is a packed Brooklyn Cyclones game and the original Nathan's, the Surf Avenue location, open again. And the dazzling new lights of the Parachute Jump, 8000 of them, said to be seen from space.

I wish we could have known last fall. 

Papa Burger

Boardwalk Flight - A Sky Coaster

Parachute Jump before Sunset

Crowded Boardwalk

Filming the Boardwalk Flight from the iPad mini.


Parachute Jump at Sunset

Brooklyn Cyclones Game

I just really like the Nathan's sign

Wonder Wheel

Just reminds me of 'Big'

A 10:30pm Cyclone ride anyone?


  1. I've never been to Coney Island, but have always wanted to!
    Our Fairy Tale

  2. A beautiful place! I can see why it intrigues you and has formed the heart of your first novel.

  3. Whenever you talk about Coney Island and share pics, I always feel like I'm right there, living the magic in person!

  4. When I come visit you, you HAVE to take me to Coney island. You have made me fall in love with it! And we have a Zoltar at our local amusement park, and I think of "Big" every time!!

  5. I've always wanted to visit Coney Island, but I'm a little afraid that it will be too different from the version in my head created by a handful of excellent historical novels. It has such a fascinating background!

  6. These are amazing shots, Melissa. Truly! You should submit them to some contests... You capture the heart of Coney Island, and if I can say, I think you capture the heart of Rabbit Island also... Thank you for inspiring me today. xoxo

  7. Fabulous photos! I've always wanted to go to Coney Island; I think I must have read about it in books somewhere in middle grade land. And it just makes me more excited to read your story :)