Coney is definitely on my mind as this dramatic shot of the Parachute Jump makes the Photo of the Week. The Parachute Jump, also referred to as Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower, was the first ride of its kind. Thrill-seekers were hoisted 190 feet in the air before dropping from guy-wired parachutes.
Sound exhilarating or just plain death-defying?
As I started my walk down the boardwalk from Brighton Beach, I noticed the planks were loose and generally worse for the wear. Millions of bare-feet have trod on them spending happy summer days here. What was the future of Coney Island to hold?
Thor Equities purchased the two amusement parks, Astroland and Deno’s Wonder Wheel, as well as 6 acres of the surrounding area in 2006. Thor’s Mission Statement reads: Our mission is to provide the best possible retail and mixed use building environment within urban markets across the United States, for our customers, with a focus on providing attractive risk adjusted returns to our investors.
Hmmm, that doesn’t sound like a $5 ride on the Wonder Wheel.
Actually, their plans to mix a mall with amusement rides and condos have gone under extreme scrutiny in Brooklyn and the 2011 grand opening could easily find itself pushed back even further. What will remain and what will stay is my question. The Cylcone rollercoaster, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the States (1927), and Parachute Jump, originally known as the Life Savers Parachute Jump of the 1939 World’s Fair, will live on as they are official New York landmarks. But already my favorite outdoor batting cage is rubble. My boys and I started off my bachelor party warming up in those cages!
Will the Wonder Wheel live on? Will the Mermaid Parade still draw the crowds? Will the Circus Sideshow move to the Lower East Side? And will that little Japanese guy win Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating contest again?
Coney has definitely undergone many changes since becoming a resort right after the Civil War. Astroland and Deno’s will soon pass into Coney History like LunaPark, Dreamland, and Steeplechase did before. But the summer hasn’t even started yet!
So go see the Mermaid Parade this weekend and check out my flickr site here to see more of my Coney Island photos.