Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic — Coney Island Summers

My first trip to Coney Island, I was 8 years old. Over the long years, I have been there many times,  with many friends and most of my family. Riding the Cyclone with my granddaughter was a delight I never expected to enjoy, sealing the memory … the fourth generation of my family to laugh and scream with joy as we rode those shaky rails again.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

31 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic — Coney Island Summers”

      1. Our last Coney Island trek made me feel like Randolph Scott in “Ride The High Country”. But I’m glad we did it!!

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        1. Me too. I yearn to do it again. I understand all the arguments against and they are all reasonable and sensible. I just don’t feel like being sensible 🙂

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    1. Depending on where you live, they are still open for business. Over the years, they redo the rides (except for the wonder wheel and cyclone which are maintained, but not changed), but it’s still Coney Island. Very accessible.

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    1. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens … as was Garry. Home turf. The old Steeplechase was gone by the time I first went to Coney Island in 1955, but the parachute jump was still running as were the Tornado and the Thunderbolt … and the 3 big carousels with calliopes. My mother used to talk about Steeplechase, how much she used to enjoy going there in the 1930s. It burned down in the late 1930s. There’s NEW Steeplechase now. I haven’t been there since they built it two years ago and my husband seems to feel (at 71) he can’t do it again. I’m up for one more round, but he is probably right. Last summer we went to Busch Gardens (Williamsburgh, VA) and rode the two biggest coasters they have — really BIG ones. That was, I think, our finale, though the Cyclone beats them on sheer scary (remember riding it and watching pieces fall off? — that was REALLY scary!). But you never know. We may yet find it in us to go one more time. Hard for me to walk much these days, but I can still ride! Where did you grow up in Brooklyn? Me? East 96th Street, just off Pitkin Avenue. Holy ground indeed.

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      1. I was born in ’49 and have a boatload of memories from Steeplechase. It is hard to fathom that they happened by the time I was 6. Outdoor horse racing ride that was fabulous and great fun. Indoor rides and a large wooden slide, swing ride that sent us out wide. That wasn’t there after ’55?

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        1. No, gone by then. They may have built one that was around for a few years, then gone again. They have reincarnated it a few times. The original burned down before you or I was born, so that must have been another one. Now there is yet another, built just the year before last. They actually have a museum underneath the Cyclone (at the entry end) with tons of pictures and they are looking for people like you and me to record our memories of Coney Island when we were kids. Both my husband and I participated and recorded our memories. It was fun. I think they have a website. I don’t remember the address, but it’s the Coney Island preservation project or something like that. They know pretty much every ride that has come and gone and when. Maybe you can find it. I’d be interested to know too. By the mid 50s, there was no Steeplechase … but that was the low point for the area. It was very rundown in the mid 50s through the 70s. They started to try and fix it starting in the 80s, but until the early 2000s, it was still pretty bad.

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          1. What I read is that it burned down several times but was there, in some form until 1964 when Donald Trump’s father bought it to tear it down but could not because of zoning, so he closed it except for the parachute ride, which I went on, once. That timing, 1964, is more in line with what I remember but some of my memories no doubt were from 1955 and before. Heady stuff, the holy land. I’ll see about finding the preservation project. Good talking to you Marilyn.

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            1. There have been a lot of fires at Coney Island … probably some of them arson. It’s such a valuable piece of property, Tommy the Torch has no doubt been called in on more than one occasion!

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