Photo Essay

Coney Island, Early on a Cloudy Sunday

Cyclone -- Coney Island

I try to get out to do photography every Sunday morning, and generally leave my car in the Union Square area of Manhattan, using the confluence of subway lines there as a staging point.

The weather was crappy and it started to rain while I was driving down and I came close to bagging it. But I kept going. The challenge at Union Square was to decide where to go from there. I've wanted to photograph Coney Island for a while, so that's where I headed. I haven't been there for at least 35 years.

It was early, it was Sunday, it was cloudy. Not a lot of people around and none of the rides were in operation yet. Perfect.

There is a lot of talk about revitalizing Coney Island, and boy, it needs it. Perhaps the newest thing there is Keyspan Park, home of the minor league New York Cyclones, the NY Mets affiliate. The rest is pretty run down (although to be fair, the city is maintaining the boardwalk and the facilities).

The amusement parks are mostly gone, except for a few stalwarts. The Cyclone roller coaster is still there. The Parachute Drop is there but abandoned. The Wonder Wheel is still there.

Nathans is still there, but the hot dogs are pricey -- almost $9 for one dog, small fries, small soda. But it was good! There are lots of other places to eat, but they are a mere shadow of the original.

Lots of homeless around, many hanging out in the pavilions that line the boardwalk.

All in all, an hour and a half was pretty much all it took to walk slowly from one end to the other along the boardwalk and then back on Surf Ave.

Perhaps the revitalization plans will come to fruition. If not, Coney Island will continue to age and decay.

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