Thursday, February 11, 2010

I LOVE NY 11 of 28 Places to Visit

Coney Island
Photos courtesy of

Coney Island is a peninsula, formerly an island, in southernmost Brooklyn, New York, with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood of the same name is a community of 60,000 people in the western part of the peninsula, with Seagate to its west; Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east; and Gravesend to the north.

The area was a major resort and site of amusement parks that reached its peak in the early 20th century. It declined in popularity after World War II and endured years of neglect. In recent years, the area has seen the opening of Key Span Park, home to the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team.

Three rides at Coney Island are protected as designated NYC landmarks and listed in the National Register of Historical Places.

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 feet (46 m) tall, and weighs over 2,000 tons. At night the Wonder Wheel's steel frame is outlined and illuminated by neon tubes. It is part of Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

The Cyclone roller coaster, built in 1927, is one of the nation's oldest wooden coasters still in operation. A favorite of some coaster aficionados, the Cyclone includes an 85-foot (26 m), 60 degree drop. It is owned by the City, and was operated by Astroland, under a franchise agreement. It is located across the street from Astroland.

The Parachute Jump, originally the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the1939 New York World’s Fair, was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted 190 feet (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, the Jump 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. It has not been lit regularly since.

Nathan’s Famous original hot dog stand opened on Coney Island in 1916 and quickly became a landmark. An annual hot dog eating contest has been held there on July 4 since its opening, but has only attracted broad attention and international television coverage during the last decade.

The four subway lines (all elevated at that point) terminate at Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station, and are (from east to west) the Typical scene on a Coney Island bound F train
BMT Sea Beach Line (N)
BMT Brighton Line (Q)
IND Culver Line (F)
BMT West End Line (D)

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