I am a Coney Island Baby. Good, or bad, Coney Island has laid a heavy hand on shaping who I am today.
One day I will write a poem or short story about it, but for today, I will post some pics from last month.
Famous for its rides, especially the wooden-tracked Cyclone, the only rides I ever went on were the bumper cars, haunted house, or house of mirrors. Scraped skin from my ankle once lined the barrel of the fun house as I tumbled non-stop, and cemented my inability to handle even a "calm" ride. It was probably the first time the operator had to ever stop that "ride."
During my younger years the draw for me was the beach, pier and Boardwalk, but mostly the beach.
Now it's the, pier, Boardwalk and food, mostly the food. Nathan's, just as good as it ever was, is still at its original location on Surf Avenue. The Shore used to be a movie theatre.
Nathan's has expanded to the Boardwalk as well.
Because Brooklyn is so small, with only a couple of million folks, my friend and I ran into my husband and his brother while they were enjoying some beer and hot dogs that fine sunny afternoon.
We left them and headed to Ruby's which is right next door. If you read Fractured Facade you may remember Marie reminiscing about her days of going to Coney Island with her grandfather, a regular at Ruby's. In those days, us youngsters didn't get thrown out of bars, but usually found ourselves with coins stuffed in our hands for the Fascination Arcade where we played Skeeball while waiting for our supervision to finish drinking beers and eating clams.
Ruby's has really changed from the dive it once was...No longer dank, dark, barely-filled, or, cheap. Now they charge $6 for a beer, or a glass of wine, and the EuroTrash that has "found" Ruby's thanks to all the publicity it received when it was almost forced to close down, doesn't mind paying it. Never in my life would I have imagined I would use Ruby's and EuroTrash in the same sentence, but alas, if that's what has saved Ruby's from its demise, so be it.
I don't lament the change of Ruby's as much as the ability to call a friend on a Saturday afternoon who will agree with me it's time for a cocktail and a dance to a tune on the jukebox in Coney Island.
After a couple of cool ones, we decided to walk to the end of the pier, the very pier that sometimes was deemed "too long" to walk when we were younger. Like life, it seems much shorter now.
The fishermen and crabbers are still able to spend the day without the need for a fishing license. The odd assortment of characters, boombox music, and slimy stuff, are still lining it.
A lonely man...
And a cruise ship (is this the same one from Maine???) sailing in the harbor can be seem depending upon which way I turn.
As we walked back to the car, a flock of starlings circled our heads and flew up to the Parachute Jump.
And just like I did with Grandpa before getting on the subway some 40 plus years ago, I stopped in "our store" to get a treat...
but couldn't indulge in the memory of Grandpa's parting treat to me -- a candy-red jelly apple the teeth of my youth used to demolish.
Ciao Coney Island...I miss you already. At least I still have the memories.