Coney Island | Playground of the World | New York Attractions

by Denise Marie

Coney Island is located in southern Brooklyn, New York. It is a peninsula and beach on the Atlantic Ocean and has become one of the main tourist attractions for visitors from all parts of the world. Coney Island has a community of 60,000 people. It is a total of 4 miles long and one half mile wide.  It is known for its amusement parks, resorts and is home to many attractions such as The Museum of Interesting Things, Mermaid Parade, Ave Stark Ice Skating Rink, New York Aquarium, the Sideshow, Mermaid Avenue, Surf Avenue and Neptune Avenue.

Coney Island was first a barrier island that became connected by landfill to the mainland. It was considered one of the world’s largest amusement areas during the first half of the 20th Century. It reached its peak and declined after World War II. Many years of neglect endured after, but in recent years the opening of MCU Park and the minor baseball league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones has the Island regaining its popularity. Known as the Playground of the World, Coney Island since the early 1800’s, has played numerous roles in the lives of many New Yorkers and the entire world for that matter.

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During the Great Depression or thereafter, Coney Island transformed again and was known as the Nickel Empire with nickel amusement rides and nickel fare prices with the new subway line that came in not to mention the famous Nathan’s nickel hotdogs. Throughout the diversity and hardship the country has seen through the years, Coney Island has always continued to provide affordable opportunities for New York.

It started out as a beach resort providing entertainment to all residents of New York. There were three amusement parks; Dreamland, Luna Park and Steeplechase. There were also many other main attractions along the side streets and Surf Avenue.

Steady revitalization of Coney Island has been an ongoing project since the 1990’s. Many townhouses have been built with popular shops and other franchises occupying the empty lots. The majority of the population resides in public housing ranging up to 24 story towers. It is home to many residents that includes Italians, African Americans, Ukrainians, Hispanics and Russians. There are many residential districts on the peninsula such as Manhattan Beach at the far edge, Sea Gate on the western tip and Coney Island in the middle.

Since the development and creation of the Coney Island Development Corp. the area has seen nothing but positive change. Easy accessibility is obtainable by subway and car from the city’s boroughs inside Brooklyn.

Some of Coney Island’s main attractions operate on a seasonal calendar. Most attractions are open during the week with some on weekends only. There is plenty to do on the island from shopping, amusement parks, historical museums, film programs to taking a soothing walk on the boardwalk. Three miles of sandy beaches with rolling waves, Coney Island is the perfect getaway destination for fun-filled days entertaining nights.

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