Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Landmarks of Coney Island (Extended Funhouse Mix)

PODCAST Coney Island is back! After being closed for 2020 due to the pandemic, the unusual attractions, the thrilling rides and stands selling beer and hot dog have finally reopened.

So we are releasing a very special version of our 2018 show called Landmarks of Coney Islandspecial, because this is an extended version of that show — an extended remix, if you will — featuring the tales of two more Coney Island landmarks which were left out of the original show.

And this episode is dedicated to the Wonder Wheel which was to celebrate its 100th year of operation last year. So go show them some love this year!

The Coney Island Boardwalk — officially the Riegelmann Boardwalk — became an official New York City scenic landmark in 2018, and to celebrate, the Bowery Boys are headed to Brooklyn’s amusement capital to toast its most famous and long-lasting icons.

Recorded live on location, this week’s show features the backstories of these Coney Island classics:

— The Wonder Wheel, the graceful, eccentric Ferris wheel preparing to celebrate for its 100th year of operation;

— The Spook-o-Rama, a dark ride full of old-school thrills;

— The Cyclone, perhaps America’s most famous roller-coaster with a history that harkens back to Coney Island’s wild coaster craze;

— Nathan’s Famous, the king of hot dogs which has fed millions from the same corner for over a century;

— Coney Island Terminal, a critical transportation hub that ushered in the amusement area’s famous nickname — the Nickel Empire

PLUS: An interview with Dick Zigun, the unofficial mayor of Coney Island and founder of Coney Island USA, who recounts the origin of the Mermaid Parade and the Sideshow by the Seashore

Listen Now: Landmarks of Coney Island (Extended Funhouse Mix)


A big thanks to the amazing Dick Zigun for being on the show!

The Mermaid Parade is returning to Coney Island later this year! Check out the website for Coney Island USA for updates.

And we’d also like to thank Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park for graciously allowing us to record on the Wonder Wheel itself.

Here are the seven official landmarks within the old Coney Island amusement area. 

1) Coney Island Boardwalk

Museum of the City of New York

2)  Wonder Wheel

1944, Museum of the City of New York

3) The Cyclone

1935, Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

4) Parachute Jump — pictured here at its original home at the 1939 New York World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows

Wurts Brothers, courtesy Museum of the City of New York

The Parachute Jump and the boardwalk on a windy summer’s day in 2017.

Greg Young

5) Childs Restaurant on the Boardwalk

Forgotten NY

A nice hazy day in 2017. The former Childs Restaurant can be seen in the distance. This image was taken from the Steeplechase Pier.

Greg Young

6) Childs Restaurant on Surf Avenue (now the home of the Coney Island Museum)

Courtesy Alex Rush

Inside the museum:

7) Shore Theatre on Surf Avenue

Brooklyn Public Library

And while Nathan’s Famous may not be a landmark, nobody can argue with the fact that its a genuine Coney Island classic.

1939, Andrew Herman Federal Art Project, Museum of the City of New York
From our 2018 adventure through Coney Island

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2 replies on “The Landmarks of Coney Island (Extended Funhouse Mix)”

Oh, man, this hurts. I was supposed to travel to New York state this past week and I was planning a day trip to Coney Island. But if I had gone without knowing the history behind what I was experiencing until after I got back, that would have been heartbreaking too. I “see” so much more when I listen to your podcasts before or during a visit.

I grew up on 17th street and spent many memorable moments in Steeplechase and eating at Nathan’s. Your posting gave me a great ride to the past. Thanks!

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