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Amusements and Thrills Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The literary Coney Island

Everybody sees Coney Island a little differently. Most people know it for the amusements but not everybody has the same feeling about them. One person craves the beaches, the food. Another prefers a stroll along the boardwalk, fireworks, an evening Cyclones game. Others live nearby, too familiar with the swelling weekend crowds. And some people […]

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Amusements and Thrills

Coney Island’s many death and destruction amusements

The entrance to the Johnstown Flood presentation (Cleaned-up photo courtesy Shorpy) On May 31, 1889, a dam near the town of Johnstown, PA, collapsed after a brutal day of torrential rain, flooding the valley with 20 million tons of water and destroying everything in its path. There was virtually no escape, and 2,209 people died […]

Luna Park forever? Amusement of the past — and future

The early days of Luna Park, 1905, in all its electric-lit glory. The park opened in 1903. (Pic courtesy Shorpy, click here for full-size image) Flying overhead, looking down at Luna Park, 1920 (Courtesy U.S. Army Air Forces) The last days of Luna Park, 1944. A series of fires in the park the next year […]

PODCAST: Coney Island – The Golden Age

The Coney Island that greeted vacationers and city folk in the years 1904 to 1911 was one of infinite imagination manifested in fantastic but cheaply built extravaganza. A world of amusement starts here in New York — Coney Island, the world’s oldest and strangest collection of amusement parks, a mishmash of sideshows, concession stands, gambling […]