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Staten Island History

Forgotten paradise: Welcome to South Beach, Staten Island

South Beach, Staten Island, 1973, photographed by Arthur Tress As a resort and amusement mecca, the time of Staten Island’s South Beach has come and gone.  The waterfront community south of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge still has a classic old boardwalk, built in 1935 as New Deal project and appropriately called the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk. […]

Staten Island already had a gigantic Ferris wheel — in 1893!

In the spirit of P.T. Barnum, Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday announced plans to build the world’s largest Ferris wheel next to the ferry terminal on Staten Island. The amusement, called the New York Wheel, will stand 84 feet higher than a similar Ferris wheel in Singapore and also nods towards the London Eye, a ride […]

The Bowery Boys New York City swimsuit edition, 1880-1920

Bathing beauty: Diver Maggie Ward prepares for a jump into the waters of Coney Island, in the summer of 1888  The notion of organized ‘ocean bathing’ — actually going into the water for health, relaxation and enjoyment — was really a 19th century invention, first popularized in the United States during the 1830s at the […]

Eight forgotten roller coasters from all five boroughs!

If you’re ever attempting to make the case that New York isn’t as fun as it used to be, just use the following post as an illustration. The New York City area was once home to dozens of roller coasters, set up at major amusement destinations around the city, in every borough. Even Manhattan! Coney […]