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24 July 2009 @ 01:38 pm
Save Coney Island!  
Coney Island, one of the great American icons is about to be ripped to shreds by the greed of the developer’s saw and axe. There are plans afoot to tear out the very heart of Surf Ave, the amusement park, the freak show and surrounding blocks and put up four high-rises in their stead. The amusement park has been impinged upon for years. Rapacious developers have long wanted to take over that area for themselves, to turn it into the sort of faceless glass-fronted monolith that have sterilized so much of what was great about New York City, many cities for that matter. They’ve chewed away at the edges of it for years, minimizing it in as many ways as they can think of, but they’ve wanted a far more extensive area so that they can really sink their claws in.

Sadly, it looks like they’re about to get their way, as they’ve managed to bull through plans clearly designed by a rapist. This plan will radically alter every aspect of the place. It will also ruin much of what’s left of the long-embattled amusement park. This area’s been a vital and fascinating area of the city since its birth and though the bathing community and life style that flourished there at the turn of the century is no longer alive, there’s nothing like a Nathan’s dog, a cold bottle of beer and a ride on the Cyclone to remind you just how iconic and stellar the place really is. New York in the summer. It’s weird and dark and gritty and retains some of the mystique of ages past in its strange corners and along the boardwalk. So many brilliant movies were made about it and books written about it and photographs taken of it. It has spawned many great characters and trends and has a cultural and social history that’s rich and resonant. It’s a piece of New York history, American history, and for it to fall to the hungry desires of the developers to sate the tastes of the Gentrifiers is disgusting in extremis.

Go to the web site to see details of the plan and what you can do to help block it: http://www.saveconeyisland.net/
Current Location: on the boardwalk
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: soundtrack for the film "Warriors"