Maybe it’s because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, but I have a permanent soft spot for Coney Island. Between countless Summer Friday nights watching the fireworks, many Mermaid Parades, and trips to the beach on New Year’s Day to watch the Polar Bear Club jump in the ocean, I have spent many, many (many) happy hours there. It’s an odd spot, with the best people watching in the world. It’s got a fantastically sorted history, including a still-thriving burlesque community, one of the country’s greatest freak shows (performance-based rather than disability focused), and all the rides and happy crowds and fried foods anyone could ever want.
So when I found out about today’s virtual thing, I was positively over the moon. The Coney Island Museum (of which I am a member), has a wonderful website called the Coney Island History Project, which includes their digitized collection, plus 350+ oral histories about Coney Island.
You can hear the oral histories and check out the online collection on the on the Coney Island History Project’s website. That’s certainly where I’ll be for the next few days. And when we’re all back, if you find yourself in New York, The Coney Island Museum is an amazing place to visit.