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Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
October 8, 2010
From journal New York on a budget
June 5, 2005
One of the first things I did -- after waiting in a long, slow line for an expensive hot dog on the boardwalk -- was ride the famous Cyclone. As I was waiting for my turn on this old, small, creaky wooden roller coaster, I thought it was going to be about as exciting as a ride on the F-train (for those of you non-New Yorkers, that's not slang; it's the subway line I take to work). Turns out I was wrong -- it was surprisingly fun, partly because of the real fear of pain I started to feel after going through the first drop. The cheap padded cushions you sit in really don't cushion anything, and unlike those other newfangled shiny, modern, well-maintained roller coasters, there is a genuine fear of death in the back of your mind as you ride this one. On the bright side, this was possibly the shortest line I've ever waited in for a roller coaster. But you pay for it -- $5 a ride.
Other than that, Coney Island features mostly the same carnival games as any other amusement park and a bunch of other rides that you can also find elsewhere. There is a freak show if you like that sort of thing. And every 4th of July, there is a special freak show -- the Nathan's hot dog-eating contest, where skinny Japanese guys eat 50 hot dogs in a few minutes.
As amusement parks go, it may not have the polish of, say, a Six Flags, but it's free to visit, easy to get to (the F, Q, N, and several other subway lines end up here), and right on the ocean. It can be a pleasant escape from Manhattan on a sunny day.
From journal Living in Brooklyn
November 26, 2000
The rusting shells of abandoned thrill rides haunt the quiet, narrow seashore. You can still enjoy the ancient Wonder Wheel attraction, which towers over everything in sight and offers great views on clear days. And the Cyclone doesn't disappoint roller coaster enthusiasts who love the unpredictable rickety ride that a wooden coaster provides. Of course in between all the thrill rides and carny games you can stuff your face with a wide variety of junk food, including the original Nathan's hot dog. Better yet is to make a quick detour over to Totonno's for the the best pizza in New York City.
From journal New York: Living in Brooklyn
October 17, 2006
From journal Make Mine Manhattan--East Coast Summer II
New York, New York
February 11, 2006
From journal A Trip To The Beach At Coney Island
October 25, 2004
When you exit the subway you are faced with a building site, which straight away is a little disconcerting. You then walk down one of the side roads to get to the beach area. We went in September and the amusement park area was closed, which we had expected, although I hadn’t expected it to be so small and uninspiring. I had read lots about the area and had read articles that raved about the big wheel and the roller coaster, but the whole place was very old and looked unloved and in need of renovation.
The beach itself is very nice, very wide and going on for miles. It is predominantly a sandy beach, and there were a few people in the sea and on the beach whist we were there, even though showers were forecasted. I was amazed at how many jellyfish were laying stranded on the beach, literally hundred of all different sizes. There were lots of gulls too, though strangely they were not trying to eat the jellyfish.
We walked a good distance along the beach and it was lovely, the weather just about holding off the rain. When it did start to rain lightly, we made a beeline for the aquarium and spent the next hour or so there.
I’m glad we went to Coney Island and I have seen it for myself, but I was very unimpressed with the amusement park, and if this is your main reason for visiting Coney, don’t. If, however, you are visiting in the summer and want to laze on the beach, then it is great.
From journal A Week in New York
November 10, 2000
From journal Freak shows and Hot Dogs at Coney Island
Brooklyn, New York
Come early, come late, it doesn’t matter. For some reason, not many people know about this summer event. I like to get a hot dog or some cheese fries and a cherry slushy (or maybe a beer, depending). And I sit on a bench on the long pier on the Boardwalk. Bringing a blanket and lying on the beach is nice, too.
This is one of my favorite summer activities and makes me absolutely love New York. Take a date, a friend, or your kids, or go alone. This is a relaxing thing to do on a Friday night.
Take the Q, F, or D trains to Coney Island.
From journal Take the B to Brighton Beach
June 4, 2002
The park features the historic Cyclone roller-coaster, which I believe is the oldest roller-coaster that's still operational (if you're used to Six Flags, you might want to watch out for your kidneys, since it's not as comfortable).
As for fun for everyone, be sure to drop by the Aquarium where you can see some of the sea's inhabitants up close and personal (always lots of fun for the kids). As for food, you can bring your own and make a picnic in the sand (I've seen some people bring barbeque grills) or opt for the hot dogs, pizzas, and other quick and delicious amusement park meals.
From journal New York in a Week