Entries tagged with: Coney Island

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July 4th

Advice for attending July 4th fireworks: arrive early and expect crowds [Everything Hudson]
Another piece of advice -- be in New Jersey or Manhattan. This year's Macy's 4th of July fireworks are going to be located in the Hudson River only, so spots in Brooklyn and Queens won't have a very good view (if any). They kick off at 9pm. Viewing locations HERE.

What are you doing on the 4th? Below we've listed a bunch of other options if you'll be in NYC (and a few if you want to leave)...

Continue reading "Independence Day 2009 - 4th of July events in NYC (Conor Oberst, Woodsist Fest, Japanther, Feelies, fireworks, more)"

Coney Island Rockabilly Festival
The annual Coney Island Rockabilly Festival is taking place this year from September 4th to September 7th (Labor Day weekend). The four-night fest, put on by Cockabilly Records, will feature "over 100 psychobilly, burlesque and sideshow acts from all around the world."

The fest's lineup, with its outdoor day-stage schedule, is posted below (with a poster)...

Continue reading "Coney Island Rockabilly Festival - 2009 dates & lineup "

Hall & Oates, Halloween 2007 (more photos)
Hall & Oates Halloween

As previously reported the national Blondie/Pat Benatar/Donnas tour will be making a free stop at Coney Island's Asser Levy/Seaside Park on Thursday, August 13th. That's one of the free shows at this year's Seaside Concert Series, running Thursdays at the Brooklyn park (which may soon be an amphitheater). Other 2009 acts include Creedence Clearwater Revival Revisited, Daryl Hall & John Oates, and Donna Summer.

Full schedule below...

Continue reading "2009 Seaside Summer Concert Series lineup (free shows in Coney Island - Hall & Oates, Donna Summer included) "

photos by Barry Yanowitz

mermaid parade

"The tradition of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade began in 1983, when the first event of this kind was conceptualized and organized by Dick Zigun, who is sometimes dubbed the "Mayor of Coney Island", and who was the founder of the non-profit arts group Coney Island USA.

The parade pays homage to the Coney Island Mardi Gras parades of the early 20th century. During this era, Coney Island was the primary amusement park destination for those in the New York area. Like the much larger annual Village Halloween Parade, the mermaid parade embodies the spirit and artistry of Mardi Gras." [Wiki]

Despite the rain, this year's Mermaid Parade went down as planned in Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY) this afternoon (6/21). Harvey Keitel, with his wife (the queen) by his side, was the the king (Neptune) of the parade. More pictures (NSFW), below...

Continue reading "pictures from the 2009 Mermaid Parade in Coney Island"

Coney Island Mermaid Parade- June 20, 2009, 2PM (cellphone pic by Shawn Lynch)
Mermaid Parade

The 2009 Coney Island Mermaid Parade is going on as planned as we speak... in the rain. If you're there or plan on hurrying up and getting there, check out details of the (indoor) (roller rink) afterparty, below...

Continue reading "Mermaid Parade is happening in the rain ++ afterparty details"


The Village Voice is excited to announce the addition of A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, THEE OH SEES, TINY MASTERS OF TODAY, JUSTINE D. and DeadHeat DJs to the line-up for the 9th Annual Village Voice SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL™ at Coney Island on Saturday, July 18, 2009 from 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m.

These artists join scheduled performers BUILT TO SPILL, SPANK ROCK, THE RAVEONETTES, FRIGHTENED RABBIT, GRAND DUCHY, MONOTONIX, FUTURE OF THE LEFT, JAPANDROIDS, MICACHU & THE SHAPES and BEAR HANDS at the free, all day, all ages music festival on two outdoor stages in historic Coney Island.

The 2nd Annual Official SIREN AFTER PARTY returns to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, July 18 at 9:00pm. FRANCIS AND THE LIGHTS and GORDON VOIDWELL are scheduled to perform with more to be announced.

Tickets for the after party are now on AmEx pre-sale, and go on regular sale Friday. The festival itself is free. You just take the train to Coney Island and follow the crowd.

Thee Oh Sees are also playing the Woodsist Fest on July 4th.

APTBS play Santos Party House with the Secret Machines this Friday night (6/19).

The following Siren bands also have shows scheduled at Maxwell's: Future of the Left, Built to Spill, Grand Duchy, and Frightened Rabbit.

Asser Levy Seaside Park

Two competing impressions of the new amphitheater planned for Asser Levy Seaside Park -- one fanciful, the other nightmarish -- collided head-on in Coney Island last week at a contentious and often ugly meeting of Community Board 13's parks committee, held at the New York Aquarium's Education Hall.

The world-famous Cyclone might be located right next door, but it was no match for the thundering roar that residents opposed to the plan produced.

One thing has emerged from the cacophony since: while residents living near the park view the amphitheater as a $64 million millstone tied around the community's neck, Borough Hall views it as the gleaming gateway to a new and reinvigorated Coney Island.

"There is a sea change that is about to happen," Borough Hall spokesperson Laura Sinagra told this newspaper. "Coney Island is going to enter another heyday and this [amphitheater] is going to be a part of that."

Planners are anticipating breaking ground on the new amphitheater by the end of the summer, but profound questions about the project remain...[YourNabe.com, May 28, 2009]

In related news, the Mermaid Parade and the Siren Festival are back this year.

by Andrew Frisicano

2008 Mermaid Parade Ball (more by Eric M Townsend)
Mermaid Parade Ball 2008

The 2009 Mermaid Parade will take place on Saturday, June 20th (2PM) along Coney Island's boardwalk. If you'd like to march (or volunteer) in this year's parade, registration is now open. Directions and new parade route, below.

Also at Coney Island this summer is the Siren Festival, taking place Saturday, July 18th. Bands playing include Built to Spill, The Raveonettes, Spank Rock, Frightened Rabbit, Japandroids and more.

The beaches at Coney Island, as well as the Cyclone, are both now open for the summer. The fate of the destination spot has been in limbo for quite a while. Astroland's "final year" was initially to be 2007. That was delayed until after the 2008 summer season -- since then, the old rides have been dismantled, and new ones have been put in their place, kinda, sorta...

What will finally end up in the spot is still in question. Thor Equities, the company that runs the former Astroland lot, announced earlier this year that it'll be setting up "Dreamland" amusement park. Curbed (which has recent pics of the condition of the site) reported on the new park's Friday, May 15th opening...

What was supposed to be a big day on Coney Island is already a bit of a bust. Today marks the grand opening of Festival by the Sea, the summertime amusement park and flea market set up by developer Joe Sitt on the former Astroland (pardon us, Dreamland) and other parcels owned by Sitt's Thor Equities. The hyped attraction is supposed to serve as Sitt's proof that he knows what's best for Coney Island's redevelopment, but a funny thing happened on the way to the freak show: the Brooklyn Paper reports that half the rides haven't arrived and the vendors will be "exposed to the element because of a tent mishap." [Curbed]
Add that to the fact that the City has made an offer on the lot to the tune of $105 million.

If the Coney Island development circus isn't enough, the actual circus is coming to the boardwalk on June 18th -- the Times makes the appropriate connections. Luckily, there's at least a slim chance that the circus' days in NYC may soon go the way of Astroland...

Almost half of City Council members [have signed] onto a bill that would prohibit "the display of wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement." Other animals included in the bill: dolphins, walruses, hippopotamuses, giraffes, koalas, kinkajou, sloths, tarantulas, rhinoceroses and armadillos. Despite the extensive taxonomy in the bill, essentially everyone admits that the primary target for the legislation is the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The bill, which has circulated for many years in different local legislatures, has [recently] drawn renewed attention in New York City with Ringling Brothers arrival [on March 26th] and [late-March] closing arguments in a federal lawsuit that accused the circus of mistreating its Asian elephants. [NY Times March 26, 2009]

Footage of the 2008 Mermaid Parade (kinda NSFW), with directions and its new route, below...

Continue reading "Coney Island 2009 - Mermaid Parade returns (w/ new route), the circus (groan), "Dreamland", Siren & more "

Future of the Left @ Webster Hall in October (more by Natah Miller)
Future of the Left

The Village Voice, the nation's largest alternative weekly newspaper, is excited to announce the addition of SPANK ROCK, FUTURE OF THE LEFT, JAPANDROIDS and BEAR HANDS to the line-up for the 9th Annual Village Voice SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL™ at Coney Island on Saturday, July 18, 2009 from 12:00 noon - 9:00 p.m. These artists join scheduled performers BUILT TO SPILL, THE RAVEONETTES, FRIGHTENED RABBIT, GRAND DUCHY, MONOTONIX and MICACHU & THE SHAPES, with more to be announced soon.

This free, all day, all ages music festival will feature international, national and local bands and DJs performing on two outdoor stages in historic Coney Island. Now in its 9th year, the SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL™ has solidified its status as a leading New York City outdoor music festival, drawing over 100,000 music fans by showcasing indie rock veterans and emerging artists.

Monotonix plays Europa in Brooklyn TONIGHT (5/19)

Siren will be Japandroids' 3rd NYC show in July, and they play the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago the same weekend. All dates HERE.

Spank Rock performed with Ninkjasonik at at pool party happening during Coachella this year. Video below...

Continue reading "Coney Island Siren Festival adds bands to 2009 lineup "

Deborah Harry and Pat Benatar

"For the first time ever, two pioneering rock legends, Blondie and Pat Benatar, will share the stage on the Call Me Invincible tour. They will be joined by special guests The Donnas. They will embark on a trek across the U.S., beginning in Saratoga, CA on July 21st and ending August 23rd in Houston, TX. The Blondie and Benatar ticket gives fans of all ages three decades of hits from the two female rock icons for the price of one! Says Blondie front woman Deborah Harry, "Pat Benatar is not only a friend, but a fearless female rocker who has entertained me and her wealth of fans for so many years. This will be a reunion for us both and being able to bring our two shows to fans across the country is very exciting!" Between Blondie and Benatar, the tour will feature songs from a combined ten Platinum albums, eight #1 Hits and countless other favorites including "Heart of Glass," "Heartbreaker," "Call Me," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Rapture," "Invincible," "One Way or Another" and "Love is a Battlefield." Pat Benatar adds, "Deborah and I have been friends forever. I'm thrilled that we're finally getting an opportunity to tour together, it should be a blast." The tour also showcases original artwork created by New Orleans artist, Tim Neil. His unique design will be the recognizable image of the tour featuring the clever blending of both iconic faces and will also be available for purchase on select merchandise items.
The Brooklyn stop on this tour is a free show in Coney Island's Asser Levy Park on August 13th! All dates below...

Continue reading "Blondie, Pat Benatar & the Donnas - 2009 Tour Dates (includes a free show in Coney Island) "

Monotonix @ Mess With Texas (during SXSW 2009) (More)

[The Village Voice is] downright ebullient to announce the official details on this year's Siren Festival, which will, as always be free, all ages, and rain or shine. It'll take place on Saturday, July 18 at Coney Island and likely involve a crowd-surfing drummer. Without further adieu:

At Coney Island, NYC

Saturday, July 18, 2009
Noon - 9:00pm


+ more TBA

Looking good already (thx Ryan).

Micachu is also playing the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle later that month.

Monotonix also has another Brooklyn show coming up much sooner.

Grand Duchy
is Frank Black and Violet Clark.


Tickets are on presale (update: sold out) for the Wilco show at Keyspan Park in Coney Island (thx anon). Tickets go on regular sale Friday at noon.

Tickets for the Cyclones baseball games that happen in the same ballpark go on sale Sunday.

And speaking of Wilco and baseball, Jeff Tweedy threw the first pitch at at Milwaukee's Miller Park for the Brewers the other night.

Wilco Sold Out (photo by Zoran Orlic via wilcoworld.net)

"To celebrate the DVD release and to lend support to independent record stores, the band will make an in-store appearance at Disc Exchange in Knoxville, TN on Saturday, April 18 at 2 pm. Also as an exclusive bonus to anyone purchasing Ashes of American Flags before April 28, one complete concert drawn from a show featured in the film will be available for audio download. This exclusive concert download will only be available via an embedded link on the DVD from April 18 to April 27. This is in addition to the 20 full songs featured in the DVD and downloadable to everyone who purchases it.

Wilco have just completed work on their seventh studio album. The as-yet-untitled disc is scheduled for a late June release. Produced by Wilco and Jim Scott, it is the follow up to 2007's Sky Blue Sky."

How was the movie screening at IFC?

Wilco will be playing Keyspan Park in Coney Island (Brooklyn, NY) on July 13th! Stay tuned for ticket info. All dates below...

Continue reading "Wilco - 2009 Tour Dates (Keyspan Park in Coney Island!) "

Coney Island Circus Sideshow

Lee Scratch Perry is hopefully playing Highline Ballroom on February 16th. Tickets are on sale. Did he ever make it to the Grammys?

Tickets are on sale for the 108 show happening at Santos Party House.

Tickets are on sale for the show Kevin Seconds is playing at Pianos.

Tickets are on sale for the Les Savy Fav show happening at Brooklyn Masonic Temple.

Maceo Parker is playing S.O.B.'s on March 19th. Tickets are on sale.

The Toasters are playing Highline Ballroom on February 22nd. Tickets are on sale.

Tickets are on sale for the Kimya Dawson show happening at Europa.

Tickets are still on sale for the Diamond Life show happening at Highline Ballroom on February 13th. Diamond Life is Nomi and others from the Hercules and Love affair band performing Sade songs.

Tickets are still on sale for the Akron/Family shows coming up at Union Pool.

The Coney Island Circus Sideshow are performing with The Hungry March Band at Highline Ballroom on February 28th. Tickets are on sale.

Coney Island

"We don't know about all this talk about the city negotiating with developer Joe Sitt to buy his land, incuding Astroland, in the heart of Coney Island's amusement district. What we do know for sure is that the amusement park is being dismantled. There are many photos and much discussion on the Coney Island Message Board and rumors that the rides may be sold to an amusement park in Australia. As one Coney insider told us, "when the 300 foot crane shows up to take down the Astrotower, you'll know for sure that it's over." The rides are being put in shipping containers. Both the city and Mr. Sitt have said rides will operate on the property next year." [Curbed]
Photo courtesy of Deborah Matlack (via ConeyIsland.com) (via Curbed).

In other news, Asbury Park is on the up and up.

Video of Coney Island in 1940 below...

Continue reading "Coney Island rides being taken down (pics) (to Australia?)"

Wonder Wheel

New York City has bought the one-acre site of the Wonder Wheel for $11 million as part of the Bloomberg administration's plan to preserve the historic character of Coney Island, the city announced on Wednesday. [NY Times]
Astroland closed in September.

In related news, Coney Island USA will be holding a benefit at Rebel on November 3rd. Performers include lie Atlas Muz, Prof. Jo Boobs and Angie Pontani.

Baby Dee

When Baby Dee insists that her life is "incredibly boring," one has to wonder what she's comparing it to. After all, the fifty-something, classically-trained musician has ridden a large tricycle across Europe while playing the harp, has been an elevator operator, a construction worker, a go-go girl, and for a while a circus freak - billed as a "bilateral hermaphrodite" - at Coney Island.

"It was lovely there," she recalls of Coney Island. "That whole venture was about turning the tables on people. I'd been living in that transitional hell of being gawked at in public. The sideshow taught me that when you're on stage -- or up high on a tricycle -- you can get away with things that could get you killed anywhere else." [GayWired]

Baby Dee plays with Dorit Chrysler at Knitting Factory in NYC on October 3rd. Tickets are on sale. All dates below...

Continue reading "Baby Dee - fall 2008 Tour Dates "

Thor Equities

"Free rides and food for Thor guests on Thursdays in August. Won't see any of this next year! It'll be an empty lot. Goodbye Astroland! Farewell Break Dance!" [by me-myself-i]
Don't say farewell to Break Dance. Buy Break Dance! It's currently going for just under $300,000. The entire list of rides for sale is HERE.

The Cyclone and Wonder Wheel are landmarks though, so even after the last trace of Astroland disappears, those will always be there to ride, or at least look at like the old Parachute jump. More pictures below...

Continue reading "Astroland is closed, the Coney Island rides are for sale "

Astroland, Coney Island (Klingon65)
Coney Island

After 46 years of calling Coney Island home, Astroland is tearing down and packing up its rides for good.
Owners say they could not come to terms with developer Thor Equities over a lease extension.

Co-Owner Carol Hill Albert says the developer forced her hand and gave her no choice but to shut down. In a statement, Albert says, in part:

"The safety of our customers and our commitment to employees means our time has run out. Ride parts must be ordered a minimum of eight to 10 months in advance. My employees cannot live in a state of limbo any longer."

Borough President Marty Markowitz said he had wanted Astroland to stay, but wants thrills to be a permanent part of Coney Island.

"Our focus will be to bring a major amusement operator to that space in Coney Island next year. Because I truly believe that if you can make it in Coney Island you can make it anywhere," said Markowitz.

Thor Equities issued a response saying it's disappointed that Albert has decided to "give up on the future of Coney Island."

It says the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel will both reopen next summer as part of a new Coney Island landscape. [NY1]

Marty Markowitz's quote makes no sense.

DOWNLOAD: 2 hours and 26 minutes of Dave Dresden for August 2008 (MP3)

Watch Her Dance, Coney Island (New York Observer)
Watch Her Dance

Hopefully by the time you read this you will be recovering from some dancefloor devastation no matter what you decided to do. Options abound for the weekend as well (for those staying in town) (or those visiting):

Continue reading "the weekend in Dance w/ Showtrotta"


Originally billed as a "mystery guest", Peter Frampton will play the free concert in Coney Island tonight (at the future home of a new amphiteater). "Starship starring Mickey Thomas" is also on the bill.

Continue reading "Peter Frampton is tonight's mystery man "

Brian Wilson show in Coney Island - July 17, 2008 (Rubys Host)
Brian Wilson

Borough President Marty Markowitz brought home nearly $90 million worth of bacon in capital funding from the fiscal year 2009 city budget, according to Borough Hall documents.

Leading the charge were two of Markowitz's pet projects: a new amphitheater at Asser Levy Park in Coney Island ($29.3 million) and renovations to the historic Loew's Kings Theatre on Flatbush Avenue ($10.75 million).

"The Coney Island Center will be a much-needed community resource as well as bring to Coney Island the kind of state-of-the-art performance facility Brooklyn deserves," said Markowitz, who has been holding a summer concert series in the park since he took office.

"New York City's first covered, outdoor performance space will make our borough a natural stop on the summer concert circuit for entertainers who now play Jones Beach and Westbury Theater and the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey," he added.

Markowitz said the amphitheatre will also serve as "a cherished landmark at the gateway to the revitalized Coney Island, and help to ensure Coney remains the 'Playground of America' for this and future generations."

According to sources, the proposed amphitheatre will have an 8,000 seating capacity, and a schematic design is in process now with a groundbreaking expected in late summer 2009. [Your Nabe]

photos by Bao Nguyen

Siren Fest 2008

Siren Fest 2008

Siren Fest 2008

Siren Fest 2008

The year's festival could be the last in its established location. As usual the bands played on two stages on parallel streets leading to the boardwalk. The main stage was so close to the landmark Cyclone rollercoaster that drumrolls could easily segue into the clatter of the coaster rounding a turn.

Siren isn't the most comfortable of rock festivals. The sound systems are mediocre and the pedestrian routes between the stages are irrational. But Siren does place the tattooed-nerd fashion sense of indie rock in the diverting context of Coney Island's other freaks and sideshows.

A prospective redevelopment, replacing the old amusement area, could break ground next year. The rides of Astroland, next to the Siren main stage, were supposed to close forever last year, but reopened this year in a reprieve. The area's fate is still hanging. "It's my first time here," said Kevin Drew, the leader of Broken Social Scene, as the band ended its set. "I don't want it to be the last."
[NY Times]

Part 1 HERE. Polaroids HERE. More pictures below....

Continue reading "the 2008 Coney Island Siren Festival in pictures (part 2)"