You may be familiar with the long, drawn-out controversy surrounding a commercial real estate developer's plans to transform New York's Coney Island, the birthplace of the roller coaster and hot dogs (!), into an upscale theme park, high-rise towers, and hotels. After much petitioning and many public hearings over the past four years, the iconic Astro Park and Coney Island's legendary boardwalks are set to be replaced by with Luna Park, an amusement park with 19 rides, come Memorial Day weekend. As sad as it is, there is a flip side . . .
It's only fitting that a Brooklyn-based design company, Uhuru, would immortalize the iconic wooden planks of the Coney Island boardwalk with a line of salvaged furniture — and a gorgeous one at that. Just launched at New York Design Week, the new Coney Island line features six limited-edition pieces crafted from reclaimed Ipe wood, which was "first installed on the boardwalk in the late 1940s, has weathered in the sun, salt, and snow for 70 years." The collection features a Cyclone Lounger (above), with curves and a metal base evoking the noted roller coaster; the Wonder Coffee Table, with a pie shape surface inspired by the Wonder Wheel; the Drop End Table, recalling the towering Parachute Jump; the Boardwalk Console, with a tabletop surface echoing the inlaid pattern of the original boardwalk; the Drum Lamp, featuring reclaimed wood made to resemble the island's concrete-filled oil cans; and the Saison Mirror, an ode to the layers of paint coating the park.
A New York establishment, Astroland Amusement Park on Coney Island's boardwalk, closed its doors Sunday, after 46-years of amusing visitors. Since landowner Thor Equities decided not to renew the lease with the park owner, 300 park workers will be out of work after they dismantle the rides.
Not all is lost — the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel rides have been spared, thanks to their independent ownership and landmark status. And Thor Equities has plans to bring new rides by next summer.
Since we all know the children matter most, it's a shame to hear that the news of the closure on Coney upset the local kids, as well as nostalgic adults. A seventh-grade teacher at a Brooklyn school explained that the kids greeted the news with disappointed curiosity. Ms. Simonson said:
They were upset and confused that the rides they'd spent childhood summers on would no longer exist. I reassured them that some elements of Astroland would still remain, but I also understood their disillusionment. They don't get all of the politics and profits behind the changes — to them, it just seems like strange people are going to march into the park and knock things down.
Are cities losing their character to progress and profit, or is it time for modern and financially sustainable institutions of fun?
Folks trekking out to Coney Island are looking for a little summer diversion involving water — but the newest attraction to grace the boardwalk takes that expectation and adds a political message. Called the "Waterboard Thrill Ride," the sideshow is decorated with SpongeBob, advertises that "it dont [sic] Gitmo better" and charges $1 for a look through a barred window onto what appears to be an interrogation scene.
Robots portray a prisoner and an interrogator. After the dollar is paid, the lights come on and the prisoner begins to convulse violently as water is poured on his face. The artist behind the installation says its aim is to provoke people into thinking critically about the technique.
He says, "robot waterboarding became a way of exploring the issue without doing any harm. It's putting a unique experience on the table. And it doesn't take a great leap of the imagination to look in there and say: 'That's really what's going on? That's crazy.'" And who doesn't fancy a little torture demo with their corndog?
There's a video of the "ride" in action, including reaction from some bystanders, some of whom hadn't heard of waterboarding before. In that sense, is it a decent public service — or does it turn a serious message into a silly sideshow?
I love Bond No. 9 perfumes, and I'm particularly smitten with the brand's festive new Summer scent, Coney Island. Like all of Bond No. 9's perfumes, this one pays tribute to a very New York place. So I was intrigued to read this New York Times story where Bond founder Laurice Rahme talks about creating the Coney Island scent.
According to the article, Rahme decided on the latest New York-themed fragrance after numerous customer requests:
“People are coming in here,” said Ms. Rahme, a former Lancôme executive, gesturing around her flagship boutique on Bond Street, in NoHo. “They are saying, ‘When are you going to do Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn?’”
She pondered the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg, and its hotspots like the River Cafe and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, but settled on Coney Island as her first olfactory excursion into the borough.
It's really a fun read if you're interested in how a perfume is developed. Rahme takes us through the scents she decided to evoke, such as margaritas, and the ones she avoided, like hot dogs.
Bond No.9 really fancies New York beaches. The posh cologne company has fragrances called Hamptons and Fire Island, and its latest summer launch is Coney Island Eau de Parfum. Smitten with the vintage feel of this amusement park for decades, the creators wanted to make a scent that captures the essence of this Brooklyn mecca, with its rides, beaches, Nathan's hot dogs, and night spots.
The sweet and tangy fragrance contains essences of margarita mix, tequila, melon, guava, cinnamon, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, cedarwood, sandalwood, and musk. The striking blue bottle was designed to capture the essence of the expansive sea and sky, and the gold neck reflects the lights throughout the park.
The timing may be impeccable, since Coney Island is facing threats from condo developers. So this fragrance launch is a fitting tribute to the age-old amusement park. Coney Island the fragrance will be available online in the next few weeks; however you can begin placing your pre-orders online this Tuesday. It will come in two sizes: a 3.4-ounce bottle for $180 and a 1.7-ounce bottle for $125.