it's hard for me to tell you how much this saddens me.
Coney Island's Tilt-A-Whirl Has Final Spin After Sale
By Alan Mirabella Nov. 29 (Bloomberg)
Say goodbye to Coney Island's Astroland Amusement Park.
Brooklyn's famous seaside park, which has offered thrills to generations of New Yorkers, was bought by a developer and will close at the end of the 2007 summer season, according to a statement released yesterday by the sellers, the Albert family.
Thor Equities LLC, a closely held real estate developer based in New York, is planning a $1.5 billion year-round resort in Coney Island that will include a 4,000-foot-long (1,219- meter-long) roller coaster, an indoor water park with a retractable roof and a multilevel carousel. The idea of investing in Coney Island came to Thor Chief Executive Officer Joseph Sitt while he was jogging through his childhood neighborhood about three years ago.
``As I jogged, I was thinking, `What an opportunity,''' the native Brooklynite said. ``We're by the ocean. This is gold. This is where amusements were invented.'' Buying the 3.1-acre (1.3-hectare) Astroland property will bolster his development plans, he said in an interview.
Astroland features rides including the Cyclone roller coaster and the Tilt-A-Whirl, a water flume, bumper cars and three arcades with games of chance. It has been operated by the Albert family since it opened in 1962. No price was disclosed for the transaction. As part of the deal, the Alberts retained the Astroland business and said in the statement they may re- open in another location in Coney Island.
``The decision to close Astroland was very difficult,'' said Carol Hill Albert, who owns Astroland with her husband Jerome. Dewey Albert, Jerome's father, opened the park.
Converting an area as large as Astroland into an all-year attraction is extremely expensive, and the sale was the only logical alterative, she said.
The Alberts will continue to operate the landmark Cyclone roller coaster, which will be 80 years old next year.
Coney Island's beach and amusement parks have attracted millions of people over more than 100 years. Before Astroland, Steeplechase Park opened in 1897 with an attraction known as the Steeplechase Ride, in which visitors rode wooden horses around the Pavilion of Fun, according to the History of Amusement Parks Web site.
The locale has been featured in several movies, including Woody Allen's ``Annie Hall.'' In a flashback, Allen's alter-ego, Alvy Singer, revisits his childhood home under a Coney Island roller coaster. In October, the Coney Island Film Festival had its sixth anniversary.
``Coney Island was this magical place,'' New York author Gay Talese said in an interview. ``It wasn't just a place to get a hot dog. It had so much open sky. It was a place you could experience liberty.''
Talese said he visited Coney Island in the late 1940s when it had a ``true carnival atmosphere.'' While plans for development may reinvent the area, there is a risk that it will become ``unrecognizable from what it once was,'' he said.
Dick Zigun, director of Coney Island USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the area's carnival traditions, said Astroland and the Albert family helped keep Coney Island alive at a time when many shopkeepers and amusement operators had abandoned it. ``Astroland was a place where not a single light bulb was burned out, there was never any graffiti and never a crack in the sidewalk,'' Zigun said.
Lynn Kelly, president of the Coney Island Development Corp., said that New York City is committed to revitalizing Coney Island as a ``year-round entertainment district.'' ``Astroland and the Albert family have helped define Coney Island's unique character over the last half-century,'' Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said in a statement.
Tim Janus, 29, the world's seventh-ranked competitive eater and a participant in the last Fourth of July hot dog eating contests at Nathan's Famous restaurant on the Coney Island boardwalk, promised a hunger strike in protest. ``To see Astroland going, that's a huge blow,'' Janus said. ``It's got a special place in my heart.''
--With reporting by David M. Levitt, Bob Ivry, Sharon L. Crenson and Peter S. Green in New York.
listen. i'm a city girl, and i go out a lot, and i use the awesome DVR. but sometimes i'm home watching TV like any other american.
but i'm not any other american. i'm a working woman of color living in new york. and you need to stop selling me things i have no interest in. are we not living in the future? isn't everyone all about direct marketing?
let me help you help me help myself.
here are the commercials i DO NOT want to see:
- asthma medication commercials
- aarp commercials (screw old people and the social security i'm not getting)
- heartburn medication commercials
- valtrex commercials
- viagra/cialis commercials (please. no more. please.)
- laundry detergent commercials (yawn.)
- car commercials. unless they're in black and white and very stylish with good music so that i almost forget it's a car commercial. (yes, talking to you, jaguar)
- commercials in which a man gives a woman DIAMONDS*
- commericals in which a man gives a woman DIAMONDS but the commercial is really for a credit card (mr suki, akiko, brian - talking to you)*
- commercials for "restaurants" that, because i live in a city with amazing food, i will never ever go to: applebee's, chili's, quizno's.... i would also ban olive garden commericals but my high school boyfriend is in one of them so i won't.
this is the best! and reminds me of stuff i'd forgotten, growing up in new york in the 80s. i wore men's shoes and oversized coats and military jackets and scrunchy socks and "downtown" wasn't just a place, it was a lifestyle. a state of mind. check out on the street by amy arbus.
i mean, daniel craig is a great actor, but he's not classically handsome, and i just wasn't entirely sure he was "bond" enough... bond to me is irresistible, an all-eyes-on-me ladykiller. but on the other hand - it's an origin story, like when you read wolverine #1 or whatever. i enjoyed it, except when i didn't. there's a five minute period in the last third when i was like, GROAN. but still. thumbs up.
saturday i had brunch with poogene and later got a blowout.
my straight hair and i joined my mom for dry aged rib eye steak dinner on the upper west side and then i ate late supper - or dinner again - at blt fish's fish shack.
workhorse, poogene and i shared the raw bar seafood combo, aka the tower of power, fell in love with fanny bay oysters and ordered another half dozen of those, with six widow's holes. everything was washed down with a few large sapphire and tonics and a lot of laughing. could not stop laughing. i love those boys.
after oysters i hopped on the back of workhorse's vespa and we scooted east to have one drink at bao 111 before meeting everyone at speakeasy for more drinks and pool. i was home minutes before 4am.
sundays are for sleeping.
i should have gotten a mani/pedi - my mom magically produced two bottles of the highly elusive and much sought after chanel black satin nail polish.
well, maybe tomorrow. there's always tomorrow. you never know what could happen.
please don't tell me how cheesy it is that i took a picture with him, i already know. but i couldn't help myself.
also in the house was griffin dunne, who has accomplished a lot in his life but will always be louden trott from my second favorite madonna movie. (the first being desperately seeking susan).
on our way out we ran into dominick dunne and all we stood together on the random corner in tribeca in the damp, foggy, warm new york night.
"mr. dunne..." my brother started, and i finished.
"i always read you in vanity fair. i just love you," i said, wondering if, in fact, i did love him, or just the *idea* of him. so small and white haired with those very old-school prep tortoiseshell glasses. i was trying to remember if his oj book was offensive or not.
"thank you, thanks so much," he said. he looked hopelessly down the street.
"this is a bad place to find a cab," i said.
"yes, yes. a very bad place to find a cab," he agreed.
Hollis: i sent you my pick go see hugh me: what pick Hollis: pic the one that everyone hates me: oh
me: you look like an extra from oliver PLEASE SIR CAN I HAVE SOME MORE? Hollis: LOL! OK I AM CHANGING IT me: it's cute a cute kind of homelessness slash neglect Hollis: I THOUGHT I LOOKED PRETTY CAOPOEIRA BOY THOUGHT I LOOKED SAD me: yeah pretty/sad or hungry or homeless late night commercial for only 36¢ a day you could feed hollis ann leave it up for a while who cares Hollis: YOU ARE TOO FUNNY I WILL LEAVE IT UP. PUT THAT ON YER BLOG
Hollis: OK I GOTTA GO. GOING TO SEE ALPHA DOG TONIGHT! me: k Sent at 1:46 PM on Tuesday Hollis: HELLO? me: hello? Hollis: JUST CHECKING
last thursday it was super slow at work. i spent some time reading spin magazine, and this band called the horrors caught my eye. the 19 year old super skinny rock boys did an edward gorey-esque photo shoot in the mag and apparently have a crazy video for the song "sheena is a parasite." okay.
after work i went to some random events... book party at the mark garrison salon, where i used to get my locks chopped. champagne and beauty products.
next we went to the uniqlo launch party on broadway and spring. cashmere and sushi. more champagne. ran into tsuyoshi and posse.
and who did i see on the stairs? the horrors. i recognized them by their hair. they're even skinnier and younger in person. i introduced myself and said, "i just watched your video today!" and coffin joe said, "oh, lovely!" in his clipped british accent, and then asked me about the origins of my name. he was super cute. super young. so inappropriate.
later we had a round of drinks at shebeen and then some of us went to lit and danced the night away...
friday i went to see nnadi in a play at the chocolate factory in long island city. so many cute bars and restaurants in LIC. i forgot about that. i lived there, briefly, in the 90s...
saturday i attempted to help workhorse shop for pants. then the evening was like bouncing around - drinks at negril, dancing at bob, the cut at savalas...
sunday i was up at lincoln center for a GORGEOUS and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED film called dallas pashamende. it's about gypsies living in a garbage dump but it's about so much more. and as with all good storytelling, as they taught me @ nyu, when it's personal, it's universal.