I read articles, one after another and yet I still have no idea what exactly is planned for Coney Island or what will actually come to fruition. Apparently, wide scale development is coming. And, as might be expected, the sentiment is all over the spectrum - the detractors, the disgusted and the hopeful.
The passions are completely understandable. Coney Island is a very important piece of real estate and it is amazing that beachfront property in New York City can sit fallow in such a disgraceful state for decades.
You are also not just dealing with a piece of real estate here. Coney Island is for many a world of nostalgia, childhood memories, sights, sounds, smells, play, a world renowned boardwalk and for some a neighborhood to call home. Many have memories of it as a world class resort. And this is New York City, where multi-generational family is heralded and neighborhood pride runs deep.
I visited yesterday, a somewhat bleak but clear November afternoon. It was like a ghost town before sunset. A few photographers were setting up tripods for a sunset shot. Seagulls soared overhead. A few food concessions were open with a handful of patrons. The boardwalk was free of debris. The beach was empty as far as the eye could see, less one woman. The rides were eerily quiet - the various parks closed, the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel idle. Everything paused and poised...