On Old Coney Island, 1998

The recent weather event — Hurricane, Superstorm, whatever you want to call it — has been much on the minds of my wife Donna and me, even though we’ve experienced it from watching TV and emailing friends from Austin, Texas, where we’re experiencing nothing but sunny skies, cool breezes and some of the most pleasant days of the year. Donna is a Jersey girl, and cried for the destruction of much of the Shore, the place of some of her most vivid memories from childhood and well into adulthood. As a Queens and Long Island kid I’m personally upset at the destruction of large parts of Jones Beach and Coney Island, but also feel much for the Shore through Donna’s eyes, even though I’ve never been there and regret that I’ll now never get to see it the way it was.

Back in 1998 I wrote an article about Coney Island for Historic Traveler magazine. I was actually living in Ljubljana, Slovenia at the time, but returned to Coney and did research during a trip home. The article is still available online, but only the text; since I love the old illustrations that accompanied the piece in the magazine, I’ve scanned the thing for anyone with an interest in Coney and its storied history. Click on the links to read — clicking twice will get you a very enlarged version. By the way, Coney Island USA, which I discussed at the end of the article, could use a lot of help right here, right now.

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