By Professor Solomon
As soon as well known as a funspot, Coney Island has been principally forgotten. Does it nonetheless exist? What has survived of where? And what used to be it like? In his new publication CONEY ISLAND, Professor Solomon takes us there to determine. Roaming approximately, he interviews old-timers' searches for antiquities, explores what's left of the enjoyment region. (Among his reveals: a guy who recalls seeing the 1st human cannonball, shot into the air at Coney Island; the continues to be of Steeplechase Park; and a trip "the ask yourself Wheel"that begun as a perpetual-motion machine.) He additionally offers a heritage of Coney Island, from its Canarsie Indian days, to its period as a lawless, Tijuana-style lodge, to the increase and fall of its entertainment parks. in this ancient travel, you will meet such personages as John Y. McKane (notorious mayor of Coney Island); George Tilyou (amusement-park pioneer); and the Wild guy of Borneo (actually, an actor from the Bronx). and you can stopover at the Pavilion of enjoyable, French Nudi! st convey, Elephant lodge, journey to the Moon, Insanitarium, Tunnel of affection, flea circus, Feltman's eating place (where the recent puppy was once invented), and different vanished sights. the result's a desirable profile of a different, and persevering, position.
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Additional info for Coney Island
For thanks to a clever arrangement of mirrors, the faces are none other than our own. Disney would not have approved. The Congress of Living Curiosities had become a major attrac tion at the park. Samuel Gumpertz (the showman who managed Dreamland for its absentee owners) had roamed the globe in search of human oddities for the Congress. The mildmannered Bantocs would return home with strange tales to tell. Perhaps the Wild Man of Borneo had dropped by Headhunter Village for some pointers, only to be disappointed by its grinning, joking inhabitants.
The facades of buildings were gaily colored and embellished with scrollwork. Even the materials—plaster and lath (a ﬂimsy stock of wood)—contributed to the dreamlike atmosphere: buildings so insubstantial could scarcely be meant for any practical purpose on this earth. For the 10¢ admission fee one could roam the bannered promenades of another world. Let us take a look at what Thompson and Dundy had in store for us beyond that gate. One bought a ticket, sat in the grandstand, and watched ﬂames engulf an apartment building.
Nathan had been an employee of Charlie Feltman, the hot dog’s inventor. ” Millions did and still do. Where they were going in decreasing numbers was to the old, grandiose restaurants. Only two remained now: Feltman’s (with its 8000seat complex of dining rooms) and Stauch’s. Louis Stauch was an interesting case. These performers were depicted on canvas signs, and brought out for brief previews (known as ballyhoos). Far from being hoaxes, they were a subtle and demanding form of theater. The ringmasterimpresario would start with a bottleful of ﬂeas, selecting out the highest jumpers.
Coney Island by Professor Solomon