coney island love letter

My parents moved to New York City from Cuba in 1960 and my sisters grew up in Queens. For me, Coney Island was only a place I’d heard of growing up. I’d never been until last year, when Jessie and I took the munchkin on a surprise trip. He had no idea where he was going when we got on the train. A little skeptical, a little curious, he became restless as we passed station after station. “Where are we goo-iiing?!” he pouted. With perfect timing, Jessie pointed through the window to a view of the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone. “There.”


“Yes, there. What do you think of it?”


Just an inch shy of being able to ride the Cyclone, we found another roller-coaster and a few other rides for him to laugh his head off on. He won a giant plastic bat, which he lovingly carried (driving me insane) into Spumoni Gardens later and all through the train ride back. We ate at Nathan’s and went to the sideshow, which was my favorite part. (I think it may have been Jessie’s, too.) It’s something I’m sure he’ll never forget.

Have you been to Coney Island? What’s your favorite part?

Photo: Jessie Askinazi

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3 thoughts on “coney island love letter

  1. I’ve never been, but I would love to go one day. It seems so fun in a classic, NYC way. Out on the west coast, we have our own kinda similar version at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. That was always a treat when I was a kid!

  2. I have so many great memories of Coney Island! Thanks for sharing that video and your story. My favorite merry-go-round had beautiful horses and old timey music. I used to try to catch the brass ring. When I was a little girl, my mother took me to that pier on a cold winters’ day, and we had hot chocolate. The “Polar Bears” were there that day – they are people who go swimming in freezing weather. I think they still do that. It was fun riding/screaming on the Cyclone – it was a blast!

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