The calendar says "spring" but in New York City, it's still wintry. The temperature is low, we just recently had another snow storm (and schools were closed for a day), and the populace is waiting for balmier climes. But the calendar also said "Time to open the rides at Coney Island" and thus they were opened this past weekend.

Coney Island was and is one of the world's legendary beach-boardwalk-amusement park landmarks. A few of the rides are beloved by residents and tourists alike: the wooden roller coaster the Cyclone and the huge ferris wheel the Wonder Wheel are approaching their hundredth birthdays, and they still offer thrills. Other fun rides such as the Tickler, the Thunderbolt (this one built just a few years ago), Spook-A-Rama and other amusements offer thrills and nostalgia. In warmer weather (and also on New Year's Day!) people run into the ocean water and frolic. People eat hotdogs and other snacks at Nathan's Famous (not kosher, but founded by a Jewish man, Nathan Handwerker). And while most of the fun is experienced from late spring through the autumn, it was Opening Weekend and there were some special activities held.



My husband and I visited on Sunday (March 25th) and sipped authentic egg creams, made by the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys. (They also attended the 2017 Brooklyn Jewish Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative, of which I am a member.) We did not go on the Cyclone but did watch it, listening to riders scream with excitement. I do want to note that a few years back, we also attended Opening Weekend at Coney and we watched the Cyclone malfunction-- and all the riders had to be walked down from the first and highest drop, very very carefully!


We went on a stationary car of the Wonder Wheel (these do not swing, but they do go up higher than the moving cars). We snapped photos of rides and snow near rides, and a talented stilt walking lady who danced around the kiddy rides section. But it was odd to see so many people on and near the Coney Island rides, while wearing winter parkas and knit caps and gloves.

People of all types were visiting Coney: young and old, white and black and Latino and Asian, English speakers and those speaking a lot of other languages, and so on. And at one point I noticed two young men walking on the boardwalk, who by their garb were members of a Hasidic sect. Wearing hats and payot, their clothing black and white, they were among the eager visitors to Coney Island's Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

To some other visitors, these Hasidic young men were a true oddity. But there were other people at Coney who wore their traditional clothing, such as a few Muslim women wearing hijabs. This scene just shows that diversity is a given in New York City, and just about everyone likes to visit Coney Island. And hopefully the weather will warm up soon! 
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share