Coney Island No 51
From the Coney Island II collection
(Intro from Coney Island I)
When I was a kid living in Bensonhurst, in Brooklyn, Coney Island was just one or two stops on the subway, which was really an elevated, or “el”, train at that section. That meant I could get glimpses of it from the train. I was so excited, my dad would let me get in the first car so I could look out the front window. I adored Coney Island. My dad took me on the parachute jump ride. He let me go on the Cyclone roller coaster by myself (he hated it). I remember the Steeplechase amusement park, full of wonders never to be seen again.
The last time I photographed at Coney Island, I was in my eighties, it seemed in the the intervening years it had changed. The Wonder Wheel was still there, but most of the landmarks were gone.
It’s still a great place to shoot. It has all the factors that make me want to shoot: density (people and activities), eccentricity, people having fun, and the understanding that photos will be taken and people won’t mind. Hopefully.