Our next iconic trip is to the home of cheesy Americana nostalgia – Coney Island!!
I’ve grown up on US TV shows and films that reference this mythical seaside hot spot and it represents to me the golden heyday of technicolor America – and I am not disappointed!
Coney Island is actually a series of amusement parks,the largest of which is Luna Park above.
It’s also home of the cyclone – a historic wooden roller coaster that opened in 1927!
The coaster was declared a New York City landmark on July 12, 1988, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991.
There’s even a real life freak show – albeit renamed and re-badged as a circus side show But it has all the traditional characters advertised in garish, cartoon style.
It’s not open when we arrive so we have to be content to peer through the shutters.
Coney Island is home to the International Hot Dog Eating Contest on the 4th July. A event that combines American’s twin loves of competition and eating fast food!
I am giddy with all the over the top garish advertisements for all manner of seaside treats.
Hot dogs, candy floss, buttered corn on the cob. It’s all there for the hungry tourists. Although they manage to take something relatively healthy – the apple- and make it super bad!
Everywhere is a rainbow of signage and consumerism. All shimmering in the June sunshine as the temperature gauge kept on rising.
Oversized donuts, bumper cars and the famous mermaid parade all combine to the heady atmosphere of Coney Island.
The area started to sink into decline after the second world war with all the original amusement parks being demolished and plans for a casino and luxury apartments all being punted as ideas for the old tourist haunts.
Many of the old rides and attractions have gone for good and many vacant lots still exist, Coney Island is a long way from its hey day but in August 2018 it was announced that a boutique hotel was to built and the amusement areas extended, so there may still be life in the old dog yet!
The Coney Island Art Walls are just one of the attractions hoping to bring back the visitors of old.
The walls feature artwork from renowned local and international artists in many different styles. Many of which are political or satirical in nature.