Saturday, 19 June 2010

Coney Island: Take Two

The first time I ventured down to Coney Island. on the rattly N train, I was not in the best of moods. I can't remember why. I think it had something to do with wanting Emily, my best friend, to be hanging out with me, alone, and not with her cousin, an amazing girl, Louise. Now, it was silly of me to feel that way, because Louise is a lovely person and I enjoyed spending time with her, but I guess I was so desperate for familiarity, I just wanted my whole world to be full of Emily, full of home.

Or maybe I was just tired and wanted to sleep.

We arrived at Coney Island at around 11 in the morning, and despite the other tourists meandering around dully, the beach was quiet. Few shows were open and no attractions were running. The horizon was a dull, blurred gray. A sharp difference compared to Australia's gorgeous blue waters, relatively nice smelling beaches and crisp horizons. A perfect illusion of a split between light and dark blue. Yes, this definitely wasn't an Australian beach or, obviously, the Pacific Ocean.

We sat on a bench and stared out at the water. All quite silent. Politely sitting in our disappointment.

Eventually we walked further down the peer, stopping to marvel at the ghastly Shoot The Freak sideshow... or really, just to be gangsta.

Then we came across this hilarious quote on a mural of beach goers and other facts about oceans for the aquarium nearby. Poor George Tilyou. If he could see Coney Island now.

"If Paris is France, Coney Island, between June and September is the world."

Um, no. No, it is not. What it was in 2008 was a visual death-rattle. In my mind, when I though of Coney Island, was simply the clinking of three glass beer bottles and a creepy voice calling, "Warriors, come out to playyyy." Ugh, terrifying.

We quickly found our way back on the train, tipping out hats to the penguin lady as we scurried by, and took the train back up to Brooklyn.

We went through the art galleries and to Prospect Park, for Celebrate, Brooklyn! A fabulous treat of simply eye-fucking the shit out of this gorgeous drummer. It's all saved on my camera, too. One day I'll turn it into a joyous stalker video. Dear Drummer, I may call it. Oh please, I don't sound as creepy and as un-lay-able as you think I sound... well, maybe the latter part is true, but tell me that this man isn't a beautiful.

I think the real reason why I don't mind sounding like a complete and utter fangirl/idiot, is that a musician will never ever date me. It's just not in the cards for me. I was never attracted to musicians as a young girl and then a teenager. I found the ideas of their rusty fingers (guitarists) kind of gross, and it wasn't until a few years ago that I really started listening to music. Really listening to the layers and finding great joy out of discovering a note here or there that suddenly gave the song a whole new meaning. I've met a few musicians and we can talk, but I'm just not cool or laid back enough for a musician, and that's cool, because I really don't want to be buying those expensive t-shirts.


Yes, I am. So, when Josh M. suggested a trip down to Coney Island, I was up for it. I wanted to see what had changed and Josh had mentioned a new park and I am always keen for rides and silly fun, so we penciled it into our diaries and headed down one hot, muggy, slightly cloudy Sunday.

I wanted to get there early to beat the crowds and lines, and we did. Leaving at 10:30am, we arrived at the Coney Island just after 11 and it was already steamy. The so-called MTA deal is actually pretty shitty! I don't think I saved more than a few dollars.

Luna Park was empty and we had no trouble getting on to rides instantly by the time we had rode a few rides Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park opposite was quite crowded. I didn't ride the classic Wonder Wheel.

There was glitter everywhere from the Mermaid Parade the day before which I had debated going to while standing in the kitchen watching television. "I could just go down now." I'd say... but it didn't happen.

Most of the rides were really tame but fun all the same. You feel so safe in them that you can completely let go and enjoy yourself and trust that you're not going to fall out. I like feeling safe on those kind of rides, it's just pure fun.

It's the complete opposite when it comes to the Cyclone Rollercoaster - that thing is a beast and an ancient one at that. It's apparently brought born mutes to their voices and brought up other people's stomach contents, but it has a pretty decent safety record, so we gave it go.

We were there for it's third or fourth ride of the day and the line was so short that we got on straight away. It was rattly as all hell and I kept apologizing to my brain and boobs the whole time. Looking at the track is probably not a good thing to do because it looks like they just place planks of wood down wherever it seems to work.

Also if you do travel on this roller coaster, be sure to sit with a partner. Our friend Josh in the back was by himself and was flung completely to the other side of his seat. He swears he almost fell out of it.

The best part about the cyclone is that you can ride again for $5 dollars. So we just handed them our $5 while they held the coaster for us and I think we even switched to the very front, but my mind is shaken up now that I'm not sure. Either way I have a memory of being like, "Oh man, I wish I hadn't decided to sit in the front!" so maybe it did happen.

We were done for the day after that. I was had cried out in glee both rides but now I was feeling a little queasy.

I definitely recommend riding on the Air Race. Grown men squeal on this thing. I loved it. Eyes open the whole time, arms hanging out. It's similar to the Claw at Dreamworld so I guess I was prepared for the spins and being up and down. Definitely try it if you go there - it's so smooth.

As for the rest of Coney Island, they have their fried food and there condom and menstrual pad filled beaches - I don't want to relive it anymore than I already have, but if you want to give your kids a quick Sex Ed lesson, go no further than Coney Island's shore.

They also have there fireworks and I wanted to go on Friday night for Fireworks! but I didn't make it down for the rest of the Summer.

One of the famous things about Coney Island are the Freaks but I'm not really interested in the Freak Shows at Coney Island. If it was just a show full of Suicide Girls, I'd be more into it, but I saw the film, Freak and it was very disturbing. Awesome but disturbing.

Coney Island Take Two was definitely better. Thankfully people believe in the joy that place can bring and did a lot to spruce it up between 2008 and 2010 and more effort took place before then, too. I recommend being open to a day of fried indulgence and just knowing that there is always soap back home.



Anonymous said...

"And we used to sleep on the beach here, sleep overnight...they don't do that anymore. Things see. They don't sleep anymore on the beach."

They do other kinds of stuff instead.

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