Coney Island – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 175) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

Coney Island (which really was an island until the straight was filled with dirt) is one of my favorite places in the world – and I’m not even a big fan of amusement parks.
Taking the subway* or my bike straight to the Atlantic Ocean beach; getting french fries from Nathan’s, a beer at Ruby’s (maybe a funnel cake from inside Astroland or now renamed Luna Park again – if I can make it fit); watching the families, the cool city kids, the freaks and the Russian neighbors stroll the boardwalk with its funky old and now also new stands; cheering on the Polar Bear Club members as they run into the freezing waves on January 1st or the half-nude mermaids and mermen on Mermaid Parade or the about-to-be-huge indie bands at Village Voice’s Siren Music Festival (until 2010); picking out yet another shirt or present at Lola Star and finishing it all off with watching the Friday night fireworks on a warm summer night… I couldn’t be happier. Throw in a Cyclones baseball game or a visit to the Aquarium and you have a 1-day vacation package.
I’ve been coming to Coney Island since moving to Brooklyn on New Year’s Even 1998/99 and I’ve seen so many changes. I was heartbroken when they tore down the other ancient roller coaster (the Cyclone still runs after almost 90 years – but you won’t get me on that). I was sad when all the old used furniture stores disappeared.
The free Siren Festival, where I saw bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, Art Brut and many others before they made it really big, ended just as I was moving to Berlin, where the Berlin Festival kept me entertained. I preferred the old Luna Park over that new Luna Park and all its snazzy rides. Ruby’s got a facelift and the rocket disappeared. I never participated in “Shoot The Freak” – but it was bizarre enough that it was fun to watch a guy trying to avoid getting shot by paintballs. But you know, some of that old run-down charm still survives and no matter if you’re into screaming your head off on new rides or an ancient roller coaster, if you enjoy taking in a baseball game while watching the ocean in the background or just want to bask in the sun – Coney Island is still where it’s at and definitely not to be missed on your next trip to New York. And to my New York friends: you don’t go often enough!
Coney Island is a place that I will always return to. So as I’m packing my bags for my move out west, I think this is a very fitting last Brooklyn video for a little while. Again I’m leaving a home with a smile and with tears in my eyes (mit einem lachenden und einem weinenden Auge).
Brooklyn, I love you so much!!!
Music by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions.
* take a ride with me and my friend Julia Wiedwald from Berlin on the “Subway to Coney Island – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 106)”

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

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