Monday, July 29, 2013

Cyclists: Stay on the west mall bike path

  The east mall of Ocean Parkway is for pedestrians; not cyclists.  It has been getting better but we really need clearer signage to direct bikers to the other side. And walkers and joggers should go over to the east mall. Can't we all just get along?
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Ride Smart!

Riding a bike in the crowds on the Boardwalk is selfish and risky even at slow speeds.  Why should people have to avoid you?  Walk the bike like the fellow in the black shirt. 
Ride Smart!
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life under the Thunderbolt

 Life under the Thunderbolt -

Joan Finkelstein expected the nervous shakes. She had agreed to marry Edwin Howard just after meeting him in March 1952. By July of that year, she was headed to his aunt’s house in Coney Island to meet his family for the first time.

When she got there, she noticed it wasn’t she that had the shakes. It was the walls. She looked frantically around the house and, while the china hanging on the walls was rumbling, nothing was crashing to the ground and no one else was batting an eye. Either this is an earthquake, she thought, or I’m losing my mind.

“Oh, that’s just the roller coaster,” Howard reassured her, as her daughter Janine Gorell recalls. “It’s going to go over a lot because it’s July.

The shaken bride-to-be eventually relaxed, accepting that she was about to become a part of this strange family that lived under Coney Island’s Thunderbolt roller coaster.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brighton Beach lifeguard, early 1900s

A lifeguard at Brighton Beach, New York, early 1900s

Bike Share, Check. Helmet? Not Always

FGtFUZBRBcn3DvB15E5bMGUjsJtFfv8-r4o0iDOlwRY%2CskX3IljheANuygKlbU2yOAyzlau-Z4w9uqOJ0XrRveUBike Share, Check. Helmet? Not Always | <==click for full article

172702895When I first gave New York City‘s Citi Bike a ride, I was surprised that helmets weren’t part of the program (free helmets were offered on opening weekend), considering how dangerous riding bare-headed can be. In most cities, helmets are required for children, while people ages 16 and up can legally ride without one. But the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how vulnerable even adults are to serious bicycle injuries; in 2010, 800 bicyclists were killed and about 515,000 suffered injuries that required emergency department care. Bikers who die of head injuries are three times as likely to not be wearing a helmet.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards bid to repair Sandy-damaged Brooklyn beaches

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiU.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards bid to repair Sandy-damaged Brooklyn beaches - NY Daily News

The beach buildup in Coney Island is coasting ahead.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $7.3 million contract to a dredging company to repair eroded gaps along a three-mile stretch between W. 37th St. and Brighton Beach, rebuilding dunes and adding other protections.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company plans to deposit 600,000 cubic yards of sand along the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged beach to help keep ocean water from flooding nearby homes and stores.
The sand will be taken from the Jamaica Bay Inlet. Construction is expected to begin in August and will be completed this fall.

There will be rolling closures of roughly 1,000-foot-wide sections of beach while the work is being done.
“This work is important to ensuring the engineered beach continues to provide coastal storm risk reduction to the communities behind it,” said Col. Paul Owen, the Army Corps district commander.

The federal government also plans to spend $30 million to shore up the private beaches of Seagate. That measure has aroused critics, who contend that tax dollars should not be used to help a privately owned beach that is closed to the city’s masses.
The corps has long wanted to safeguard Brooklyn’s beaches.
In 1972, the federal agency suggested building a 15-foot-high floodwall along the Coney Island peninsula, from Manhattan Beach to Sea Gate, but the $100 million plan petered out due to lack of money

Forgotten Coney Island: A Post Hurricane Sandy Tour

housing-coney-islandForgotten Coney Island: A Post Hurricane Sandy Tour | Environment

The new $2 million lighting system
wowed the boardwalk revelers but
didn't help the struggling community
(Photo and caption not part of article)
"Only a few blocks down from the amusement district, where the sounds of the frolicking beachgoers and carnival games have come back with renewed vigor after a near-cataclysmic meeting with the superstorm, there is a different Coney Island that most tourists and beach goers don’t see.

This is the Coney Island that continues to struggle to return to normalcy. The Coney Island where parks and playgrounds remain fenced off because of sinkholes or other damage done by last year’s storm. The Coney Island where public housing tended by the New York City Housing Authority is wrapped in scaffolding and chain link fence; and where the library won’t reopen until October. The Coney Island where the local hospital isn’t operating at full capacity and where temporary structures containing furnaces and other critical infrastructure are still in full use.
“They say Coney Island is open for business. Sure, the entertainment district is, but no one talks about the parts of Coney Island where people actually live. They don’t talk about the neighborhoods,” said Ed Cosme, a resident who formed The People’s Coalition of Coney Island to raise awareness about the problems in the parts of the neighborhood that don’t normally draw tourists and bathers."

Sandy's Revenge

More than a dozen dead and dying trees poisoned by the flood waters and choking sand from hurricane ‪‎Sandy‬ were cut down at the Ocean Parkway entrance to the boardwalk‬.

Tree trimmng trucks arrived early Saturday morning and when they were gone the carnage was complete.  Only the stumps of more than 15 trees remained.

A sad and desolate reminder that Sandy's destruction will be with us for a long time.
All trees gone.

It's not only in the summer that I will miss the trees that framed the boardwalk and the open sky.

Boardwalk Action at 8am-

Anyone who arrives after 8 is a latecomer.

Click here to visit more photos of the Boardwalk at 8am

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Brighton Beach Residents Say City Has Left Them In The Dark

Brighton Beach Residents Say City Has Left Them In The Dark - NY1

People who live near the Brighton Beach boardwalk say it's too dark at night and want the city to restore lighting that's been broken since Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
The serenity has washed away along the boardwalk of Brighton Beach as many residents now worry about safety at night.
"It's very dangerous," said one Brighton Beach resident.
"You cannot see people. Right now it's a really big problem," said another Brighton Beach resident.
None of the overhead lights work along the Brighton Beach boardwalk stretching from Coney Island Avenue to Manhattan Beach. Residents say they've been broken since Hurricane Sandy.
"We're covered in darkness and I'm concerned about slip and fall accidents. My mom has a cane she's disabled," said one Brighton Beach resident.
Residents say at night they can't see loose boards and actual holes in the boardwalk that might trip them up. But they also worry the darkness invites criminal behavior.
"Someone will come and hit you on the head and you will not see anyone," said one Brighton Beach resident.
Emergency lights are set up along the boardwalk, but they're not on either.
The boardwalk brightens up right away as you move west to Coney Island, which just creates a feeling of frustration for those in Brighten Beach who say they've called and sent letters to government officials.
The city Department of Transportation says it has fixed 90 percent of the overhead boardwalk lights broken during Hurricane Sandy. It's still working with contractors on the rest, but hasn't released a timeline for finishing.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Charging Stations Along the Boardwalk

Here is the perfect fit for those who cannot bear to be out of touch even when you are sunning on the beach (and you can't even see the phone screen because it is too sunny and you are smearing it with your sunscreen.)  Do you really want to wait for a full charge when people are standing in line behind you grumbling?

Super Deluxe Lifeguard Station

For weeks one of the new pods on the boardwalk just west of Ocean Parkway was locked up tight. With the huge crowds on the boardwalk I thought it should have been opened by now. Today I spoke to a parks department worker who told me that the pod was not a bathroom at all but was actually the new Lifeguard Station.
Maybe I was on the boardwalk too early to find any lifeguards but they should be pretty happy with the accommodations.  The green powered futuristic pods are a $4 million upgrade as part of the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief allocation. That's a lot of sunscreen.

F train from Coney Island approaching Avenue X

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So long will not be missed

The astrotower was not one of my favorite Coney Island structures to photograph. In fact, out of the four iconic structures that soared over the amusement area the other three; Wonder Wheel, Cyclone and Parachute Jump, dominated my photo scenes. The astrotower had no character, boring lines, just a stick in the ground. Most of the time it just got in the way and it was hell to find an angle without it so I would just give up and include it with the others. But I never photographed it alone which tells how little it impressed me. You could never get a great photograph from it. However, it did produce something else. When the wind would blow in the right direction, it would make a weird moaning which was quite eerie especially during the early morning hours in the winter when the boardwalk was deserted. I found this photo that I took in 2012 and I just noticed how the tower has a distinct tilt. First thought it was it was created by the lens but not now. When it is taken down I will not miss it but I am pretty sure a replacement is already in the works because the view from the top was truly fantastic.