I was waiting in line for the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. I had just spotted the turnstile for the pay toilet with its garish red and yellow paint job and 25 cents sign in early 20th century lettering and was composing a photo on the ground glass of the Rolleiflex. A voice called out to me, “Oh, that is a lovely Rolleiflex!”. I looked up to see an older gentleman with a souped-up walker (metallic paint job, hand brake, and a fold-down seat). We struck up a conversation about cameras and photography. He had been a camera salesman at an old store in Brooklyn, and remembered selling Rolleis like mine. I gave him my business card, and a few days after I got home, his grandson emailed me the photo you see here.
We got ice cream here at the Brooklyn Creamery- some of the best ice cream I’ve had in ages.
There is a line going down the block out the front door of Grimaldi’s Pizza basically every minute that they’re open. I don’t know if you can see the sign or not, but on one of their banners it says, “coal-fired pizza. Cash Only, No Slices”. I assume they mean charcoal when they say coal – I couldn’t imagine pizza made in an actual coal-burning oven. A little coal tar with your pepperoni?
Despite the image in most people’s minds of the New York City subway being gritty, grimy, old and just plain filthy, once you get out of Manhattan there are some very attractive stations. This tile-work was in the entrance stairs to the station at Prospect Park for the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Arriving at Coney Island from the Subway.
Nathan’s Hot Dogs – they’re a cliché, but still – you can’t pass up a Nathan’s hot dog and cheese fries your first time at Coney Island.
We had to ride the Wonder Wheel, and of course, we had to take one of the swinging cars, even though they don’t get as high.
While in line for the Wonder Wheel, I saw the sign for the pay toilet and wanted to take a picture of it – the sign and the old metal turnstiles are just so cool (and before you ask, I didn’t pay to go in and find out exactly what they looked and/or smelled like- even though it was opening weekend, it’s still Coney Island!). This old man with a fancy walker (purple anodized aluminum frame with a hand-brake and a fold-down seat) saw my Rolleiflex and struck up a conversation – he had been a camera salesman at a store in Brooklyn for many years and remembered selling them.
Here is the world-famous Cyclone roller-coaster. The ride was fun but frightening, not only because it is bone-jarring from the wood track, but because the coaster operators were not paying enough attention and allowed the incoming car to slam into the back of my car as we were getting loaded in. Fortunately we were already strapped/safety-barred in, so the shockwave of the impact passed through instead of knocking me forward into the back of the seat in front. Much as I love riding roller-coasters, especially the old wooden ones, I don’t think I’ll ride the Cyclone again.
Lower Manhattan, Evening:
This was how I ended the day, back in lower Manhattan, hanging out around Union Square, and doing some book shopping at The Strand.