Monday, May 23, 2016

Venturing Out

By Carol

Although we didn't get too much snow this year in the northeast, it's been a long grey winter anyway - or at least we feel that way since we are still getting 45 degree days here in May (!) I started itching for some adventure somewhere close to home. Who ya gonna call? - my photo buddies! Michele (who has written here and is now blogging and teaching at Art of Intuitive Photography in NYC) and Janis, (who is part of our photography family here) are always up for anything, and they did not disappoint! They suggested a day at Coney Island, and since they were willing to drive this country girl there, I was on board!

Of course the park has been world famous since the time of flannel bathing costumes, which by the way, were recommended wear since salt water swimming was still very suspect in 1876. The dress code called for loose fitting and conservative cover, and pamphlets warned ladies of hysteria if they went in too fast. The park has a long and varied history, but a major event occurred in 1893 when George and Mary O'Donnell honeymooned in Chicago at the "World Exposition" and saw the first wheel made by George Ferris. Seeing it as a huge money maker, George came home and raised money to build one on Coney Island. The largest ferris wheel in the world was delivered in 1894 and spurned concessions and steeplechase rides and freak shows ever after. The Coney Island we know from the movies was born

Can you imagine an apartment under the coaster??

The day wasn't as sunny as we had hoped, and we knew we would be fighting blown out skies in our pics, but I love to see a new part of the world - especially an iconic place I had heard about all my life!  (Yes, I realize it's only about an hour and a half away, but I told you - I don't do city and turnpike driving well!) I was surprised at how much smaller Coney Island looked than in the movies. The old Woody Allen sagas, and more recently "Brooklyn" make it look as big as the Jersey shore boardwalks that I am used to, but it is actually very intimate now. However, it more than makes up for its size with icons that have been around since the 1930's. Tillie is looking over you everywhere you go. We saw the parachute jump ride. And then there was the Cyclone -the oldest wooden roller coaster. I cannot believe people ride that thing - but Michele says she does every year. (some comfort zones are not made to be walked out of - at least that's my excuse....)

The park mascot "Tillie" was a "frightful funny face with  44 grotesque teeth." Considered scintillating, it  hinted at impropriety!

The early rides sometimes made ladies ankles show in the wind - a big thrill for the park characters!

The Parachute Jump!

Although we saw the original Nathan's Hot Dog joint, we opted for the equally famous Wahlberger and OMG! - worth the trip right there! Original recipe sauces, pickles, and freshly thin sliced onion rings from red onions! We got an adorable waiter, who couldn't have been more Brooklyn if he was from a movie cast.

We caught some dapper gentlemen, and elderly couples sunning on the benches, and some of the usual boardwalk characters. We came across the Coney Island Freak Show School where you can develop some new hobbies and talents! I loved the sign - "LOOKA_LOOKA !".

Looka Looka!!!

With full bellies and happy smiles, we headed home! Once again, I encourage you to take a vacation near your home and see what this varied country has to offer right in your own back yard. A few hours can make you feel miles away from home and routine!  Do it this week! And send us some postcards in our gallery!


AFishGirl said...

So cool!!! What a treat to see these photos and read this. My husband's first bathing suit as a young boy was knitted. Yes, you read that right. From WOOL! Only in England, I tell you, only in England. Apparently the moths got to it and it had a hole in a less than strategic location and this traumatized him and well, he's a lousy swimmer. I can hear Dotti laughing all the way from there to here. Hahhaa, do NOT tell him I told you this story. And yes for day trips to new environs. This photographer is in dire need of that...

kelly said...

carol these are wonderful! what a happy way to start the week! and i totally agree how adventure is the best spark for the creative mind. and @fishgirl...thank you for starting my week off with a giggle. happy monday friends. xoxoxo

Deanna said...

Oh what fun to visit such an iconic place with photo buddies! Great pictures and perfect bits of history! FYI my bathing suit is so old it has holes in the knees!

terriporter said...

Oh, what a fun and colorful place! All that color definitely made up for the overcast skies. I've never been to Coney Island either but I'm definitely a proponent of venturing to new places close to home. There's always a new adventure to be had if you're looking. And thanks for the fun facts! Those along with your great photos make me feel like I've just been to Coney Island!

Dotti said...

Oh.My.Goodness! Does this bring back memories! I HAVE been to Coney Island. Every summer when I visited my cousins, we would go to Coney Island. And, yes! I did ride the Cyclone! I had to - I was the only girl in the group of cousins! Even in those long ago years, I was not about to let the boys get the best of me. But we had some good times. No, we had some terrific times! Thank you, my friend, for a sweet trip down memory lane. (Oh, Lord - it was so long ago.) And thank you Pam, for a terrific laugh to begin my evening. (Very busy day here today.)

Michele.NYC said...

What a fun day to share with you. Love your storytelling. Where shall we go next...a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge?!?

Lisa Clarke said...

I'm like you - from NJ but never thought about going to Coney Island. Your photos are terrific. Now I would really love to go!

Cathy H. said...

What a fun post! Your photos bring about childhood memories of state fairs with all the rides. Each year my dad took us on the ferris wheel, which was my favorite. Jerry and I took a "day"cation Saturday, traveling the back roads, stopping to let me take pictures, and just enjoying each others company. We all need to get away and it doesn't have to be miles away!

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