New York City Council has approved plans to redevelop Coney Island, turning the Brooklyn beachfront area into an all-year-round entertainment complex.
There will be a new amusement park (including the city’s first new roller coaster since 1927), high-rise hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas.
The developer, Thor Equities, said the scheme would stay true to Coney Island’s ‘unique character’, but not everyone remains convinced or content. Community activists say redevelopment could rob Coney Island of its nostalgia.
Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, and the area’s self-appointed mayor, said:
“They’re giving financial incentives to destroy Coney Island’s few historic buildings. There’s more left of ancient Rome than turn-of-the-century Coney Island.”
The 82-year-old Cyclone roller coaster is safe – it was declared a New York City landmark in 1988. So, too, presumably, is the annual July The Fourth hot dog-eating contest at Nathan’s that attracts competitors from all over the world. In case you were wondering, the winner this year was Joey Chestnut (crazy name!), who devoured 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes.
by Andy Moreton
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