‘Coney Island, Part II: From Nickel Empire to the 21st Century’ Webinar
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“The thing that is so wonderful about Coney Island is that for so many, many years… it has sturdily refused to pander to good taste.” -Gilbert Millstein, July 1976
By the 1920s, Coney Island was no longer the revolutionary amusement zone it was at the turn of the century — but the arrival of the subway and new boardwalk ushered in its new identity as the “Nickel Empire,” where a ride to the beach and a hot dog cost just five cents. But how would the former amusement capital on planet earth adapt to a changing world over the next century, full of social and cultural change? It’s time to step right up and uncover the incredible amusement park that continues to establish itself indelibly in the memories of generations.
Join New York Adventure Club for the second of a two-part series that explores the astonishing and transformational history of Coney Island as both a geographical zone and amusement area.
Led by veteran Brooklyn tour guide and Coney Island enthusiast Norman Oder, Part II of our virtual showcase — which will focus on Coney Island from the 1920s until today — will include:
- Coney’s boom in the 1920s, which saw new buildings and ever-faster roller coasters like the Cyclone, then endurance through the Depression and World War II
- The painful shrinking of amusements — wrought by city policies (Robert Moses) and suburban trends — fueling Coney’s subsequent struggles
- Coney’s renewed image thanks to, among other things, the Mermaid Parade (Coney Island USA), a baseball stadium, and new investments
- The preservation of precarious Coney icons like the Parachute Jump and Child’s Restaurant
- Its role as a cultural touchstone, through film, art, and modern-day ballyhoo like the glorious hot dog eating contest
- Why Coney is still New Yorkers’ summer safety valve, despite blows from Superstorm Sandy and the pandemic
Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Norman — any and all questions about Coney Island during this period are welcomed and encouraged!
Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!
See you there, virtually!
*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar
**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.
***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week
Norman Oder, tour guide and journalist, has led tours of Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Coney Island, since 2000. He’s long visited Coney, but has during the pandemic delved deep into the archives to develop a virtual tour of its astounding history.Buy tickets/get more info now