I recently spent a few days in NYC and while there I went to Coney Island. I was so charmed by the old fashioned rides, games and amusements which must be completely unchanged since the 50s or 60s at least. The colours, the food, the old fashioned aesthetic, it was beautiful. I thought I had read somewhere that Disney has, or intends to buy Coney Island and Disnify it, which, if true would be a national, nay, international tragedy that must be prevented! Check out my photos, they show an amusement park that that has more charm, more authenticity and more artistic value than any Disneyland could ever have.
This is the sign they have at all of the park entrances
The fishing game. I used to have a miniature magnetized version of this.
The decorative top of an old fashioned merry go round
A picture of the giant Ferris wheel, dubbed “Wonder Wheel”
The “Wonder Wheel” and the corner of the sign that runs the top perimeter of the bumper car arena.
I took a number of pictures of the bumper car sign. I am very drawn to colour and I just loved this sign.
The corner of the little snack shop, which had delicious churros and popcorn, among other treats.
The candy apples from the above pictured snack shop. To me they were works of art, like plastic sculptures.
They had classic carnival games, like this one, where you shoot the water pistol at the clown’s mouth to pop the balloon above it. The clown heads were great, their pastel colours dreamily faded by the summer sun. This game was packed with players. At all of the games I watched, the person shooting at clown number 14 won.
It’s almost perverted when you think about it. Or is that just me? Scratch that last thought
These were some of the prizes you could win at the clown game, but everyone I saw who won picked the stupid smurf dolls or the other recognizable commercial characters. I was like “Nooo! You stupid, get the pink dolphin or one of the miscellaneous googly-eyed puffs above it.”
See, now isn’t that preferable?
After seeing these prizes the smurfs were dead to me.
They also had a few of those “strong arm” game machines that test one’s strength. This one was my favorite; it had some stupid frothing meat-head guy (not pictured) flanked by two girls, this blond one being my favorite.
I love her ecstatic expression and wild, tacky make-up. I also love that her pose makes it appear that she has plunged her hand inside her head. I wondered what they were made of. A composite material, I guess.
This was the girl on the other side of meat-head guy on the game. Good, but not as great as the blond because her expression is so mild.
This is the display of another strength testing game where the player squeezes together the horns of a bull head that protrudes below this scale. The hand moves up the categories written on the fan to give the player their rating.
The pink front of a pinball game
An old horse ride of the type you used to see outside grocery stores. I love its expression and ergonomic posture.
There was a second clown game, further into the park, but strangely it was empty where the other one was full. These clowns where much more garish.
This was the giant eye of a cyclops monster head that loomed large at the entrance to a spooky house type ride. The eye looked back and fourth ceaselessly, a red light flashing from within through a broken spot in the centre. I was charmed by the decay of the rides and displays, it made things seem sort of sinister, but also earnest and authentic, and I was glad they hadn’t tried to make everything perfect.
This was from a souvenir stand where you could have your picture taken and have it printed on a button, key-chain, mirror, or these colourful felt posters that had cheesy backgrounds. I had a pink sparkly plastic key-chain made with my photo on one side and this image in the back, accompanied by the words “You and I forever”, but what I really wanted was to buy some of the sample souvenir photos he had, which were so great.
I loved this girl’s photo. She posed with much more flair than I achieved. Your choice of background was either this wicker chair, or an airbrushed scene of a rainbow and waterfall, which I chose.
This girl was also looking good in the wicker chair. I thought she was really cute and I liked that it said “Girl’s just gotta have fun” at the bottom
This girl is pictured in front of the same background as I was, which was charming in it’s crudeness.
This couple’s poster was my favorite. See how years of being exposed to the sun has made their faces look extra colourful and almost iridescent? I should have asked, no, begged him to sell it to me. Just one of the many regrets I have to live with in my life.
My most favorite part of the visit though, was this automaton fortune teller. “What does Grandma say?” It invites you to find out. When you put in a quarter she sort of rocks back and fourth a little bit, and her hand sweeps across the table, over her tarot cards.
This thing must be very old. The detailing is amazing, her hoop earrings, the diamante pin the wears in the centre of her collar, and her wrinkled, weathered face. I was really magical and wonderful.
Look at her jewelry and old fashioned blouse. It was a little hard to get good pictures because it was under a partition that was lit, so there were many reflections on the glass.
This booth was actually right next to that “Zoltan” or whatever-his-face-is, the genie fortune teller booth seen in the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks. When I saw that this awesome grandma one was right next to it (and was probably even there first) I couldn’t believe that the movie used that stupid Zeutroy or Zantam guy instead of Grandma! This thing is way more mystical and magical that the stupid genie, and don’t you think that the female, especially the older female mystic seems way more powerful than some guy in a stupid feathered hat? Look at the pictures of her hands, and you’ll see the mystery and magic that’s there.
Her delicate, wrinkled hands move across the cards…
And the best part was her eyes, which were both broken and rolling back into her head. It was very spooky and unnerving, like she was haunted. It was really strange and powerful to look at her and watch her move, it was like seeing a ghost, or a dead person come to life.
Her smile and crazy eyes…she has seen a lot inside that booth. There’s a wavelength of energy you can tune into at this booth, I’m serious. Not very many people seemed interested in her. I was able to stay and photograph and put coins in for a long time.
I hope you have enjoyed these photos of Coney Island, dear reader, I was a magical place, really magical, more so than anything Disney could ever create. Go to Coney Island and see what Grandma has to say…