Time Lapse: The Making of a Carousel (New York Times)
Located on the eastern side of Steeplechase Plaza, the B&B Carousell is the only historic carousel in Coney Island and represents a link between the amusement area’s past, present, and future.
Built in 1906, the carousel features 50 hand-carved wooden horses, including 36 jumpers (up-and-down movement), 14 standers (stationary), as well as two chariots and the striking “Lincoln’s head” horse covered in bold silver armor. The carousel also features the Gebruder Bruder “Elite Orchestra Apollo” band organ, likely constructed between 1913 and 1916—one of only three existing in the United States.
The carousel operated on Surf Avenue for 70 years until it was nearly sold in pieces at an auction in 2005. The City of New York instead purchased the carousel to preserve this important piece of Coney Island’s history and restore it to its former glory. A team of carousel restoration experts and art conservators—from Carousels & Carvings Inc. and Intermuseum Conservation Association—diligently restored the carousel to its original condition, including a new, custom-carved wheelchair-accessible chariot.
Watch the carousel’s reassembly and installation at a state-of-the-art pavilion in the new Steeplechase Plaza, a two-acre public open space at Coney Island.
Coney Island’s Summer Season Begins
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today the official opening of Coney Island for the summer season, including the grand opening of the new Steeplechase Plaza, a two-acre public open space featuring the restored B&B Carousell in a state-of-the-art pavilion. The historic B&B Carousell, which includes 50 hand-carved horses that have been meticulously restored over the last six years. The carousel is housed in a new pavilion which opens up to the Boardwalk, and sits within open space that includes a water feature and the Luna Forest, an area for informal and formal events.
Learn more about events this summer at coneyislandfunguide.com
Tomorrow, get a head start on your day as Coney Island’s rides, restaurants and amusements open early Saturday, May 18th! Here’s a sample itinerary:
- 7:00 AM on: Grab breakfast at Tom’s Coney Island.
- 8:30 AM on: Catch the first runners in the Brooklyn Half Marathon crossing the finish line on the Boardwalk.
- 9:00 AM on: Head to Peggy O’Neill’s for their first live band.
- 10:00 AM on: Get on the rides at Luna Park, the Cyclone Roller Coaster and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park!
Festivities start early! Catch you on the Boardwalk.
The New York Times visits Coney Island on Opening Day:
Arriving at 8:30 the night before the ride was supposed to reopen for the season, Mr. Cyclone — otherwise known as Eric Knapp, 47 — had claimed the first spot in line to ride the Cyclone, Coney Island’s famed wooden roller coaster, and more than 15 hours later, he was still excited. Very excited.
“Woooo!” he roared on Sunday, leaping atop the Cyclone’s first car and flexing his arms, one of which bore a Cyclone tattoo, for the benefit of the crowd. (The letters “C Y C L O N E” were shaved onto his head, his black sleeveless T-shirt said “Cyclone,” and he claimed to have ridden the roller coaster nearly 2,000 times.) A few minutes later, he became the first to zoom down the tracks.
Just like that, Coney Island was back.
Photo credit: Michael Kirby Smith/The New York Times
Get ready for hot dog eating contests, the annual egg cream christening, free rides on Deno’s Wonder Wheel and a great start to the season.
Superstorm Sandy has greatly affected many New Yorkers across the City, including longstanding community businesses and new shops alike. Over the past month, we’ve interviewed small business owners across Lower Manhattan, Coney Island, Far Rockaway, and Red Hook who wanted to share their “getting back to business” stories of grit and determination to reopen or begin the process of reopening.
Take a few moments to watch these seven audio slideshows and pass along their inspiring stories to your community. We hope these give a glimpse of the fortitude of New Yorkers and encourage other small business owners who are still fighting to recover from the devastation of Sandy. You’ll hear from:
- Gargiulo’s Restaurant, Coney Island
- The Wave Newspaper, Rockaway Beach
- Jack from Brooklyn, Red Hook
- Thai Rock, Rockaway Beach
- Key Food Grocery, Coney Island
- Token, Red Hook
- Acqua, Lower Manhattan
Find them all at nycedc.com/gettingbacktobusiness, and thanks for sharing these stories of New Yorkers’ resilience.