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Old February 25th, 2008, 04:25 AM   #81
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The original Nathan's should be landmarked and perserved, not considered being a developement site that would demolish it.
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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:35 AM   #82
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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...eady-set-jump/
February 29, 2008, 12:45 pm

Reviving a Coney Island Ride: Ready, Set, Jump!

By Jake Mooney


The lighting of the Parachute Jump at Coney Island in July 2006. (Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times)

Updated, 3:59 p.m. | Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, never actually rode the Coney Island Parachute Jump — he was afraid, he said in a recent interview — but all those afternoons spent staring up at it and waving to his friends made an impression. Two years ago he collaborated, with the city’s Parks Department and Economic Development Corporation, and the lighting designer Leni Schwendinger, to re-light the dormant Boardwalk ride, promoting it as a beacon to draw eyes toward Coney Island.

Mr. Markowitz has been more critical of Ms. Schwendinger’s lights lately, as I wrote in the Dispatches feature in this week’s City section. He also said, in an interview for that story, that the plan to make the ride into a beacon of light came only after he “was advised that making it operational was not a realistic goal.”

But talk of reviving the jump, closed since 1968, as a working ride has been hard to quash over the years, and Mr. Markowitz said he is not giving up. He said, in fact, that he recently spoke with someone, a representative of a European company that has offices in the United States, who said the jump could possibly be made to work again. Mr. Markowitz would not name the company, but said it is sending a team to Coney Island “in a few weeks” to inspect the ride and “see whether technology exists to
restore it as a parachute jump attraction.”

He said he had made clear to the representative that the city and borough cannot pay the company for its inspection.

“What I’m saying,” he added, “is there’s a remote, the remotest chance that it could be made a ride again.”

Today, after an earlier version of this blog post was published, Mr. Markowitz’s office called and agreed to identify the company: Intamin, a Maryland-based firm that works with companies in Switzerland and Germany. Its president, Sandor Kernacs, said Intamin studied the ride for the city 15 years ago, until restoration talk died out and contact broke off. Recently, though, city officials reached out to him anew, and he met in person with a representative of the city’s Coney Island Development Corporation at an amusement park convention in November.

Mr. Kernacs said he plans to come to Brooklyn in the second or third week of March to study the ride, free of charge. The result, he said, might be similar to his company’s conclusion last time: that a restoration, bringing the parachute jump up to modern safety standards, is possible, but will cost money. “Probably a few million dollars,” Mr. Karnacs said. “You know, if you wanted to do it nicely and restore everything, that’s probably what you would be talking about.” That kind of work, he added, would be somewhat more expensive than building a new parachute jump from scratch, but would maintain the ride’s landmark character.

The trick, he said, should involve very little change to the ride’s outward appearance, but a substantial overhaul of its inner structure. Aside from the years and neglect and exposure to the elements that the parachute jump has suffered, Mr. Kernacs said, there is a lower public tolerance for real danger. “You could not operate a ride today that is something like what was operating in 1920,” he said. “You would be out of business in weeks.”

Hopes have been raised before, most notably by Horace Bullard, a developer — and the founder of the Kansas Fried Chicken chain — who planned to build a new Steeplechase Park, resurrecting not just the parachute jump, but also the Steeplechase horse racing ride itself. The plans fell apart after years of negotiations, and Mr. Bullard later sued the city after the Thunderbolt, another famous old ride on his property, was deemed unsound and demolished. A jury in federal court in Manhattan refused to award Mr. Bullard damages in the case, The Daily News reported in 2004.

Mr. Markowitz himself has raised the possibility of a revived Parachute Jump before. In September 2002, as the city started a $5 million restoration of the ride, he compared its structure (and symbolic significance) to the Eiffel Tower and said reopening it would help reclaim the “special energy” of Brooklyn.

A spokeswoman for the Economic Development Corporation said, at the time, that the city was discussing the matter with a qualified construction consultant.
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Old March 8th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #83
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...land_whir.html
It may be last ride as Coney Island whirls into action

by Jotham Sederstrom
daily news staff writer

Thursday, March 6th 2008, 4:00 AM


Wenig/AP

Astroland will open a week from Sunday its 47th and likely final season because of impending development.


Astroland, Deno's Wonder Wheel and a whirling, buzzing array of spectacles will open unusually early this year as Coney Island gets set for what could be its final season.

Brooklyn's world-famous amusement mecca will kick off the 2008 season Sunday, March 16, because of an early Palm Sunday, the traditional opening day for the legendary parks.

At Astroland, which begins its 47th and likely final season because of impending development, the first 100 visitors will get a chance to ride the Cyclone for free.

"We're very happy to be opening for another grand and glorious season and looking forward to it," said Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert.

"Miss Cyclone" Angie Pontani will be on hand to welcome the new season, Albert said.

Astroland got a last-minute reprieve in October after developer Thor Equities agreed to a one-year lease extension that allowed the 47-year-old park to remain open for another season before bulldozers rumble in.
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Old March 10th, 2008, 06:42 AM   #84
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I'm confused. Is the redevelopment being run by Sitt or has it been transferred to the city?
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:39 AM   #85
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...boardwalk.html
One more summer of busted boardwalk

BY AMANDA COLEMAN and ELIZABETH HAYS
daily news staff writers

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 4:00 AM


Joyce for News

Walkers maneuver around holes and broken planks on Coney Island's boardwalk.


Talk about too little, too late.

City Hall has finally come up with a plan to fix the decaying Coney Island Boardwalk — but work won't likely begin until after the busy summer season, and will only focus on two-and-a-half blocks in the main amusement area.

"By that time it will probably have collapsed," quipped Coney Island regular Dianna Carlin, who runs the kitschy beach shop Lola Staar, and has seen visitors trip on the broken planks, gaping holes and protruding nails outside her store.

"It's horrific. We fix the boardwalk ourselves so people don't injure themselves," she added. "There's a huge hole outside my store that's been gated up for at least six months."

The city's new plan also calls for replacing a portion of the iconic wooden boardwalk with a mix of concrete and a synthetic material meant to look like wood.

Under the city's plan, workers will begin replacing the worst stretches of the aging boardwalk between W. 12th and W. 15th Sts. this fall.

But a recent Daily News review of the full boardwalk found broken boards, caved-in planks and exposed nails beyond the targeted zone — such as near Brighton First St.

"It's terrible," said Jacqueline Fenwick, 86, of Brighton Beach. "Many times, I've fallen."

Community leaders signed off on the fake wood plan at a meeting last month — but regulars charge the city should have finished the work this spring to avoid a repeat of last summer's dilapidated, headline-grabbing conditions.

"A lot of places are broken; a lot of people have problems walking," said Margaret Schvartz, 60. "Someone has to take care of it. Let's do it now."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) and three other local elected officials fired off a letter last week urging the city to move quickly to "repair the present boardwalk right away . . . to ensure that we do not have a repeat of 2007's deplorable and dangerous conditions."

Using imitation wood planks is part of a pilot program unveiled by Mayor Bloomberg as a way to cut down on the city's use of non-renewable tropical hardwood, of which the boardwalk has been composed for many years.

A Parks Department spokesman said officials would like to do the repairs "as soon as possible," but decided they had to wait to avoid closing portions of the boardwalk at the busiest time.

"It's probably not going to start until after the season," said spokesman Phil Abramson.

In the meantime, Abramson said, workers will continue to make emergency patches.

He said city officials are working to come up with a plan to rehab the entire boardwalk, with a price tag put at $200 million.

ehays@nydailynews.com
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Old March 12th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #86
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/..._approval.html
Aquarium hospital gets seal of approval

BY JOYCE SHELBY
daily news staff writer

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 4:00 AM


Siesel for News

JoAnne Basinger treats JD, a fur seal. JD has a stomach ailment and needs to be isolated from other animals.



Siesel for News

Little, a red-footed tortoise, has his blood drawn by Dr. Bonnie Raphael. Little had to undergo a complete physical before he could be transferred to another Wildlife Conservation Society zoo.


The animal hospital at the New York Aquarium won't officially open until summer, but the $14.5 million facility already had to admit a few patients.

Fonzie, the aquarium's 22-year-old California sea lion, had an eye problem that needed immediate attention; Danny, the California sea otter, developed a serious fur condition; and JD, one of the aquarium's female fur seals, had an upset stomach that could have been contagious.

There were also a few short-term patients at the new hospital last week. A green iguana and a red-footed tortoise both needed complete physicals before moving on to other Wildlife Conservation Society zoos.

"We always check and do X-rays before animals are transferred from one location to another," said Catherine McClave, who is in charge of aquatic health sciences at the aquarium.

The new hospital is one-of-a-kind in the area, said newly appointed aquarium director John Dohlin. For the first time, all 10,000 animals in the collection — from a 20-gram sea horse to a 4,000-pound walrus — can be cared for under one roof.

"In the past, the smaller animals in our collection could be treated here in small, makeshift buildings we had outfitted for medical use, but we had none specifically designed for that purpose," said Dohlin.

"The larger animals sometimes had to be transported to the Bronx Zoo, which was very stressful to the animals and to the staff," Dohlin added.

Just about anything you'd find in a hospital for humans can be found at the aquarium facility. There's an operating room, X-ray machines, plus a kitchen for preparing special meals and infant formulas.

There's a laboratory for blood work; a room for medical records; a place for staff to sleep in case a patient needs overnight monitoring.

There are also some things a human hospital wouldn't need, such as a scale capable of measuring animals weighing up to 5,000 pounds, a crane to lift large mammals, and, of course, several pools for patients that must swim.

The hospital was built over a six-year period with funding from Borough President Marty Markowitz, the City Council and the mayor's office.

And while the first patients had nothing to say about their care last week, they were showing signs of improvement.

Once allowed to swim indoors in warmer water, Danny, the sea otter, was solving his fur problems by grooming himself.

Fonzie, the sea lion, was getting eye drops daily and JD, the fur seal, was well enough to have visitors. Gal pals Roxy and Tazmania came over for a swim. "JD's not contagious," McClave said. "We brought in companions for a more normal environment."

jshelby@nydailynews.com
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 12:14 AM   #87
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...y_to_roll.html
Coney Island rink is ready to roll

BY MATT LYSIAK
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Friday, March 21st 2008, 4:00 AM

Dianna Carlin's dream of a Coney Island roller rink will start coming true Saturday when the landmarked Child's Restaurant Building opens to skaters.

"It is literally a dream come true," said Carlin of the Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink.

The opening weekend extravaganza will kick off at 6 p.m. and will include appearances by actress Marisa Tomei and recording artist Ashanti as well as free roller-skating and shows.

"It will be a lot more than a rink, it will also be an art center with a burlesque show," said Carlin, who owns the kitschy Lola Staar Souvenir Boutique on the Boardwalk. "People will be surprised to see an Indian bazaar with fuchsia and gold fabrics covering the walls, really conveying the true spirit of Coney Island."

Designer Tommy Hilfiger and Glamour magazine chipped in to pay for the rink after Carlin won a competition that asked entrants to write about their "dream come true."

Childs opened the first of its nine cafeteria-style diners in 1898. The chain expanded to Coney Island in 1922 and featured rooftop dancing before closing in the 1950s.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 04:26 AM   #88
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Wow!!! This is the Coney Island I would like to visit!!!
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Old March 30th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by GrigorisSokratis View Post


Wow!!! This is the Coney Island I would like to visit!!!
Wow that looks really awesome....
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Old April 11th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #90
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...ey_isla-2.html
Taxpayers shelling out $4M for Coney Island Parachute Jump

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Friday, April 11th 2008, 4:00 AM


Archphoto.com

Maybe they should rename it the Golden Parachute.

Taxpayers are shelling out a staggering $4 million for a redesign of the historic Coney Island Parachute Jump - and that's even before construction begins.

The price tag at the 2.2-acre site - which would be spread among eight design firms, including lighting experts and water specialists - is triple the average cost for a typical city project, architects told the Daily News.

"It shouldn't cost the city $4 million to push the design envelope," said architect Benjamin Ellis, who is unaffiliated with the plan to spruce up the 262-foot Brooklyn landmark.

"It seems like the [city] is hiring as many design specialists as is required to justify a $4 million design fee," he said. "What they've done here - hiring eight guys - it's pigs at the city's trough."

The design team made up of EDAW Inc., the Rockwell Group, MRA International, ARUP, DMJM Harris, Jason Bruges Studio, WET Design and Li/Saltzman Architects was announced in January.

It includes landscape artists, preservation experts, water specialists, entertainment-based developers and a lighting designer to overhaul an earlier 2006 lighting scheme at the Parachute Jump that is expected to be scrapped.

When designs for the Steeplechase Plaza plan are complete, the site could include a water display, an open-air public space and restaurants in and around a glass pavilion.

The site, which will eventually house the restored B&B Carousell, could include an observation deck for viewing the ocean and Boardwalk when it is completed in 2010.

"A $4 million project may seem like a lot, but this is a critical piece to Coney Island's future," said Coney Island Development Corp. President Lynn Kelly, who insisted the project was highly specialized. "And why shouldn't we invest? It's about time we reinvest in Coney Island."

Architects say the $42 per square foot it will cost taxpayers is as much as triple what city design projects typically cost after competitive bidding.

Brooklyn architect Sanjive Vaidya didn't balk at the price tag, but suggested hiring New York firms rather than California and London firms might have lowered costs.

"These are all pretty huge companies, so I could see them eating up fees," said Vaidya, who noted that building so close to the ocean and expediting the design process to meet a 2010 deadline were also reasons for the cost. "I think if they went local, they might have saved a little."

jsederstrom@nydailynews.com
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:12 PM   #91
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...r_not_f-2.html
Coney business owners rip city for not fixing battered Boardwalk

BY VERONIKA BELENKAYA and ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Saturday, April 12th 2008, 4:00 AM


Rosier/News

Coney Island boardwalk could use fix.


Coney Island's Boardwalk of Shame just took a turn for the worse.

Workers this week fenced off a nearly block-long stretch of the crumbling boardwalk near Stillwell Ave. to keep beachgoers away from its caved-in boards, rotting planks and protruding nails.

The move sparked outrage from local shops and restaurants who have been battling the city for repairs to the iconic wooden walkway - and charge the new barricades cut them off from their customers.

"Of course they just fence it off, not fix it," griped Dianna Carlin, who runs the kitschy beach boutique Lola Staar.

"Now we're completely blocked off," said Carlin, adding that some business owners are so angry they are considering cutting down the fence and making repairs themselves.

The 4-foot fence also runs in front of Ruby's Bar, which puts out tables and chairs in the area in the summer, as well as Gyro Corner and the Coney Island Souvenir Shop.

"They had all spring to fix this, and now they do this?" fumed Coney Island regular Harry Delgado, 55. "It looks like the end of Coney Island when you start seeing things like this."

Carlin said Parks Department workers told her yesterday morning the fencing would stay up through the summer until a full overhaul of the area could be started this fall, but Parks officials later promised emergency repairs will be made and the fencing removed by Memorial Day.

"While we regret any inconvenience this may present to adjacent business owners, safer structures will be a benefit in the long run," said Parks spokesman Phil Abramson.

City officials have been under fire since last summer to come up with $200 million to replace the dilapidated Boardwalk, which has become risky business for the area's throngs of visitors.

Last year, 10 notices of claim were filed against the city for injuries on the Boardwalk, up from just one in 2006.

Mayor Bloomberg has allocated nearly $10 million for a major overhaul of the heavily used portions of the Boardwalk. The city plans to use a synthetic material designed to look like wood to replace the deteriorated sections.

But officials have said that work must wait until the fall to minimize disruptions during the busy summer season.

"That's a good one," said John Thomas, who manages nearby Cha-cha's restaurant, gesturing to the fenced off broken planks. "Look at this. It's a sin."

vbelenkaya@nydailynews.com
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:20 AM   #92
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/ny...l?ref=nyregion
City’s Coney Island Design Revised to Break Deadlock

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: April 17, 2008



The Bloomberg administration has revised its redevelopment plan for the Coney Island waterfront in an effort to break a deadlock with some landowners and elected officials while still preserving the area’s historic amusement district, which includes the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster.

The proposal, which would turn the area into a year-round attraction, still calls for a lot of stores and as many as 5,000 apartments along Surf Avenue, but it would reduce to 9 acres from 15 a city-owned open-air amusement park north of the Boardwalk between KeySpan Park and the New York Aquarium.

The city would buy the land for a permanent amusement district from local property owners including Thor Equities and the Vourderis family, which owns Deno’s Amusement Park and the Wonder Wheel.

But in a departure from the original plan unveiled in November by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, those owners would be able to develop the remaining parts of their property themselves as long as they followed the city’s master plan, which must still undergo an environmental review and a land-use review.

The city’s plan for the area north of the amusement district calls for a series of buildings that could include a glass-enclosed water park, games and amusements, a bowling alley, restaurants and entertainment-oriented businesses like House of Blues, Dave & Busters, NikeTown and movie theaters. Finally, the new zoning would allow for hotel towers on the south side of Surf Avenue.

“This is a plan that will preserve the iconic nature of Coney Island and enhance the amusement district, while generating economic opportunities and jobs for local residents,” Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber said. “We’re trying to bling it up.”

The revised plan is the result of meetings with local property owners and others since November.

“I’m guardedly optimistic,” said Jesse Masyr, a real estate lawyer for Thor Equities, which has been at loggerheads with the Bloomberg administration. “We have to look at the size of sites we have left and what we could build.”

As the largest landowner in the area, Thor was in a position to block the city’s redevelopment plan, and appeared willing to wait out the Bloomberg administration. Thor’s chairman, Joseph J. Sitt, has spent more than $120 million in recent years buying about 10 acres in the heart of Coney Island’s traditional amusement district and developing his own $1.5 billion proposal for the area.

Mr. Sitt proposed a glitzy amusement park, as well as stores, game rooms and condominium hotels. But the city and some urban planners opposed generic retailing and any housing near the Boardwalk, saying that it would inevitably crush a noisy, late-night amusement district.

In recent months, the two sides have been discussing a mutually acceptable compromise. Mr. Sitt’s recent counterproposal called for a smaller, 6.5-acre amusement area and far more stores and hotels — 2.9 million square feet — spread over 24 acres. The city’s revised plan allows for 1.9 million square feet.

Councilman Domenic M. Recchia Jr., a critic of the original plan who has supported Thor, said the city was headed in the right direction, as did Dennis Vourderis, of the family that owns the Wonder Wheel.

“We’re optimistic,” Mr. Vourderis said. “We’re hoping that they’re going to let us develop our own properties.”

The glory days of Coney Island’s amusement parks are long gone, and the area is speckled with empty lots and dingy buildings. But the old-fashioned rides, sword swallowers, go-carts, wide-open beaches and cool breezes still attract hundreds of thousands of visitors in the summer months.

The “stars may finally be realigning,” said Brooklyn’s borough president, Marty Markowitz, a longtime advocate of revitalizing Coney Island.

“Coney Island was always a working-class playground,” he said. “We should preserve the amusements for future generations. I welcome a water park, movie theaters, a bowling alley and House of Blues. I do not want to see another generic shopping mall.”

The key issue for all sides is how to attract visitors to Coney Island in the winter, when the area is cold and windswept. Mr. Sitt had insisted on traditional retail space and housing to offset the cost of the amusements. But the redevelopment plan goes beyond the amusement district. There are plans for housing and retail businesses on the north side of Surf Avenue and west of the KeySpan ballpark.

In recent months, the Bloomberg administration has sought to redesign and refurbish the historic 271-foot-tall Coney Island Parachute Jump, which sits on 2.2 acres west of the amusement district. The centerpiece of the new plaza would be the restored Bishoff & Brienstein carousel, and could include a glass pavilion, an observation deck and restaurants.

Mr. Sitt is bringing the Reithoffer Shows traveling carnival to Coney Island from May 22 through June 1. The Astroland amusements, which Mr. Sitt bought and planned to close, will also reopen for one more season.

Both sides need a victory. Many of the city and state’s development plans have been battered by a slowing economy and the credit crisis, which has effectively ended lending for large-scale real estate projects.

So if Mr. Sitt fails to compromise on Coney Island, he risks alienating City Hall and jeopardizing two other projects he would like to build on the Brooklyn waterfront. He has proposed a $100 million shopping center at a former bus depot along Shore Parkway in Bensonhurst, where he lives. In Red Hook, Mr. Sitt bought the long dormant Revere sugar works, and would like to build a marina and luxury apartments there, next to the soon-to-open Ikea furniture store.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #93
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Needs more coasters, rides and nice tall buildings. I'd call it underdeveloped but this far in the planning phase it's an admirable start!

I can just picture massive summer outdoor concerts (Daft Punk anyone) with the coasters going and people chilling on the beach and the buildings putting on a 'Symphony of Lights' show of its own while just north stands the NYC skyline.

Definiton = Cool
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 10:37 AM   #94
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Needs more coasters, rides and nice tall buildings.
Absolutely!
 
Old April 14th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #95
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I'm glad they are finally doing something with Coney Island. There needs to be important tourist sites in New York City outside of Manhattan, there is not really any significant tourist spots in NYC outside of Manhattan Island except for the Stadiums.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 05:00 AM   #96
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I'm glad they are finally doing something with Coney Island. There needs to be important tourist sites in New York City outside of Manhattan, there is not really any significant tourist spots in NYC outside of Manhattan Island except for the Stadiums.
Well actually there are; Brooklyn Heights is one of them, the Bronx Zoo is another one, and if you are a history buff Richmond Town restoration in Staten Island could be added to the list.
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