Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sigh. I'm going to miss Coney Island

Le Sweetie and I went with a friend to the final Mermaid Parade in Coney Island yesterday. It was a bittersweet experience. There were the usual people dressed as mermaids and jellyfish and shrimp and other sea creatures. There were the rawk bands on floats. There were Charlie's Angelfish and the Seapranos. There were the King and Queen of this year's parade (IIRC, Patti D'Arbanville was the queen; can't remember who the king was). There were me and Le Sweetie, going ballistic with Le Sweetie's digital camera, trying to capture the final moments of a well-loved Coney Island pasttime, before yet ANOTHER neighborhood is turned over to condo developers.

Enough with the condos. Can't we keep our beloved pasttimes and landmarks. Can't we at least have affordable housing? I'm sick of freaking condos. Yes, yes, there will still be an amusement complex, or so the new owner says. But what kind? Le Sweetie was bemoaning the imminent demise of Astroland. He wasn't the only one. On parade were mourners in black carrying a coffin covered with photos of Astroland. And at the end was a tombstone that read: 1962-2004.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get copies of the photos for the final Mermaid Parade. It's Le Sweetie's digital camera, but still.

Already, many of Coney Island businesses have been shuttered. Alicublog mourns the loss of the go-kart tracks. Man, I miss those go-karts. I loved the go-karts. At least the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel will (or should) stay. Elayne Riggs also thinks the carousel is safe. Still, I'm going to miss Astroland. I got a big lump in my throat when I realized that this was its last summer. From now on, if Le Sweetie and I want amusement parks, there's Rye Playland or Six Flags Great Adventure. But Astroland has a sort of sticky, ketchup-stain charm that you won't find at the other places.

Maybe some nice developer can build a new amusement park on, I dunno, the Rockaways. That would be really awesome.