Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

The Daily Plant : Friday, May 28, 2004


Coney Island is once again on the way to becoming a destination for both New Yorkers and visitors from across the country. To kick off the start of beach season citywide, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Assembly Member Adele Cohen, Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe on the boardwalk yesterday for a celebration of what’s new and what’s to come. The Mayor and elected officials unveiled the Wonder Wheel Pavilion, one of four new performance pavilions installed this spring along the Coney Island boardwalk, and also announced plans for the construction of a beachside bike and skate path, increased access paths, and the upcoming installation of 121 old-fashioned lampposts.

"I want to make an official announcement," began Mayor Bloomberg. "After careful consultation with my advisers, I’m hereby calling for 14 straight weekends of perfect summer weather in New York this year." The audience, remembering last summer’s wet weekends, cheered the Mayor’s sunny proposal. The Mayor also announced another year of successful lifeguard recruitment, both at home and abroad. The City has 145 new recruits as well as over 50 international lifeguards this year, and combined with returns from past years, the lifeguard total this year is expected to be as good as last year—and possibly higher.

During the festivities, Commissioner Benepe also introduced the Park Greeters initiative, a pioneer program being piloted at the most popular beaches and parks around the five boroughs. This year, 70 park greeters will offer directions, maps and informational literature to park and beach visitors in an effort to make the City even easier to navigate and enjoy. Benepe also reminded New Yorkers to use common sense at the beaches. "Everyone can keep the City’s beaches clean by picking up after themselves and watching after their children and their neighbor’s children," he said. "New York City has the best lifeguards in the world, but it’s still important to look after your young ones."

"Coney Island is looking good…it’s smelling good…it’s as Brooklyn as it gets," raved Borough President Markowitz. "The best days of Coney Island aren’t past. They’re today, and every day to come." Borough President Markowitz and Assembly Member Cohen have allocated $1 million and $200,000 respectively to replace the 121 boardwalk lights with historic twin cast iron light poles. The new light poles will allow for colorful hanging banners and mounted baskets for plants, and will complement the 600 World’s Fair benches installed last year.

"As we formally open the beach and boardwalk for the 2004 season, it is a great pleasure to also announce $1 million in funding for the Brighton Beach-Coney Island Bike Pathway and Beach Access Project," said Assembly Member Cohen. "The first phase will connect the Greenways at Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenue and provide permanent beach access paths to make it easier for seniors, the disabled, and families with baby strollers to get closer to the water. These improvements will provide year-round pleasure for shorefront residents as well as thousands of summer visitors, and I am delighted to work with Mayor Bloomberg and the Parks Department in funding the work."

Among the improvements already in place are four new performance pavilions. Installed in April, with support from Council Member Recchia, the pavilions will offer musical performances and activities on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. They include the Wonder Wheel Pavilion (donated by the Wonder Wheel Amusement Park), the Dreamland Pavilion (donated by Coney Island Chamber of Commerce), the Astroland Pavilion (donated by Astroland Amusement Park) and the Steeplechase Pavilion (donated by the Friends of the Boardwalk).

"When I first came into office, I promised I would make Coney Island a priority," said Council Member Recchia. "Thanks to the Bloomberg administration, we’ve started a Coney Island Development Corporation, and the beach is on its way to becoming a year-round destination."

The City’s beaches, which span 14 miles, will open this Saturday, and will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. City beaches include Orchard Beach in the Bronx; Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn; Rockaway Beach in Queens; and Midland Beach, South Beach, and Wolfe’s Pond Beach in Staten Island. Swimming is prohibited when beaches are closed. The City’s 53 outdoor pools will open on Saturday, June 26, 2004. Both City beaches and pools are free to the public and will be open through Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2004.

Written by Eric Adolfsen


 "So much writing nowadays suffers both from lack of an attitude
and from sheer lack of any material, save what is accumulated
in a purely social life. The world, as a rule, does not live on beaches
and in country clubs."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Directions to Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk


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