Ahh, Coney Island-- tits, robots and weiners-- As Carly would sing, it's the stuff that dreams are made of.
Just got back from tonight's rabble rousin' meeting of the minds at the Municipal Art Society's first public symposium on the ever growing uncertain fate of Coney Island. They've launched a new website, Imagine Coney, whereupon anyone, anywhere, anytime can put their two cents in on how we can begin to restore the illustrious shine of yesteryear to the boardwalk. Alas, tonight's meeting featured lots of people crammed into the beautiful Brooklyn Academy of Music Cafe hoovering free beer and cheese, talking loudly on their cell phones, kvetching with their neighbors, all while Municipal Art Society representatives were trying to give a presentation. So much for open minds, and for staying on message.
There's still lots of bad blood between the old timers and the new timers -- i.e., the elephant in the room being the one true enemy-- that of Thor Equities. Unforunately for the well-meaning Municipal Art Society, which was doing a valiant effort at bridging the gap between the polar opposites, tonight's message of revitalization and a possible bright future of foot longs, vertigo-inducing death drops, and fried clams was met with a resounding chorus of "Daay toock arr jaahbs." (Best South Park Ep. Ever) Truthfully, it's not necessarily job loss, but an influx of the "new" that is scaring the long time residents who are trying to hold on to a memory, and a good one at that. But the open forum format with people waiting in the wings to ask a question (rarely) or comment (lots of those) "I love Coney. I've lived here all my life..." came about feeling like there's just too many cooks in the kitchen. And the sad fact of the matter is, all this is after the fact. Astroland is now a thing of the past. There's simply no turning back. But there were many interesting ideas put forth-- of which, yes, were ROBOT WRESTLING (AWWWW, yeah), a giant concert pavillion to lure the next Bonnaroo, and HUMAN PAC-MAN to tide us over until a permanent solution arises.
Unfortunately, for all the great ideas, one big thing is lacking-- how on earth are they going to get funding for any of this? Truthfully, this couldn't have come at a worse time. Corporate sponsors? I think thee not.
The funniest idea tonight came from one of the presenters who wants to restore the long-forgotten Shore Theater into the world's first Sing-A-Long venue. Sounds like a fantastic idea-- if you're hard of hearing.
In the meantime, below, check out the best idea submitted yet.
Trevor, I think you've got something there.