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Show and Tell: Coney Island Lore

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If, as Rem Koolhaas wrote in Delirious New York, “Coney Island is a fetal Manhattan,” then these images from the amusement park’s early-twentieth-century heyday are sonograms of a sort. Part of an extensive personal archive of plans, drawings, and photographs picturing famous attractions like the carousel (pictured), assembled by the late Coney enthusiast and historian Frederick Fried, they go on view for the first time at Ricco/Maresca Gallery this week. It’s a bit of history well worth examining as Brooklyn enters a new phase of Manhattan-like development. “Coney is about to undergo radical changes,” says gallery co-owner Frank Maresca (who also happens to be a product of the neighborhood; his parents met at Luna Park). “Some people would like to turn it into another Disney World, or Las Vegas. All of that land, right on the Atlantic Ocean.”


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