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Coney Island

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She Was a Day-tripper, Ferry Driver, Yeah!

Coney Island: "Imagine getting on a ferry at Hunt's Point for a day trip" here! That's what Christine Quinn floated yesterday in her big speech. Could it really happen? [Kinetic Carnival] East Village: McMansion mogul Robert Toll's 27-year-old NYU social-work-student son Jacob lives with two of his buds in a $2.2 million condo in his dad's glossy new One Ten 3rd building. How will he pay that mortgage on a social worker's salary? (Cue cynical chortles.) [NYO] Midtown: Wouldn't it be cool if the retired math professor who nearly died of a bondage incident in a sex club here could get his wife in on his S&M thing instead of having to shamefully confess it to her in the Post? Now he's vowing to break his addiction. Why not just go safe, sane, and consensual? [Gothamist]

The East Village Has Gone Euro. No, Really.

Coney Island: Here, 105 years ago today, Thomas Edison electrocuted a rogue elephant to prove the power of direct (versus alternating) current. He even filmed it. And where was PETA? [Gothamist] East Village: Local biz owners are banding together against chain stores. Meanwhile, the trendy hood's so overrun with Euros that stores have started accepting, uh, euros. [Vanishing New York] Long Island City: Bollywood comes to LIC, hip-hop style, in this cute video. Shakalaka, baby! [LICNYC]

Bed-Stuy Fires Back at the 'Shwick!

Bedford-Stuyvesant: Uh-oh. Bed-Stuy just upped the stakes in the blog battle between it and Bushwick. They even dis 'shwick homegirl Rosie Perez. This is war, muthaf*ckas. [Bed-Stuy Blog] Coney Island: So many people showed up last night at the first public meeting on the city's plans for Coney that it had to be canceled for lack of space. Wow. This should be an epic novel. [Gowanus Lounge] Jackson Heights: The hood's got a new bulletin board! Where else will you learn where to get the area's best pizza, Mexican cocoa power, and $5-or-under eyebrow threading? [Jackson Heights Life]

Coney Island: The New Blackpool, England?

Astoria: Everyone's all excited about this new apartment building, but doesn't it kind of look like a seventies computer or TV set? [OuterB] Brooklyn Heights: Now that Norman Mailer's dead, the hood's most famous resident could well be right-wing scribe Peggy Noonan. How depressing. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: If new visions for the amusement zone ever take hold, it may end up looking something like … Blackpool, England! Check out that twister coaster beside the tram. [Kinetic Carnival]

Stephon Has an Alibi, and It's a Good One

Marbury
Okay, remember yesterday when everyone made such a big deal out of Stephon Marbury's fleeing the Knicks in Phoenix and returning to New York all of a sudden? Nobody knew quite what was going on, not even Isiah Thomas, who had gotten in a nasty fight with Marbury on the team plane when he told the point guard he wouldn't be starting in the night's game. This spurred a lot of anti-Marbury sentiment, with columnists and pundits and us grumpily speculating as to what he might have been up to. Today, the Times figured at least part of it out. If you haven't read about his activities during his two-day break, pick the most likely-sounding scenario from the below list: A) He was plotting revenge on Thomas and spending his time figuring out how, as he put it, to "fuck him first."
B) He was having sex with an intern in a truck.
C) He was at a Coney Island housing project grieving with the family of a deceased basketball coach who had mentored hundreds of talented players in the tough neighborhood, including Marbury (who once gave the coach a white Cadillac with vanity plates). Ding Ding Ding! The Times says it's C. Who's the jerk now? A Mentor of Street Ball Dies, and a Missing Knick Appears [NYT] Earlier: Marbury Stephs on All Our Dreams

Should Stuyvesant Heights Secede?

Bushwick: This blogger hates on gritty Bed-Stuy, claiming that it's nothing compared to its slicker, 'shwick-er neighbor. That's harsh, but maybe he's right to suggest that pretty Stuy Heights secede from the rest of the hood. [BushwickBK] Chelsea: Even before 100 Eleventh Avenue developers could obscure Knox Martin's landmark mural next door, they've covered his signature with their ad. It's a proto-dis! [Chelsea Blog] Coney Island: An ice-skating rink at the base of the Wonder Wheel? That's bigger than Wollman? That's a summertime sailing pond? Yes, yes and yes! [NY1 via Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn]

Astroland: Now in the City's Own Flipper Hands

Astoria: Miss Heather from Newyorkshitty gets back to what she does best: poop art. [Newyorkshitty] The BQE: Tracks from Sufjan Stevens's homage to the venerable expressway are online! [Vulture via Hypeful] Coney Island The city will save Astroland's land (as a park) by taking it away from Thor, thus saving the amusement park! Yay! Except, oh wait, what does the city know about running a freak show? Don't answer that question. [Curbed]

Astroland Saved!

Astroland
Now hear this: The city will not sell out Coney Island's Astroland. Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden told a roomful of civic heavyweights this morning that the city is weeks away from announcing a rezoning plan that will "save the amusement park, an icon of democracy which is beloved by the whole world." She continued: "The strategy will catalyze a new park which will be open year-round...and housing, in the right place." Planning insiders have long doubted rumors that Astroland would become a northern outpost of Del Boca Vista (come on, Seinfeld's parents' retirement community? Anyone?). Thor Equities, which had floated the idea of time-shares near the hallowed ground, has also been pretty quiet lately. But this hammers the point home. The devil will be in the details, as any change to Coney's curious chemistry will be hard for some people to swallow. Mayor Bloomberg, in a speech at the same conference, promised that the rezoning will "take full advantage of the wonderful new subway terminal at Stillwell Avenue." So apartments could still cluster near the Cyclone. As long as we get direct access to the boardwalk from the subway, that's fine with us. —Alec Appelbaum

Cobble Hill Shall Only Remain Yea High

Cobble Hill: In a last-minute about-face, Councilman Bill De Blasio said he'll vote to deny developer Two Trees the right to build ten feet over the height limit in the quaint hood. [Brooklyn Eagle] Coney Island: The deal has been inked, folks. Starting in March, Astroland will be open for one more season before the bulldozers roll in. [NYDN] Flushing: Yeah, we know this blog features hideous new architecture around Queens every day, but these specimens are particularly heinous. What's that thing atop the building in the first picture, a big brick handle? [Queens Crap]

It's the Circle, the Circle of Homeless Life…

Coney Island: Is it really any surprise that arguably the creepiest Halloween freak show in the city is here? [Kinetic Carnival] Corona: The city has evicted rent-stabilized tenants to make room for homeless families, leaving the original families … uh, homeless. [NYDN via Queens Crap] Dumbo: The Village Voice thinks this is the Best Manhattan Neighborhood in Brooklyn, and it even comes with that all-important "nostalgic desolation" that Manhattan now lacks. [VV]

Queer Femmes on Coney Island Get Their Own Calendar

Coney Island: Just when you realize the world really needs a female-controlled "queer femme swimsuit calendar" of the hot gals of Coney … boom, you get one. [Kinetic Carnival] Dumbo: Even boring old drugstores around here are cashing in on that whole down-under-the-bridge glamour vibe. [Dumbo] East Village: Some gays divided their time between watching Caligula and sneaking into sex booths at a new XXX-salon-type thing. [Gawker via Manhattan Offender]

BLT Fish Is Just a Little Tacky; Corn Strippers Now in SoHo

Astoria: Tonight is trivia night at Dillinger’s on 30th Avenue, which means $5 pitchers. [Joey in Astoria] Brooklyn Heights: Uncommon Grounds is closed for renovations, and it looks like the coffee shop’s application to set up outdoor seating will get approved. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Coney Island: Since Thor Equities can’t start developing any time soon, the company has handed out leases to eight vendors to keep the fryers operating until next fall. [Lost City] East Village: Some pork hater tagged the entrance of Vanessa Dumpling with the word "LARD." [East Village Idiot] Red Hook: LeNell’s is hosting a bourbon festival on the 23rd with a tasting, discounts, and even alky ice-cream made on the spot. [LeNell's] SoHo: Wondering how to get those kernels off the cob? Sur La Table sells a Corn Stripper that actually works. [Serious Eats] Tribeca: Ceci-Cela may still be cranking out croissants on Chambers Street, but there’s a "Store for Lease" sign in its window. [Grub Street] Union Square: Bruni extols the virtues of BLT Fish, but warns would-be diners that the upstairs and downstairs spaces differ greatly, and the Laurent-Tourondel cookbook listing on the menu is tacky. [Diner’s Journal]

Trader Joe's Wants You … to Vaseline Your Teeth

Bay Ridge: They're saying that Representative. Fossella hasn't come through on promises to help save a beautiful Methodist church from being razed for condo development. [Queens Crap] Coney Island: We are increasingly intrigued by Rose, the compellingly coiffed lady who delivers terse morning weather reports on this blog from a tower high atop Coney. Let's hear more about Rose! [OTBKB] Dumbo: Looks like yuppies and Farragut Houses residents alike will be rubbing shoulders over toothpaste and T.P. at the "New Pharmacy Coming Soon!" to Gold Street. [Brownstoner] Forest Hills: If you're an ambitious, adventurous, values- and people-oriented foodie who smiles easily, then the new Trader Joe's here wants you! [Forest Hills 72] Harlem: With HIV infections in the city's young gay men up a third since 2001, the biggest jump in that group is here and East Harlem. Come on, brothas and papis — and Chelsea boys too, for that matter — rock the cock sock! [NYS] Long Island City: Sounds like there's an itty-bitty park planned for that waterfront lot at the end of Vernon Boulevard. Nice. [LICNYC] Melrose: Who's going to plunk down $25 mil to buy the fabulously rococo, former Bronx County Courthouse? And what'll they use it for? [Curbed]

Astroland's Last Day

Astroland
Coney Island's Astroland closed yesterday, perhaps for the last time ever. If you never got sick on the Tilt-A-Whirl or came off the Cyclone mysteriously bleeding, you missed out on one of the city's most outrageous and real cultural experiences. After this year, the Cyclone will stick around, but the colorful lights and characters that surrounded it may never return. Related: Show me the Coney

All Peeping Toms to Third Avenue, Stat

Bedford Park: Council speaker Christine Quinn shopped at a Botanical Garden farmer's market up here this morning to tout the acceptance of food stamps (well, EBT cards) at city Greenmarkets. Not that she used them to buy her string beans and melon. [West Bronx Blog] Bushwick: In which a softhearted, London-bound alternababe holds a yard sale but ends up giving away half the items — including a doll's head — to the local kids. [BushwickBK] Coney Island: They'll be protesting at Astroland on Sunday, the last day of the season, to demand that Coney megadeveloper Joe Sitt keep the park open next year. [Gowanus Lounge] Downtown Brooklyn: The site harboring a huge pile of rubble right near MetroTech could soon become home to the borough's tallest building. Yep, taller than the Williamsburg Bank. And that's pretty tall. [McBrooklyn] East Village: Until they install bigger venetian blinds at the new 110 Third Avenue condo, there's good voyeurism to be had for passersby — or good exhibitionism for lower-floor occupants, if they dig that sort of thing. [Curbed] Williamsburg: Boy, you gotta be pretty, uh, pissed off by dog drippings in your neighborhood to build a whole sandwich-board sign to denounce it. [Newyorkshitty]

Two More Hurt at Deutsche Bank

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• Things keep getting worse at the Deutsche Bank building: Yesterday a worker for the sinister John Galt Corporation "lost control" of a forklift on the 23rd floor, from which it tumbled 200 feet to the ground, crashing through the roof of a shed and sending two more firefighters to the hospital. [NYT]

Thor Struck Down on the LES; Bruni Rides the Bull in Midtown West?

Clinton Hill: Recent openings: Manee Thai from the owners of Myrtle Thai and Nuevo Latino spot Tamboril. [Clinton Hill Blog] Coney Island: The world’s largest “lollypop” has been installed by an artist to commemorate Philip’s Candy (1930–2001). [Kinetic Carnival] Long Island City: LIC Bar at 45-58 Vernon Boulevard is hosting a BBQ and free concert with local bands this Sunday from 4 to 7:30 p.m. [Joey in Astoria] Lower East Side: Thor gets gutted with no warning. [Eater] Midtown West: Frank Bruni contemplated riding the bull at Johnny Utah’s. [Diner’s Journal/NYT] Prospect Heights: Rye with fresh blackberries, mint, and ginger beer, and gin with peaches and homemade thyme syrup are among cocktails available at Flatbush Farm Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m. during a farmer’s-market tasting event. [A Brooklyn Life]

Council Members Finally Wonder, Hey, What's Up With the F Train?

Coney Island: City Councilmen Simcha Felder of Borough Park and Dominic Recchia of Coney Island get behind an F Express plan, demanding the MTA to explain its foot-dragging. [Second Avenue Sagas] Dumbo: There are only three days left to appreciate the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s outdoor art display at Empire-Fulton Ferry and Brooklyn Bridge Parks. It's actually quite nice – and you haven't done much appreciating lately. [DumboNYC] Staten Island: Prosecutors have charged a handyman in a string of break-ins on the North Shore, but stop short of saying they've ended the notorious North Shore Burglar's reign of terror. Man, Staten Island rules. [Staten Island Advance] Stuyvesant Town: Stuy Town's new ad campaign reads, "Live closer to Greenwich Village than Greenwich, CT." Mm. We didn't know Connecticut was so, um, dormy. [Stuyvesant Town] West Bronx: Max Roach, the legendary jazz drummer, will be buried on Friday at Woodlawn Cemetery, near the tombs of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. [West Bronx News] West Village: The Jefferson Market Library on Sixth Avenue is finally going to get its makeover. Knowing you, you're just going to start complaining about the scaffolding. [Curbed]

Underground Railroad Landmarks to Become Underground Garage

Chelsea: This lost cat should be easily identified based on this accurate and lifelike illustration. Or, wait, is that a kangaroo? [Blog Chelsea] Coney Island: Was someone cyber-posing as a circus executive to undermine the Cole Brothers big top that came here recently? [Gowanus Lounge] Downtown Brooklyn: It's increasingly likely that those Duffield Street homes believed to have been stops on the Underground Railroad will soon be replaced by, among other things, an underground parking garage. Inspiring. [Brooklyn Eagle via Duffield St. Underground] Greenpoint: Looks like an open-air weekend art-and-antiques fair is coming to, uh, Grinpoint. [Newyorkshitty] Harlem: A packed room at a community-board meeting was so opposed to Columbia's expansion in Harlem that even eminence noir David Dinkins, who supports the growth, was booed and heckled. [Harlem Fur] Lower East Side: Residents of the Rutgers Houses and Knickerbocker Village don't want all those Chinatown buses congregating on a two-block stretch in their midst. [Chelsea Now via Streetsblog] Soho: "If you had to find one word to describe Soho, it would be 'beauty,'" writes this flack-y blogger. Funny, that. We thought it would be "mall." [Weblicist]

Coney Island USA to Buy Its Building, Thwarting Thor

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You'd need a fortune-teller to determine the future of Coney Island these days: What will Thor Equities ultimately build, and will the city swap land with the developer, as has been proposed, to preserve amusements on the boardwalk? But this much, at least, is clear: Fans of sword swallowers and facial tattoos can down a celebratory pint of Coney Island Lager in two weeks, when the nonprofit that runs the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Museum, and the Circus Sideshow closes a deal to buy the building it currently leases. Coney Island USA founder Dick Zigun says that with the city’s backing, it will purchase the 1917 structure, originally a restaurant, at a price of $3.6 million — beating out Thor for the deal. "We have never been so secure and permanent in the neighborhood," Zigun said, "and that's totally thanks to the political leadership of New York City." Within five years the building will be restored to its former glory and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow will expand, along with the Freak Bar and museum gift shop, to twice its size. Best of all, this means the Mermaid Parade will have a long-term home base. Unless, Zigun points out, everything is under water 30 years from now. —Daniel Maurer