Category Archives: Coney Island

Life’s a Beach!

Even though it’s anything-but-beach weather in the Sunset, I’ve decided we’re taking a slight detour through some beach related news today, so hang onto your Lotto visers boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

It’s been a big week for Coney Island. As the beachfront neighborhood wears down it’s third last summer in a row, the New York City Council may finally make a flipping decision about the Future of Coney Island©.  After truely endless bickering in the autitorium at Coney Island Hospital (Avenue Z, holla back), the City Council rubber stamped Bloomburg’s unpopular rezoning plan for the famed (and decrepit, and even sadder than last season) urban playground. Joe Sitt and the strange bedfellows of Save Coney Island still aren’t happy, so the July 29th vote should be pretty interesting.

In other beach related news, LA is expecting record heat and hunormous waves, meaning you probably won’t be allowed  in the water even though the beaches will all be super crowded. Also, in super weird beach news, my ex-boss just crossed over to the dark side. According to LA Observed, Phillip Sanfield, former EIC of a newspaper that covers Los Angeles from LAX to the LA Harbor is leaving to flack for….the LA HARBOR. Leaving journalism for PR is sort of out there enough, but leaving to spin for your ex-nemisis? I guess he’s well qualified….

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Filed under Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Daily Oddities, Los Angeles, nyc

Top Ten NYC Sucks of June ’09

There’s very few days of the week when I DON’T miss the fuck out of New York City, but if there was ever a time to leave, it seems like this June was it.

Donna Rogers (ID'ed by neighbors)  is escorted in and then out of the Special Moments Daycare facility at 711 E. 52nd Street which she owns on 6/26/09 related to the earlier shooting and robbery attempt.

Donna Rogers (ID'ed by neighbors) is escorted in and then out of the Special Moments Daycare facility at 711 E. 52nd Street which she owns on 6/26/09 related to the earlier shooting and robbery attempt.

It all started with the endless, endless rain that swept the city from Floral Park to Coney Island and the George Washington Bridge, raining out Mets games, hipster events and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Turns out, June rain not only ruins perfectly nice beach days—it also drives people just an eensy, weensy bit insane. The murder rate is up up up, par for the course in New York’s crazy making, swamp-ass-jungle-muggy nastiness. Did you read about that drug fueled shoot-out at a Flatbush preschool? Now you did. But if the killers don’t get you, the swine flu will. Yeah, it’s still going strong in NYC. You know what totally boosts flu rates? Yeah, getting soaked in the rain and then sitting inside all day with recycled air.  Awesome. But not as awesome as the piece of Neverland Ranch that’s turned up at Coney Island. Irritated taxistas weigh in about a plan to make their job less pleasant (but a little more affordable). They’re building a fucking hipster mall in fucking Bushwick, the price of a subway ticket has jumped into the realm of astronomical—oh, and the best part? The subway is making you deaf. Fuck.

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Filed under Bird Flu, Coney Island, Daily Oddities, nyc, Taxis

Daily Oddities: Monday World Edition

There’s a lot to talk about in the World today, so lets jump right into it. You know about Tehran and you know about Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, so we’re skipping that and getting straight down into the stuff you didn’t hear.

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GLOBE:
More than a billion people go hungry, says the World  Food Program. That’s about as many people who will contract malaria this year, a statistic that’s broken down masterfully by the country in a multi-part feature for the Global Post. Check out India. As long as we’re chatting about weird statistics, who knew that traffic was hazardous to your health? Well, ok, everybody, but who had a study to scientifically prove it’s hazardous to your health? The World Health Organization, that’s WHO. (hahahaha). Finally, a UN commissioned study with empirical evidence that climate change is effecting human migration. Which, if you’ve never heard of Tuvalu, might be news.
In other global news, the Cuban Five, whose pictures were emblazoned across whitewashed walls of local groceries and in the posh lobbies of upscale hotels when I visited Cuba in 2003-04 will not have another day in court, after what is at least five years (one for each of them!) of trying. The five stand accused of spying for Havana.
On the opposite side of the earth (and also in Brooklyn) the Guardian has a retrospective of female suicide bombers, more coverage of the refugees post-Tiger surrender and The New York Times has 4 Brooklynites (none of them M.I.A.) arrested and convicted of sponsoring the Tamil Tigers to the tune of millions. From Flushing or Staten Island, we might have expected…but this!
Some interesting stuff out of Russia: Global Post notices absurdly ostentatious oligarches reining it back. John Vinocur at the Times has some advice for Obama in Moscow next month. In sum: your shit will not work with the Russians, Mr. Smiley Pants President.
Finally, China still defies explanation, US Asians hate girls and Al Gore is once again the butt of a hilarious joke. (Guest Apperance by Rahm Emanuel.  Continue reading

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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, California, Coney Island, Daily Oddities, Economy, Immigration, India, Los Angeles, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taxis, United Nations

Daily Oddities, June 9th/10th

We’re starting this round of Daily Oddities with something everybody wants–a job! Today’s odd job listings include counting bees in New York City and catelouging controlled substances for the NYPD. Awesome much?

Now that you’re gainfully employed, lets take a quick gander around the globe.

GLOBE: Things are getting ridiculous in Russia, where the racing collapse of the post-Soviet economy (again) is producing the largest anti-Putin uprising ever, as even Russians admit Medvyedev has nothing to do with it. In other news, is this the fattest crime reporter you’ve ever seen? Is Moscow the best place ever to major in police blotter?

In India, small time farmers may soon be eligible for micro-insurance policies protecting against climate change. After much whining in at the UN, Sri Lanka has some revised numbers of this year’s war dead (cue streamers). It’s a lite news week for Mexico, where only one horrific, deadly event seems to be capturing headlines. Finally, even more  weirdness emerges on the Cuba front: today, we learn that a US couple in their 70s has been spying on the US for Havana for the past  several decades, before they were duped by American intelligence with Cuban cigars. Really? Continue reading

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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Bibliomania, Brighton Beach, California, Coney Island, Eastside, Economy, Immigration, India, Los Angeles, Mexico, Sri Lanka

the things i like to write about (are weird)

From time to time, when I am writing, I have this thought—which I occasionally post on FB:

“sometimes i sit down and i write some shit and i think, holy mother of G-d i am a sick, terrible person. at least i’m thin”

Usually in those exact words . Anyone who knows me knows that i write a lot (despite not having posted here in about a week—srry!), both for a living/school and in my free time. It’s like that quote from Karn’s piece about cigarette smoking in NYC—”I won’t be able to quit. It comes from inside me”

I’ve gotta tell you, the shit i write for work is bad enough (Tamil Tigers, stabbings, rape/murder and a measles epidemic, and that’s just this week), but in spite of or because of this, the shit i write after work is even worse. Sometimes I read through what I’ve written for the night and then i think, motherfucker, i need some valium or a quarter of a xanax or something. Because of course I’m really not writing about these things—I’m writing about a doomed love affair and a laundromat chain and some IED taxi cabs—and yet they come out of me. Which is why if the Kindle ever generates a tag-cloud for fiction, I’ll have to throw myself from the Verrazano Bridge.

Observe

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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Bibliomania, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Coney Island, India, Israel, it's a small world, Reimagineers, Sri Lanka, Taxis

The Reimagineers, Chapter 11: Sept. 7th, The Coney Island Apocalypse

I’m already several chapters past this, but it felt like a good time to share. Cuz I FELT LIKE IT, motherfuckers

CHAPTER 11: SEPT. 7TH, 2008—THE CONEY ISLAND APOCALYPSE:
Look up.
There in the sky, ten thousand feet straight up from here, a four-and-a-half year old refugee with thick plastic glasses will see his first American seagull. He will press his nose to the glass, watching an almost imperceptibly small white figure soar and dive towards the red metal arms that reach endlessly up out of Brooklyn. If the Rx is good he may see the lean stripe of yellow beaches, punctuated here by the Steeplechase Pier jutting half a mile into the Atlantic, and behind it, Deno’s Wonderwheel (and almost certainly the projects beyond). As the plane circles terrifyingly earthward, he will squeeze his eyes shut and dream that unspeakable secret dream, a Made-in-China Yankees cap—preemptively bought—clutched in his sticky brown fingers.

If you, like us, naturalized through JFK instead of Ellis Island, then Coney Island’s Eiffel Tower was almost 100% absolutely the first American thing you saw. The French should errect a new goddamn plaque.

Every summer we return here, spilling out of Ocean Parkway and West 8th Street and Stillwell Avenue, Bangladeshi and Dominican and Cantonese alike; blacks from the West 27th Towers, from Coney and Flatbush and Bushwick; the Russians from their garish pink condos and their bungalows in Brighton; the Persians from the newly redoubled single-family’s in Gravesend, Mexicans and Chinese from the cluttered 5-family brownstones in Sunset Park; the Lubavich and the Islanders from the squat apartment houses of Crown Heights, and the hipsters, like some 11th plague, from the $2,000 a month one bedrooms of Williamsburg, their Canons trained on us like M-16s.

Last week, Astroland Amusements and the developers who own their concrete reached an impasse. Starting tomorrow, the poured plastic wildlife, the space needle and the haunted house and King Neptune water flume will be all leveled, auctioned and removed.
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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Bibliomania, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Coney Island, it's a small world, MUMBAI, Reimagineers, Taxis

The Unbreakable New York Yellow

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The Taxi Stand on Lexington and 28th in Manhattan

In a time of unprecedented belt-tightening, there is one industry that never stumbles—and no, it’s not foreclosure agents and short-sellers. It’s taxi service. Yes, hard-hit New Yorkers and those no longer commuting downtown to work every day are likely to scale back their yellow cab consumption, but as long as there are credit-card readers in every cab, there will be pregnant ladies, lazy tourists and over-ambitious grocery shoppers in this city, and  there will be yellow cabs.

Want proof?

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Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Brooklyn, Coney Island, Economy, Immigration, Taxis