Monday, September 8, 2008

A Coney Island Farewell

Coney Island is so old that I sometimes forget that it is a great pleasure ground for the young. Sunday, on what may have been the last day of Astroland, one of the revellers was my daughter Allison, 12. Like most kids she's thoroughly at home in the online world. But she's also equally comfortable in the hurly burly of a seaside amusmement park.

This wasn't Allison's first trip to Coney, and she noticed that Sunday's atmosphere was different from usual. "It was very, very crowded," she said. "People were happy and joyful, but also sad." Some adults looked sorrowful and nostalgic. Kids,on the other hand, seemed intent on enjoying themselves.

"I liked how it brought everyone together," Allison said. "It felt like everyone was having a good time. For every single kid, it was a big treat to be in Coney Island."

Alllson rode the Cyclone, the pirate ship ride, the log flume and more.

Tuesday's Daily News suggests that Astroland may have a future.

Allison hopes that, whatever the future brings, Coney Island will remain welcoming to all sorts of New Yorkers. Hotels would be okay, she said, but not luxury hotels.

"The whole reason it was built was to be for everyone," she said. "Now it'll just be for people in glass houses."

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