finally made it out to Coney
Island this weekend—we've gone at least once a season for a good number of years now—prodded into taking that long subway ride by the promise of a sand sculpture competition. And while the artistry on the beach was a good deal less than inspiring (see below), it was definitely an excellent excuse to say goodbye to Astroland
(soon to fall before the developer's dozers
), and, most exciting, for Bo's maiden voyage on the legendary Cyclone.
Now, I'm no real Cyclone veteran either, having ridden the great clackety
beast only once before. But what a joy to share the experience with my beautiful daughter, screaming and laughing and holding on for dear life (none of that insane "hands in the air" stuff in our car!) as we hurtled 60 mph up and down the old (circa 1927) wooden tracks. Unbelievably loud, unbelievably adrenalizing
, unbelievably fun. Co, by the way, would have none of it, and happily watched us from across the street.
We also walked through Astroland
proper, and laughed at the kiddie rides that once seemed so daring, at the goofy haunted house which we had giggled our way through a couple of years ago, at management's hilarious attempts to class the joint up a little...
And, of course, Bo and Co had to take their traditional Water Flume plunge which, they admitted, gets a little less thrilling every summer.
As for the sand castle/sculpture competition, an annual affair, and sponsored this year by the very developers who are soon going to rip it all down,* well... lets just say that it all kind of seemed as tired and forlorn as its environs. Here's a few pictures:
Apparently this guy wins every year...
...and this guy always comes in second.
This was my favorite, created by two teenagers who stumbled upon the contest that morning. I especially appreciated the caption. (Just outside of the image: the turtle is about to eat a fish.)
The development's construction union sent a representative, who went to town with dry ice and working train tracks, all seemingly set in some sort of mad prehistoric landscape.
The Cyclone and Astroland
are located at the end of the D, F, N and Q lines. The D train takes about 45 minutes from 59th
Street in Manhattan. Cyclone rides are $6, and you can immediately re-ride for only $4 more. There was no line to get on when we went, at around 4:30 in the afternoon.
* For better or worse, who's to say? New York City has always been about commerce and change, and a lot of the things we love today had to have replaced something else. If it's done well, it'll be great; if it's lame, it'll be lame.
Labels: fun, sights