Wednesday | September 20, 2017
About Us | Contact | Subscribe

Coney Island after sundown

NEW YORK — Coney Island is a storied place, known for Nathan’s hot dogs, old-fashioned amusement park rides and a gritty beach at the end of four subway lines in Brooklyn, New York.

But Coney Island after sundown has a different feel. The crowds and tourists are mostly gone. Colored lights silhouette the rides above the darkened seascape. And the locals — mostly working-class, many of them immigrants — come out to enjoy balmy summer evenings as the heat of the day subsides.

New York’s extraordinary ethnic diversity is part of the scene: Muslim women in long-sleeved abayas and headscarves; boom boxes blasting Latin salsa music while couples dance and groups of men play dominoes; Turkish immigrants fishing with poles off Steeplechase Pier, while Chinese immigrants lower crab pots into the dark waters.

Along the pier, lovers canoodle in the shadows. On the beach, kids climb the empty lifeguard stands in the dark and young men practice rap songs. Children clutch stuffed animals won in arcade games while Mickey Mouse and Spiderman characters try to pose with passers-by for photos on the boardwalk. The vista is framed by the distinct lit-up shapes of the Wonder Wheel near one end and the Parachute Jump near the other.

Laughter, music and screams from the rides drift on the evening breeze as waves break on the beach with a rhythmic whoosh. Summer’s winding down. Labor Day is fast approaching. Soon these evening scenes will be just a memory.

 

Rules for posting comments