Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Coney Island: Really Fun. Really Open"

From the Times today:

Last September, when the Astroland amusement park, a three-acre sliver of the area, was shut down in a battle with its landlord, erroneous reports went out around the world that all of Coney Island was a corpse. Overnight, it seemed, obituaries were composed. Carnie barkers were invited to their own wakes.

But the rumors of demise had been exaggerated greatly. All of Coney Island, from Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs to the world-renowned Cyclone, had not dropped off the Boardwalk into the sea.

“They’re all surprised when I tell them we’re still open,” said a frustrated Dennis Vourderis, whose family has run the Wonder Wheel for more than 40 years. “Unfortunately, the press did a great job announcing Astroland had closed, so now people think that Coney Island is closed.

“But they haven’t rolled the beach up yet,” he said. “It’s totally ridiculous.”

The premature announcement of their burial has been so widespread that several local merchants have pooled money in an existential media campaign. Beginning next month, there will be billboards on the highways, bus stop ads, commercials at the movies. The slogan: “Coney Island: Really Fun. Really Open.”

Meanwhile, I was also guilty of focusing on what was closed rather than what was open.


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