Sunday, 30 May 2010

#15 Sodom by the Sea.

Here's a fact for you: Blackpool has more visitors every year than Greece. Our rapacity for relentless cheesy awful is astounding. Coney Island, at the far frontier of Brooklyn, is New York's attempt to fill this need. You can entertain yourself on the Coney Island Cyclone - one of the few historic wooden rollercoasters still in existence (it was built in 1927) - play slots, dodgems and arcade games, eat fried chicken and ice cream, and lark around on the beach.

The boardwalk at Coney Island.

Recently, like everywhere in Brooklyn, Coney Island has become something of a gentrified shadow of it's former gritty glory; in 1893, the New York times dubbed Coney Island 'Sodom by the Sea', and matters didn't improve for another century. The Island's present-day claims to fame include its Mardi Gras Mermaid Parade, and the World Hot Dog Eating Championships, which Nathan's Famous hosts every Independence Day, drawing some 30,000 live spectators and several million ESPN TV viewers. (I will of course be in attendance avec camera this year, so watch this space to see if last year's record of 68 dogs in 10 minutes tumbles.)

And that's all, really. I can confirm it is a grand day out.

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