Save Coney Island!

It isn’t often that members of the NYPD tell protesters, “I really hope you guys win.” But then, these weren’t ordinary protesters; this motley crew had trekked in from Brooklyn and assembled on the steps of City Hall to try and save Coney Island.

For decades, Coney Island has been a beach resort for New York’s working-class, a haven for artists and source of housing for the poor. Recently, a large section of the neighborhood was sold to a developer, Thor Equities, which wants to build luxury high rise condos in the heart of the Amusement District.

Thor is trying to convince the city to allow them to build towering multi-million dollar residences on the boardwalk. Their opponents warn them to expect “a vicious war.”

Today, Coney Island’s artists and residents gathered at New York’s City Hall to speak out against the developer’s plans. Their appearance was whimsical but their intentions were serious. Beneath the feathers, glitter and mermaid tails were concerned, thoughtful members of an endangered community.

Speaking to dozens of reporters, the protesters declared their love for Coney Island and their commitment to ensuring that it is not turned into yet another exclusive playground for the wealthy.

The burly cops, many of them remembering sunny childhood days spent on the rides at Astroland, nodded in sympathy and, speaking softly to the protesters, said, “I wish you luck, you guys. Good luck!” 


Miss Coney Island & Miss Cyclone lead the procession
Originally uploaded by annulla.


The Hungry Marching Band in the parade
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Protester in lobster hat
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Coney Island tribe
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Angie & Ekaterina on the steps
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Louis Scarcella, President of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Coney Island pirate
Originally uploaded by annulla.


James Ferguson (aka Tigger) in mermaid tail
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Protester in a purple boa & pink gloves
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Two protesters
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Protester in a pink feathered mask
Originally uploaded by annulla.


Dianna Carlin (aka Lola Staar)
Originally uploaded by annulla.

Save Coney Island
Gowanus Lounge: New Coney Island Tactic
Gowanus Lounge: Demonstration Details
NPR: Developer Eyes Coney Island
NY Post: Coney Development
The World Famous Pontani Sisters
Coney Island Polar Bear Club
Lola Staar
Center for an Urban Future: Dianna Carlin
Thor Equities

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4 Responses to Save Coney Island!

  1. A lovely collection of images and I really hope these protesters are successful!

  2. moi says:

    Hmm……..a surest sign of a healthy democracy……..i wish the protesters good luck too…

  3. Meg says:

    Good luck to the protesters!

  4. Gails_man says:

    I’ve never been to the States, but have heard them mention Coney Island on tv shows & films. I’ve never known what it was like. Perhaps you should take some photos of what the protest is about. The big question is how did the developer get to buy the land? I hope they win too, as there are too many high rise apartments spoiling the view.

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