Coney Island kick-off
by Daniel Bush
May 27, 2009 | 1537 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, other elected officials, and students from P.S. 90 presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 21 that officially launched another summer season at Coney Island.

New York City officially opened all of its beaches to swimmers, people-watchers and sunbathers alike two days later. Coney Island will continue its busy first week by hosting the finish line for the May 30 New York Road Runners Brooklyn Half-Marathon Grand Prix.

Borough President Markowitz said Coney Island is the perfect city getaway for residents looking for less expensive summer time family fun.

“Why drive to somewhere outside the city to fulfill your family’s summer entertainment needs?” Markowitz said in a statement prepared for the ceremony. “Who needs Six Flags when you’ve got the world-famous Cyclone? Spend a fortune on a theme park? Fuhgeddaboudit!

“This summer, like every summer,” he continued, “belongs to Coney Island - America’s Favorite Playground and the apple of this city’s eye.”

Coney Island opens its summer season this year as the city finalizes plans to rezone the neighborhood. Plans for the area include an upgrade of the amusement park area, a new theater, and thousands of new housing units in the beachfront neighborhood.

Before starting construction there, the city must resolve a land dispute with Thor Equities, a private development company that holds Coney Island land and has a different vision for its future.

In the meantime, the Parks Department pointed to all the improvements at Coney Island Beach and the Riegelmann Boardwalk in recent years as proof the neighborhood is already on the up-and-up. These include rebuilt or new playgrounds, a fitness cove, volleyball courts, cast-iron streetlights, performance pavilions, and comfort stations.

“For more than 85 years, Coney Island Beach and the Riegelmann Boardwalk have been a source of timeless enjoyment for millions of visitors,” the Parks Department said in a statement. “They remain an unparalleled destination for summer fun, people-watching, scenic ocean views, and exquisite breezes.”

Now that Coney Island is officially open for business, those in search of exquisite breezes and scenic ocean views know just where to go.

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