Coney Island, USA
Coney Island is a peninsula at the southernmost tip of Brooklyn and one of the must-visit places if you travel to New York. Lots of excitement, sunshine and unforgettable entertainment are on offer in this New York borough of around 51 thousand residents.
The proximity to New York City and the presence of a wonderful beach, were enough condition to make some of the rich people to create a delightful place for entertainment in the early 20th century. Coney Island is best known for its Dreamland amusement park, which enjoyed unprecedented success when it opened in 1904. The large central tower with 1 million light bulbs illuminated the entire park. A scenic railway line mimicked a passage through the Swiss Alps, and a cable car ran over Venice at night. But unfortunately this Amusement Park burned down in a fire in 1911.
In 1897, George Tilley(1862-1914) opened the Steeplechase or Obstacle Race Park on 17th Street on the West Side. Here visitors raced mechanical horses attached to iron rails or tried to stay on a wooden disc that spun rapidly. But although it was a great success, the park closed in 1964.
Another famous park in Coney Island was the 1903 Luna Park, where over 1,000 towers and minarets, painted white and red, were lit with over 250 thousand light bulbs. And at the base of the 60-foot tower amid a lake was a series of cascading fountains. The moon park resembled a fairytale city where a "Journey to the Moon" could take place. Many of the most famous movies were filmed in the Moon Park. And the song " Me Me Down Down at Luna" was recorded by Billy Murray in 1905 to promote the park. Unfortunately, this park was also destroyed by fire in 1944.
But some things of the famous Coney Island remain from that distant time of its heyday and are worth a visit. There are three attractive places that still impress visitors.
The most famous is the legendary Cyclone. This is one of the world's few surviving wooden-rail horror roller coasters where the earth's gravity is used. Built in 1927, the roller coaster still hurtles along at a dizzying 110 kilometers per hour on nine inclines and six curves.
The Wonder Wheel is a 50-metre long Ferris wheel that was discovered in 1920.
It has 24 cabins that wobble and slide simultaneously on rails as the wheel spins. At night, the huge wheel's steel frame is illuminated by special neon tubes.
Skydiving from the 76-foot steel tower remains an enticing Coney Island attraction. They call it the "Eiffel Tower" of Brooklyn. It was built for the 1939 New York Exposition and then moved to Steeplechase Park. From the top of the tower, where there are 12 arms held up by metal rings, the parachute jump took place. Closed in 1964, the Steel Tower is kept in good condition and inspires the admiration of visitors. Around 8 thousand LED lights have been installed throughout its structure to illuminate the whole area during holidays.
Thunderboit is a new amusement park in Coney Island designed by the Italian company Zamperia. The coaster's new attraction is its 105 km per hour ride on the Vertical, Tirbushion and Immelman Cycle. At the top of the Vertical, passengers are completely upside down. The Corkscrew is a spiral-shaped frame that rotates with the riders. The Immelmann Cycle comes from the name of a German pilot in World War I and it has a simpler construction.
Brighton Beach is an area in Brooklyn populated by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. Summers are very busy here because of the beaches along the Atlantic coast and the proximity to the amusement parks of Coney Island. The Master Theatre, a huge beautiful building, hosts performances with actors from the US, Russia and other countries. Russian is spoken in the cafes, restaurants and shops and one may doubt for a moment that one is in the USA.