Coney Island is recognized as a peninsular residential neighborhood in the Southwest part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York City. In addition to being a residential neighborhood, Coney Island is also a beach and leisure destination. The area is most recognized as a seaside resort and for its amusement parks.
Location And Demographics
Coney Island is located in the westernmost part of the barrier islands of Long Island. It used to be an island detached from the main part of Brooklyn by Coney Island Creek and a few tidal mudflats, but it eventually developed into a peninsula.
The neighborhoods that are found on the Island are Sea Gate, which is a private community with streets co-owned by both the residents and the city. Other neighborhoods are Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach.
In terms of the Island demographics, there used to be many Jewish residents in the area, now the main population groups are African American, Hispanic and a new wave of Russian immigrants. In 2013 the median household income was $23,628 and most people living in various forms of public housing. Despite this bleak housing and financial viewpoint, there have been steady efforts to revitalize this neighborhood.
Top Coney Island Attractions & Events
Being well known as a place with amusement parks as well as being a seaside resort, there are some really great attractions and events that make the Island an attraction in itself. In the summertime, many want to make a stop to Coney Island and here are some of the places to see and visit, as well as events to attend.
1. Luna Park
Luna Park has been around since 2010 and has become a very popular New York City tourist attraction. What you will find here are numerous rides that range from thrilling to mild. If you are looking for “extreme thrills” go for the Coney Island Cyclone, Thunderbolt, Coney Island Raceway, Sling Shot and Zenobio. Rides that are called “high thrill” that you can explore include, Air Race, Wild River, Brooklyn Flyer, Luna 360 and so many more. Do not worry, not every ride is designed to have your stomach in your throat, mild thrill rides like the Seaside Swing or Tea Party can be equally satisfying, in addition to playing some games, dining and shopping. There is definitely plenty to do and see at Luna Park.
2. Coney Island Museum
The quirky museum features permanent collections such as Funhouse Mirrors and rare hundred-year-old, postcards. The building itself is a preserved 1917 building. You can also see a 3D printed scale model of the original Luna Park, from Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park, which is a year-long installation by artist Fred Kahl. This museum is a great stop on your beach trip and you can get some souvenirs to mark your time there.
3. Ruby’s Bar & Grill
Recognized as a Coney Island tradition since 1934, Ruby’s Bar & Grill is a must stop as one of the oldest standing bars on the boardwalk. Ruby’s is the only full-service bar and grill on the boardwalk with indoor seating. In keeping with the nostalgia, you will find an impressive collection of old-time photos and memorabilia as well as an award-winning jukebox and the original boardwalk wood from the 1920s found throughout the bar. If that’s not enough to make you want to stop in for a cold one here, Ruby’s has been voted the 14th sexiest beach bar in the world by the Travel Channel.
4. Mermaid Parade
The ever-popular Coney Island Mermaid Parade is normally celebrated at the start of the summer season around late June. The parade tradition started in 1983 and was organized by Dick Zigun who founded the non-profit arts group Coney Island USA. Much like the annual Village Halloween Parade, this Mermaid parade represents the spirit of Mardi Gras. What you can expect to see in the parade are marine costumes, some partial nudity and of course many mermaids and sea creatures! Join the fun in this American version of the summer-solstice celebration.
There are so many things to enjoy here and one of the other major attractions is the beach. The island’s beach is meticulously looked after by the city. You are guaranteed a lot of sunlight on the beach by virtue of the position of the beach and very little obstructions nearby. Another bonus is that the beach is open to everyone with no restrictions and there are no charges to enter the beach.
How To Get There
The Island is very popular so there are many ways to get there and the main subway stop is Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue using the D, F, N and Q trains. If you are leaving from midtown Manhattan this subway ride will be about 45-60 minutes.
Bus services you can use are B36, B64, B68, B74, B82. There are also express buses from Manhattan which are
the X28, X38.
Where To Get Help
If you are in the area and require police or hospital assistance, the following can be of use:
2951 West 8th Street,
Brooklyn, NY, 11224-3615
2601 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11235