We are proud to announce the return of the Siren Screen Series! Thanks to local Coney Island-loving filmmakers, Screen Series 4 will kick off the season with a bang. And thanks to the generosity of the Museum of Modern Art, that bang will sound at their beautiful Celeste Bartos Theater. Beyond the Coney films, the screening will offer live performances and a pre-show Coney photography slideshow featuring the work of local photographers.
DATE: Thursday, April 25th
TIME: 7:00-10:00 PM
PLACE: Celeste Bartos Theater, at the MOMA, 4 West 54th Street, New York, New York.
Photography Slideshow (7:00-7:30)
Screenings (7:30 – 8:00)
Live Readings (8:05 – 8:40)
Feature: The Zipper (zipperfilm.com) (8:45 – 10:00)
ADMISSION: $20 (all proceeds go to Save Coney Island)
*This show is sold out*
Actress Karen Duffy is a longtime champion of Coney Island. “Duff” is a member of Coney Island USA, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club and is a supporter of Coney Island’s Abe Stark rink and its hockey leagues. She is also a former Miss Coney Island Mermaid Queen and now joins Save Coney Island in their quest of preserving the “People’s Playground.”
Bambi joins several of Coney Island’s archetypical characters as they travel endlessly on the iconic roller coaster enduring both, time and tide.
Bumper Cars. Go-go dancers. And a bitch named Sandy. After one last wild early fall night, the DJ stops the record and the bumper cars roll to a halt. Will they start up again in the spring?
A closer look at the current state of our waters. With the mermaid as our guide, it’s Mrs. Rockefeller’s hope that we can unite to protect our oceans both to ensure food security for over one billion people who rely on fish for their primary protein and to preserve them as places of regeneration, beauty and boundless dreams. Mission of Mermaids is the representation of the award winning filmmaker, activist, and conservationist’s love for our ocean. Using the archetype of the mermaid, the film presents a poetic ode to the sea as well as a plea for its protection. Demonstrating her own commitment to environmental and ocean health, Mrs. Rockefeller put together a low carbon-emission film production that is comprised of “found” footage from YouTube videos, scanned images, and archival, licensed, or donated footage and music as well as a day and a half of filming on Long Island.
Small-time ride operator Eddie Miranda proudly runs a carnival contraption called the Zipper in the heart of Coney Island’s gritty amusement district. Eddie and his ride are driven away when the City of New York and an opportunistic real estate mogul lock horns over the future of the “People’s Playground.” A film about greed, politics, land use and public policy, and the battle over an American cultural icon, Zipper captures a market-driven world where growth often trumps preservation, and the Zipper may be only the beginning of what is lost. zipperfilm.com
Bruce, aka Pablo Jones, aka Jonesy Boy, is a street photographer, ninja photographer, mermaid grokologist and co-founder of the People’s Playground Paparazzi. He is married to Vika and spends his free time taking photos of the dual centers of the universe, Coney Island and Times Square. He strives to capture characters showing natural emotions. Jonesy takes this remaining space to thank the Save Coney Island organization and their supporters. “May you all have sand in your shoes, forever.”
Doug is an accomplished commercial photographer with over twenty-five years of professional experience. His personal work in capturing the people, performers and places of Coney Island are his passion and ongoing life’s work. The area is rich in history, architecture and its residence are the fabric that hold together her boardwalk, amusements, water and sand. Although Doug grew up on Long Island his desire to photograph Coney Island came from his dad’s strong relation with the area. All of Doug’s Coney Island work is dedicated to his father’s memory.
Daniel is an award winning screenwriter and filmmaker who also works with stills. He’s worked professionally as a set photographer for several films and also film festivals including the Big Apple Film Festival. His one minute short on the 9/11 memorial lights was featured on NPR.com and Wired.com.
Robert Bailey & Robbie Bailey:
Robert and Robbie Bailey are New York based photographers that specialize in environmental portraiture. Robert received his BFA in Photography from Ohio University. Robbie studied at the International Center of Photography. They are both proud members of the Coney Island Polar Bears club.
Kevin is a Fine Art & Documentary photographer and teacher who works to tell the stories of people who are facing life’s joys and struggles in New York City and in the world.
Alicia is a Brooklyn based artist primarily working in pastel while portraying the urban landscape of New York and particularly, Coney Island. She has embarked upon an exploration of the inner city by depicting the barriers set before us in our everyday lives often with an ironic sense of humor. A skewed sense of perspective and bold color often utilizing text are focal points of Alicia’s distinctive artwork. For the past two years her paintings have been featured as official promo-posters for the Siren Screen Series.
Leave all your loose valuables in the lobby, because Coney Island native Michael Schwartz is about to take you for a harrowing ride in the front car on The Cyclone, as he performs his beloved humorous short story “Hey Gerry!” about a boy’s coming of age in 1970s Coney Island. “Hey Gerry!” has been performed in venues across the city, and will be published in May in the anthology book, Have A NYC 2: New York Short Stories.
Artist and performer Richard Eagan, a founder of the Coney Island Hysterical Society, reads excerpts from his solo show “Alive on the Inside,” an account of his years working in Coney Island. Returning as an artist to the beachfront paradise of his childhood becomes a surreal odyssey of discovery of what lies beneath the surface of memory.
This weekend, members of Save Coney Island will be joining the ongoing volunteer efforts in Coney Island (see call for volunteers below). If you can’t make it but are looking for ways to help, keep scrolling down for a listing of other requests — donations are needed by numerous organizations. Over the past week, we’ve all seen New Yorkers coming together to help neighborhoods in need. As the days pass, let’s continue to support the work of essential service organizations and of our beloved cultural institutions in Coney Island.
When you’re all tired-out from long days of volunteering, considering checking out these two upcoming events:
Call for Volunteers: SAT NOV 10TH & SUNDAY NOV 11TH 9AM – 5PM.
DONATIONS & More Volunteer Needs
The FEMA donation site is looking for donations of: nonperishable goods, individually wrapped sandwiches, toilet paper, baby formula, diapers, blankets, outerwear and baby clothes. There are also daily volunteer opportunities at this site! Drop items off at:
The Shrine Church of Our Lady Of Solace
2866 West 17th Street, between Mermaid & Neptune
Brooklyn, New York 11224
Pamela Harris, Executive Director of Coney Island Generation Gap, is also accepting donations for seniors and families: canned goods, water, hot foods, socks, gloves, scarfs, hats, sweaters, hoodies, rubber boots, blankets, toilet paper. If you can bring any of these items, or if you can volunteer your time, call her at 917-592-2719 or email her at email@example.com . You can also mail donations to Coney Island Generation Gap, 2904 Neptune Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Coney Island USA took a major hit from the storm. They could use the following to assist the cleanup of their flooded ground floor at 1208 Surf Ave: daily food for workers, coffee, dehumidifiers, space heaters, fans, squeegees, mops, mop buckets, protective clothing such as hazmat suits, household heavy duty rubber gloves, N95 disposable respirators, paper towels, cleaning cloths, brooms, Lysol concentrated cleaner, disinfectant, first aid kits, Neospirin and hand sanitizer. They will accept them from noon – 6pm, seven days a week. Bring or ship to Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave. Brooklyn NY 11224. They are also seeking volunteers with water-hardy clothing and footwear to clean and move objects– email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check their site for updates or to make a monetary donation:
Coney Island History Project is working to rebuild their exhibit center and will need to raise funds to reopen in the spring. You can help with restoration efforts by making a tax-deductible contribution or becoming a member.
Lola Staar has compiled an list of ways that you can help Coney Island during the hurricane aftermath: Also, proceeds from Lola’s magnificent “Coney Island Forever” design will be donated the people and businesses in Coney Island devastated by Hurricane Sandy!
We are doing our best to update our Facebook page with all of the volunteering and other needs, so please check back. And do keep checking the social media outlets of your favorite Coney Island organizations, to find out about urgent requests that they might be posting. Occupy Sandy has updates about relief efforts across the city, including Coney Island.
Please check out the new website in support of a wood boardwalk for Coney Island, and then share widely. In it you can find links to the online petition, and you can read the letter and research materials that were submitted to the Design Commission.
On Saturday January 28st at 3pm, there will be a very important open meeting at the Brighton Beach Library–16 Brighton First Rd. at Brighton Beach Ave.– hosted by the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance and Friends of the Boardwalk. Please come to this meeting to find out how you can help. RSVP to Rob at robburstein[at]hotmail[dot]com. Click here for directions.
We received word that the Parks Department has postponed the date of the presentation of their Boardwalk proposal to the Design Commission. Therefore, the hearing will no longer be held on January 30th, as we were originally told.
The hearing has been tentatively rescheduled for February 21st.
As soon as that date is confirmed, we will inform you.
Please help the effort to keep the Parks Dpt. from replacing Coney’s historic Boardwalk with concrete. Our friends at Amusing the Zillion have a great summary of where things stand. If you want to help, here’s what you can do:
1) On Saturday January 28st at 3pm, there will be a very important open meeting at the Brighton Beach Library–16 Brighton First Rd. at Brighton Beach Ave.– hosted by the Coney-Brighton Boardwalk Alliance and Friends of the Boardwalk. Please come to this meeting to find out how you can help. RSVP to Rob at robburstein[at]hotmail[dot]com. Click here for directions.
2) Sign the petition! Tell New York City’s Parks Department not to destroy the world-famous Coney Island Boardwalk! Sign this petition here.
[Note: please visit the site even if you think you have already signed, because many signatures were not recorded due to a glitch in the system that has now been fixed. If you see a blue phrase "Inside U.S.," you MUST click on this before signing. You'll know your signature has gone through when you see a page that says, "Thanks for signing." The site will reject duplicate names, so it is not possible to sign twice.]
3) Please set aside Monday, January 30th for the next New York City Design Commission meeting. As difficult as it may be to take off from work, this will be our last chance to influence the decision. Each person who shows up gets three minutes to speak to the Commission. The more people who show up, the more time we get. If you think you can attend, please contact Rob Burstein, robburstein[at]hotmail[dot]com.
where: 253 Broadway, 5th Floor, right near the City Hall stop on the R train.
when: The time of the meeting won’t be confirmed until one week before, so please check back here or at the Facebook page for updates.
SCI presents the third Siren Screen Series, an evening of short films. This year’s schedule features our biggest ever array of award winning filmmakers. Included to the lineup; Charlie Denson, Howie Alex, a collaboration featuring Emmy winner Jesse Dylan and best selling author Larry “Ratso” Sloman, as well as many more. Balancing the collection of short films, a scheduled performance by the incomparable and unstoppable Kryssy Kocktail!
Who: An all-star collection of local filmmakers, all united with the common goal of promoting Coney Island
When: Wednesday, Dec 14th; 8:00PM
Where: Black Horse Pub; 568 5th Ave.@ 16th St., Brooklyn!
How Much: Just $10!
This SCI fundraiser is being assembled by director Johnny Salvatore to promote local filmmakers and Coney Island.
The evening will include the following short films, among others! (You can find a longer description here.)
|Also on display throughout the night, the beautiful Coney-based artwork from Bensonhurst native, Alicia Degener. Her work, like this one, will be available for sale with a 10% commission going to Save Coney Island.|
Don’t miss it!
Good news from Coney Island! Some of the beloved, longtime businesses on Coney Island’s Boardwalk may have been granted a last-minute reprieve.
The businesses had expected to be evicted with their current leases about to run out. However, a deal between Central Amusements International — which runs the properties under a lease from the City of New York — and a Miami Beach restaurateur to remake the Boardwalk fell apart after the restaurateur bowed out.
According to news reports, Central Amusement International is now negotiating long-term leases with some of the existing Boardwalk businesses. Ruby’s Bar and Grill and Paul’s Daughter — the two oldest of the Boardwalk businesses — have been named in news reports as businesses that may end up staying.
In response to the news, Save Coney Island issued the following statement:
Save Coney Island is heartened by the news that some of Coney Island’s longtime and beloved Boardwalk businesses may be allowed to remain. This is very good news for Coney Island!
We applaud Central Amusement International for changing course and apparently allowing at least some of the businesses to stay. We urge the City of New York and Central Amusement International to make sure that these businesses are given long-term leases that let them remain under viable terms.
These businesses are beloved Boardwalk icons. They tie Coney Island to its rich history and contribute to its distinctive sense of place. Moreover, these family-owned businesses stuck by Coney Island through some tough times; they earned the right to be part of the new Coney Island.
Successful redevelopment of Coney Island means bringing in innovative, new attractions and establishments while retaining the best of the old Coney Island. The loss of the Boardwalk’s longstanding businesses would have been a tragedy for Coney Island and a grave setback for its redevelopment.
More broadly, the City should work to ensure that local entrepreneurs and small businesses are an integral part of Coney Island’s redevelopment. Coney Island needs the color, quirkiness and creative energy that local entrepreneurs have to offer. They help make Coney Island unique, and not some generic commercial strip.
Save Coney Island spokesman Juan Rivero participated in a forum on Coney Island redevelopment in a recent issue of the New York City real estate newspaper The Real Deal.
Here’s what he said in response to some questions from The Real Deal:
How concerned are you about old-time Coney Island businesses going under?
The departure of old-time Coney Island businesses is of great concern on a number of counts. First, they are part of what makes Coney Island unique, and not some generic strip off an interstate highway. Second, the retention and cultivation of local businesses makes sense as a matter of economic policy, since a higher percentage of the revenues they generate remain within the local economy. It is lamentable that the city has not encouraged leasing to local businesses on the land that it owns. The boardwalk and Coney Island could use the color, quirkiness and creative energy that local entrepreneurs have to offer and that chains and big corporations struggle to provide.
There is still a lack of higher-end restaurants and amenities in the area. Do you expect that to change?
Throughout most of its history, Coney Island has been a place of affordable amusement and recreation for anyone who could afford the price of a subway ride. Its old monikers — the People’s Playground, the Poor Man’s Riviera or the Nickel Empire — tell you as much. … Coney Island is an affordable amusement destination that is, and should continue to be, available to all New Yorkers.
Are there any buildings or projects outside of the main amusement park that you’re keeping an eye on?
Absolutely. The newly landmarked Shore Theater has a central location, and with the right vision it could again be a theater destination. The landmarked Childs Restaurant Building on the boardwalk is an obvious anchor for the western side of the district, and it’s just a matter of time before someone turns it into a restaurant, a club or a concert venue. On the south side of Surf Avenue, we envision the Grashorn, the oldest building in the amusement area, as a museum, a theme restaurant or perhaps a large haunted house. … One current development project we’re watching is the construction of new structures on Surf Avenue by Thor Equities. Regrettably, given Thor’s record so far in Coney Island, we don’t have very high expectations.
This weekend Coney Island opens for another season of excitement! Coney Island is going to look a lot different this spring than it did last season, due to several welcome additions and to several unfortunate losses.
The good news first:
- Zamperla’s Luna Park will be joined by a second amusement park, the Scream Zone! The new park will feature thrilling rides such as two new roller coasters and a human Sling Shot.
- Seven of Coney’s Boardwalk businesses, including the beloved Ruby’s bar, will reopen for one last season on the beachfront.
- The Shore Theater and the building that houses Coney Island USA have both approved for designation as New York City landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The designations have not been opposed and are waiting for a vote by the full City Council.
- Coney Island’s oldest building, the Grashorn, is reportedly being leased by a movie company making “Men in Black 3,” which is shooting in Coney Island.
- The Coney Island History Project has found new digs, moving from the site of the Cyclone to Deno’s Wonder Wheel park.
And now, the bad news:
- Thor Equities made great haste during the fall and winter to demolish three of Coney Island’s most historic buildings — Henderson’s Music Hall, the Shore Hotel and the Bank of Coney Island. The promise to have new buildings in their place has not been met. In addition, Thor is bringing back a flea market along Stillwell Avenue, a site that should be used for amusements.
- The Parks Department has not yet abandoned its plan to replace parts of Coney’s historic Boardwalk with concrete, despite the public outcry.
During this time of ongoing change, Save Coney Island is still fighting for a bright future for the world’s playground. We want a Coney Island that will be a world-class amusement destination; to preserve a unique atmosphere infused with the creativity of small businesses owners, entrepreneurs and artists; and to preserve Coney Island’s rich history as a key element to a successful and vibrant future.
We look forward to seeing you in Coney Island!