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A visual journey exploring the birds of Inwood and Northern Manhattan

Back on the Boardwalk: Opening Day at Coney Island

I circled the date, March 24, back in January, because the opening day at Coney Island seemed distant and close at the same time. The winter has been long and cold in the city, and naturally, some of us long for beach days. (We even have snow in the forecast for late tonight and tomorrow.) But back in January, I looked forward to taking the subway ride out to Coney Island on Palm Sunday, too, because the day represented something larger than normal, and of course, I am talking about The Storm and its recovery.

Morning beach walk with birds, Coney Island

On some days, you just need a long walk on the beach. For many New Yorkers, Coney Island is affordable and accessible. When you catch it in the right light and the right time, the spot is incomparably beautiful.

The Parachute Jump at Coney Island is defunct but the tower remains a familiar icon on the boardwalk.

So on this bright morning, the day had come to revel in views of the famously blue waters of Coney Island, its resident birds, and the comfort of traditional images. Coney's repertory of familiar icons - the Parachute Jump, Deno's Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone, Nathan's hot dogs, among them - conspire to make the place worthy of a pilgrimage. The shell of the old Childs Restaurant could serve as its cathedral. The Polar Bear Club, out in their full shivering glory today, certainly make an inspired sect of some sort or another, worthy of miraculous chilly plunges. Lest I sound too sacrilegious, I would like to point out that the day's opening ceremony included the 29th annual blessing of the rides. United States Senator Charles Schumer was on hand and spoke to those assembled, blessing all with an announcement that the federal government would pay for one hundred percent of the recovery efforts.

For those who walk, the Boardwalk offers a fine opportunity for sun-drenched strolling.

So without further ado, may I present the sights of Coney Island on opening day.

Childs Restaurant, detail
Scream Zone


Part of the original lure of Coney Island was the blueness of the ocean.

bird's eye view from the beach

Senator Charles Schumer speaks at the opening ceremony


Not all is back in business. The original Nathan's Famous on Surf Avenue is working toward reopening by Memorial Day. Its boardwalk location is open.

Deno's Wonder Wheel offered free rides today.

The birds gather for opening day at Coney Island.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Sunday, March 24, 2013. Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City.

A Natural and Social History of Coney Island (2012)


  1. Great pictures. What a nice way to celebrate the reopening of this NY landmark.


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