I know that once said Sigmund Freud? «The only thing that interests me in new York is Coney island.» Slightly harsh, but part of the famous psychiatrist can understand, who can resist sandy beaches, amusement Park rides and the annual mermaid parade?
Of course, you don’t have to agree with Mr. Freud at one hundred percent, but it’s hard to argue with the fact that Coney island is the place, what else to look. But you haven’t even heard about little known but highly entertaining facts about the history of the Peninsula, which make it even more interesting and charming.
The Wonder Wheel was a wedding gift
What kind of gift every woman wants? Of course on the giant Ferris wheel 150 feet high, and set in the heart of Coney island.
In 1948, the year the Greek immigrant Denos, Vurderes promised future wife Lula, if you marry him, he will buy for her the famous Wonder Wheel. Vurderes kept his promise — though not immediately, but in 1983.
Now wheel owned by his son Steve and is one of the most popular locations for proposals of marriage.
On the local wooden sidewalk exhibited… incubators
Now here, food stalls and shops, and once, in the early twentieth century, on the sidewalk was specially equipped incubators, in which parents left babies born prematurely. The idea belonged to Dr. Martin Cooney, who, incidentally, never took a cent for caring for babies.
Although the fact that were in the incubators of children could be viewed as Museum exhibits, a little baffling, I must pay tribute to the plan: from 8,000 left here babies survived about 6,500.
Once there was a brothel… in the shape of an elephant
Once at Surf Ave and West 12th St building was located in the form of a giant elephant. One time within, if you believe the rumors, was used as a concert hall, Museum and the cigar shop, and a spiral staircase (the paws of an animal) was in the room with the telescope (his eyes). Created building James Lafferty even called it the «eighth wonder of the world».
Alas, in the end, what was thought as an unusual 30-storey hotel, a brothel — however, quite successful. In 1896 the building was burned, but let’s give him his due: his life was exciting!
Thanks to Coney island frozen custard exists
It was the summer of 1919 and all the local ice cream merchants were going crazy on how quickly it melted. Fortunately, brothers Archie and Elton Correspondent found a solution: mix ice cream with egg yolks, which not only allowed the dessert to melt slower, but also became the world’s first frozen cream.
According to the legend, in its first weekend, it sold as many as 18,000 cones.
It was the first coaster in the world
And no, it’s not about the Cyclone in its place was once a 600-foot attraction, settled there in 1884. Its speed was 6 miles per hour and a height of 50 ft. For comparison: the height of the Cyclone is 85 feet, and the highest roller coasters in America — 456 ft.
There appeared a lot of things first
For example, the first Bicycle path in the country: she began to please cyclists of new York in the distant 1894, connecting Coney Island and Prospect Park. The route was five miles, and it passed by Ocean Parkway and by the way, there was a strict speed limit around 12 miles per hour.
Today cyclists love this road, no less than a century ago: the only change is the speed with which they travel through it.
shutterstock/Keep Smiling Photography
And bonus: Coney island began a stellar career of Cary Grant.
Before he became a star of the silver screen in the 1920s an actor hired by the owner of Steeplechase Park to entertain the crowd. Certainly, it was a great practice before starting a movie career.
The local beaches were not always free
Today three miles of sandy beaches are open to everyone, but in the early twentieth century, things were a little more complicated: here acted principle of «pay 10 cents or get a tan somewhere else.»
Well, in 1923 the government not only built the famous wooden track, but at the same time made the entrance to the beach is free.
To the Mermaid Parade was a parade Coney Island Mardi Gras
And conducted it for fifty years (1903-1954). Music, thousands of participants in colorful costumes, fun and a little bit of festive chaos — everything you need for a good parade.
By the way, it was originally organized to raise funds to rebuild the Mission and Rescue Home for Wayward Girls, burned in the fire.
Behind the yellow submarine in Coney Island Creek for a very interesting story
I hasten to disappoint fans of the «Beatles»: the legendary group, yellow submarine is a little more than absolutely nothing.
It all started when in 1956, the year sank the liner S. S. Andrea Doria. Jerry Bianco decided to build a submarine to find his remains, but even here all was not well: the boat capsized in his first voyage, but what was left of it, continues to live in our hearts… and in the water.
The first hot dog Nathan’s Famous was worth a Nickel
In 1916 Nathan Handwerker sold hot dogs for five cents, to avoid his former employer, from whom they stood ten cents. Since then the price has changed, but something remained the same: for example, a secret recipe that hot dogs sold at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenue.