Coney Island in times of Pandemic

Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut, Coney Island existed only in my mind and, somehow, in my heart. I had yet to see Island-born Harold Feinstein’s photos made in the 1950’s ( or Reginald Marsh’s paintings from the ’30’s or Nathan Kensinger’s yet-to-be-made 2009 snaps from under the Boardwalk ( Most likely it came as a fourteen year old’s extrapolation of a world he’d create each Saturday morning sitting in front of the Philco console listening to Alan Freed’s Top 50 hits of the week over WINS. In the mid ’60’s when I finally got to Nathan’s Famous, The Boardwalk, Steeplechase Park and the whole world under the Boardwalk–so much more than The Drifters sang about–Coney was far from it’s storybook past.

Now, January 21st, 2021, with the temperature in the 30’s and the continued raging of COVID-19 everywhere, with no carousel or tinny AM radios to add to the soundtrack of the waves and the wind, no chatter in any language, no lifeguard shouting instructions, a whole new world arose. For my Red Hook buddies, David and Denise, it wasn’t what it was. For me it was just this. 

Let’s start at–voo-den?–Nathan’s:

…and The Boardwalk…




…and then to the beach…


…and the sun hides…

…and, yeah, me…

Published in: on January 23, 2021 at 4:51 pm  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for this. It’s great to get out of the apartment.


  2. Elaine T:
    Thanx for the memories… though somewhat different in my mind.
    ,,, I remember bumper to bumper people at Coney Island
    when I was a child.
    But a people-less Coney Island displaying only the things which
    made C.I. such fun… the clarity of the rides and restaurants…
    these are rich in memory all by themselves.


  3. Terry B:
    Thank you. The absence of crowds makes it look more surreal


  4. Duncan C:
    Great shots of a time and season oft times not recorded.. What are you using for a camera?
    Thanks, Dunc. I’m using an iPhone 11. I use Snapseed for post processing.

    Thanks Dick…keep up, the great photography. My son in law is an avid” shooter” and he is impressed with your work as well.


  5. I was born and bred in Brooklyn. Coney Island was part of my life growing up. The carousel; the ‘kiddie rides;’ the fireworks on Tuesday nights; Nathan’s; Steeplechase…and so many other places whose names escape me now after alllllll these years!

    Thanks for stirring up the memories!
    Sara R


  6. Judith: I love your picture of…
    “and the sun hides”.


  7. LESLIE W:

    Hot dog, nice shorts. Sure is different without people. I remember the first time I went there I had to have a hot dog. I got one and it seemed to taste better being at Coney Island then when I got the same Nathan’s in NYC. Go figure.
    Which model of iPhone 11 are you using. I got the iPhone SE a few months ago and it is suppose to have the same electronics and operating system as the iPhone 11. It does not have the second or third camera lens available like the 11. I have been trying out the portrait setting and so far like the results.
    Keep shootin’


  8. Vuong N
    Oh ! Ruby’s
    Have a great day !


  9. From Delores:
    Thank you for the few moments of pleasure looking at our beautiful city through your perspective.


  10. Hi RVG.
    This was one of my favorite blog post from you. It helped to to remember all the treasures NYC holds. I am a retired native New Yorker and spend alot of time in front of the TV. Thanks to you and this blog post. you have inspired me to explore my hometown


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