September 1st, 2008


If you run, you can run to that Coney Island roller coaster

bethje and I decided we should go see Coney Island before it closes down permanently. Well, that's what we heard would happen, although I'm not totally sure of the details. Apparently some developer wants to build condos there, because if there's one thing we need in this country, it's more housing that hardly anybody can afford! Anyway, before getting to Coney Island, we stopped in Park Slope to have brunch at Eurotrip with Stephanie. I had the Langos, a flatbread dish that was pretty tasty, but too big. Also, I'm not all that keen on Nutella, regardless of Kobe Bryant's feelings on it. The brunch came with one alcoholic beverage and unlimited coffee, so it's too bad I don't drink coffee. I ended up getting orange juice on the side, although orange juice at restaurants always comes in such tiny glasses. And I think I'd only really met Stephanie once before, so it was cool to see her again. She was easy to get along with.

On Coney Island, we visited the museum, which will apparently stay open even when the rest of the place closes down. Among the items there was a peep show consisting of a flipbook in a case, showing an elephant being electrocuted. Pretty disturbing, huh? We also sat for a lecture on representatives of various cultures being put on display, although between the heat and my lack of sleep the previous night, it was difficult to stay awake through the whole thing. After that, we attended the freak show downstairs. The only person in it who was part of the old deformed-person tradition of sideshows was a six-fingered man who called himself the Black Scorpion. Otherwise, it was people with typical sideshow talents, including fire-eating, sword-swallowing, and snake-charming. The master of ceremonies drove both a nail and a power drillbit into his nose. Oh, and the building also had old-fashioned toilets, complete with pull chains for flushing.

We ended up riding the Cyclone twice. It was a longer ride than I expected it to be, given its age. And while it was rough, it wasn't as much so as the wooden roller coaster that they put in at Clementon Park a few years ago. We also rode two indoor haunted rides, the Spook-A-Rama at Wonder Wheel Park and Dante's Inferno at Astroland. Contrary to the name, the Inferno did not include any suicide victims turned into trees or gluttons wallowing in filth. But then, Coney Island isn't actually an island, and I didn't see any coneys there. At night, we rode the Wonder Wheel, a bigger Ferris wheel than the one at Great Adventure, yet somehow not as scary.

I decided I should get a hot dog from the original Nathan's, but I don't think I'll be doing so again. I mean, it was good, but I essentially paid over $2 to get the same kind of hot dog I can buy at the grocery store. And before leaving Brooklyn, we walked the entire length of the Boardwalk (although not all at once).

Taking the subway back to Manhattan, I had to wonder why they bother making those unintelligible announcements. I never have any idea what they're saying, but I worry that they're important. Finally, we left New York, and had dinner at the Palace Diner on the way home. I had a bacon cheeseburger, a surprisingly good Sierra Mist (I usually feel that it's far inferior to Sprite, but they must have had a good soda fountain), and a not-very-good strawberry shake. And, really, I think that's about all. If you want to see some pictures from yesterday, you can do so here. Happy Labor Day, everybody!