Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Took My 27 Acres? City Officials Confuse the Dialogue

How big should an amusement park be? How do you count acres? If you didn’t have a good sense for the answer to either of these questions you might want to rely on the advice of an expert you trusted to say how many acres an amusement park ought to be. For a lot of us, that’s where the Municipal Art Society comes in. We rely on MAS’s expertise, the impartiality of their nonprofit-motivated assessments, and their time and commitment to be the first to carefully scrutinize important issues about the building of the city. When the Municipal Art Society speaks, we listen.

Well then, if you have listened carefully to the Municipal Art Society you know that, after their study of the possibilities for Coney Island’s future, the amusement park area shouldn’t be less than a minimum of 27 acres, would you then favor or disfavor a city rezoning plan the primary goal of which was stated to be:

to create a new and enhanced 27-acre year-round vibrant open and accessible amusement district.
Surprise! If you favored that rezoning plan, you would be favoring a plan that proposed an amusement park area less than half of what the Municipal Art Society was recommending, a plan with only 12.5 acres of the amusement park area called for MAS. By the same token if, informed by MAS, you attempted to perform the role of a good citizen and wrote a letter to the City Planning Commission saying that you wanted to see a 27-acre amusement park area in Coney Island, the City Planning Commission might self-servingly take your letter and count it as support for the city’s proposed rezoning which MAS opposes because, once again, the city plan, at a paltry 12.5 acres, proposes less than half the minimum acreage for actual amusements at Coney Island that the Municipal Art Society said is essential if Coney Island amusements are going to survive the proposed shrinking of amusement life at Coney.

Why is support for a minimum of 27 acres NOT support for a minimum of 27 acres? It has to do with a little game of terminology the city seems to be consciously playing. Something we might refer to as a “razzle” as we will further explain. It doesn’t seem like the city wants you to know what it is proposing to do at Coney Island. The city probably doesn’t want the public to know to just how small the size it intends to shrink the once-great Coney amusement area because then the public might oppose selling all those amusement acres to real estate developers and land speculators for blander uses of the seashore.

The Municipal Art Society Proclaims That Coney Island Amusements Should, at a Minimum, Be About 27 Acres

The Municipal Art Society assumed the role of advocating for the preservation of Coney Island’s amusement park area in June of 2008 after the city, in April, abruptly and unexpectedly shifted course in the formulation of its development plan to drastically shrink to a vestigial few the number of amusement park acres that would be left. (See: Wednesday, November 5, 2008, Back In the Coney Island Saddle?) The city was proposing as few as 9 acres of open-air amusements.

MAS in commenting on the environmental impact statement said (supplying their own emphasis).

We are not aware of any other amusement areas of a comparable scale that come close to achieving the number of visitors that is the market for a revitalized Coney Island or even Coney Island today. We are concerned that the proposed area set aside for open-air amusements is of insufficient size and that as a result this revitalization effort will not be successful.

MAS went further, holding community design charrettes, and on November, 17, 2008, as part of its Imagine Coney, MAS unveiled recommendations for Coney’s future. (See: Monday, November 17, 2008, The Coney Island Crowd: Plans Unveiled Tonight.) Its recommendations included advice that Coney’s open-air amusement acreage not be reduced below a minimum of approximately 27 acres. Specifically, MAS released the results of a study it had commissioned by Robert Charles Lesser & Co. which did a series of calculations to recommend the minimum acreage set aside for such uses be 26.5 acres, a figure that commonly rounds up to 27 acres. (Click to enlarge image.)

City Planning’s Burden Primed Ahead of Time to Reject MAS’s Call for More Amusement Area

City Planning’s Chief Amanda Burden was already primed to resist the MAS recommendation for a larger amusement area. Two weeks before MAS released its recommendation, the Observer ran an article reporting that Amanda Burden warned the Municipal Art Society to stay out of things. (See: Burden To Municipal Art Society: Don’t Mess With City’s Coney Plans, by Eliot Brown, October 27, 2008)

Ms. Burden sent the following statement to the Observer, stating that it was imperative MAS not challenge the boundaries for the amusement area that the city in its about-face had so recently released to the world and stating that Coney Island’s very survival depended upon letting City Planning have its way without delay (emphasis supplied):

As part of the public planning process, the City has engaged in scores of meetings with a wide variety of local and citywide stakeholders in shaping its current rezoning proposal for a year-round 27-acre amusement district with outdoor and enclosed amusements. We of course welcome innovative ideas for a 21st century destination that keeps and enhances Coney Island's unique edgy character and open accessibility.

However, it is imperative that the rezoning process and timeline not be jeopardized by any reconsideration of our proposed rezoning boundaries or urban design parameters. After two scoping sessions and significant public input, we expect to begin the public approval process in early 2009, which will culminate in a vote on the plan by the City Council in the summer of 2009. It is imperative that this rezoning proceed expeditiously, otherwise the Coney Island amusement area that we know and love will cease to exist. We welcome ideas about how to best design, structure and program a year-round amusement district with an open and accessible Amusement Park as its centerpiece.
City Administration Rejects MAS’s Call For Larger (27-Acre Minimum) Amusement Area: Their Method? Confusion

The City administration, including Ms. Burden, her Department of City Planning and the Coney Island Development Corporation rejected MAS’s call for a larger amusement area that more than doubles what the city was proposing to approximately 27 acres, but they did not do so in direct and clear terms. At the beginning of this post (though not mentioning her by name) we included a quote from Ms. Burden’s deputy, Purnima Kapur, the Director of City Planning's Brooklyn Office, speaking at the recent “Which Way Coney Island? A Symposium on Its Future,” at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. There Ms. Kapur, speaking of the goals for the city’s Coney Island redevelopment plan, said:

The primary one is to create a new and enhanced 27-acre year-round vibrant open and accessible amusement district.
27 acres? That sounds like MAS’s recommendation, but where MAS has been proposing preservation of a minimum of 27 acres of Coney’s traditional open-air amusements Ms. Kapur is proposing, though it doesn’t immediately sound like it, only 12.5.

(For three other posts we have done about exactly what city officials said at the Wednesday, April 29, 2009 NYU symposium and exactly why they oughtn’t to be believed see: Tuesday, May 12, 2009, The City to the Public: “We’ve Got Your Coney Island: If You Want It Back, Better Do Exactly As We Say. . ” Saturday, May 16, 2009, City Is Rezoning So Coney Island’s Lower-Income Residents Will Have Place to Buy Back-to-School Shoes, Clothing and Stationery? Right. Sure Thing! And Tuesday, May 19, 2009, City Officials in Their Own Words on “Creating” a Coney Island Amusement Area: We Will Do Again What Hasn’t Worked Before.)

Of course the first sleight-of-hand in Ms. Kapur’s formulation is to substitute MAS’s reference to “open-air amusements” to “open and accessible amusement district.” They are not talking about the same thing. “open-air” becomes “open and accessible” in Ms. Kapur’s formulation and “amusements” are replaced by Ms. Kapur’s “amusement district” or sometimes her “new” “amusement park district.”

After MAS Calls For a Minimum of 27 Acres of Amusements, City Launches Its New “27 Acre” Campaign

To be fair, we are told by one of the people most knowledgeable about the competing visions for Coney Island that it is possible to find a reference in city administration documents to the calculation of a 27-acre district that dates back to June 2008. Nevertheless, what happened after MAS identified its study figure that a minimum of 26.5 acres (or, rounding off, a minimum of about 27 acres) was needed for amusements at Coney to remain viable is interesting and, we believe, very significant.

The MAS recommendation was released just before Thanksgiving. Following the New Year’s holiday, on January 20th, 2009 City Planning issued its first press release referring to the fact that it planned “an open and accessible 27-acre indoor and outdoor amusement and entertainment district stretching along the famed boardwalk from the Parachute Jump to the New York Aquarium.” By referring to the open-air boardwalk and Parachute Jump and perhaps also to the aquarium which has many open-air features, the casual reader might not readily notice that “open and accessible” and “entertainment” was not referring to traditional “open-air” Coney Island amusements. The reader would be especially inclined NOT to notice the city’s intent to severely shrink the Coney Island amusement park area, given that the title of the press release included this phraseology (emphasis supplied): “City’s Comprehensive Strategy to Save and Expand on Amusements.” Very clever! It does sound rather like the expanded amusement area MAS was calling for. See: City Planning Begins Public Review on Rezoning of Coney Island: Part of City’s Comprehensive Strategy to Save and Expand on Amusements as Year Round Destination and Revitalize Surrounding Neighborhood, January 20th, 2009.

Whereas the “27 acre” figure had never previously been mentioned by a city administration press release, the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) now followed suit and a slew of city administration press releases followed, regularly working in some featured mention of the city’s 27-acre concept. It apparently became a theme for the press offices promoting the city’s plan to harp on.

See, for example, just a few days later: City Announces Acquisition of Astroland Rocket Ship Rescue of Endangered Coney Island Artifact is a Symbol of the City’s Commitment to the Redevelopment of the Storied Amusement Destination (January 29, 2009). Emphasis is supplied where quoted below:

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert C. Lieber, NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President, Seth W. Pinsky and Department of City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today . . . The Rocket will become a permanent and iconic part of the 27 acre redeveloped amusement district in Coney Island.
See also these examples:

Statement by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on First Public Approval of Coney Island Revitalization Plan, (March 11, 2009):

The City's plan will expand the amusement district to 27 acres . . .
Deputy Mayor Robert C. Lieber and Premier Rides, Inc. President Jim Seay Launch The Coney Island Amusement Advisory Panel: City Officials Will Work with Industry leaders to Plan Interim and Long Term Amusement Uses and Restore Coney Island as a world Class Destination (March 31, 2009)

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert C. Lieber, and Premier Rides, Inc. President Jim Seay today announced the Coney Island Amusement Advisory Panel, a group of leading amusement industry experts that will help structure and expedite the City’s plans for interim amusements at Coney Island in Summer 2010. The panel will also assist the City in continued planning efforts for a permanent amusement operation and development of a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district at Coney Island.
Statement by Mayor Bloomberg on Borough President Markowitz's Approval of Coney Island Revitalization Plan (April 29, 2009)

"Marty Markowitz shares our view that the time is now to restore Coney Island's heyday, enlarge and enhance the famed amusement district, and create jobs and housing for residents. Our plan will reverse the trend of disinvestment in the amusement district and expand it to 27 acres.

As we said, it sure makes the shrinkage sound like an enlargement, doesn’t it?

To be clear, when MAS called for 27 acres of traditional Coney Island amusements MAS was taking into account that in addition to these 27 acres there would be the 16 additional acres where the city is planning to put other things such as hotels and which the city is now referring to as part of the so-called expanded 27 acre “amusement district.”

Identifying the 27 Acres: Where Are They? Don’t Ask

We thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to see how readily the 27 acres the city is talking about could be identified. In other words, when press releases (as per the one immediately above) are freely throwing around the notion that the “amusement district” will “expand” “to “27 acres,” is it just an abstract notion or is there something specific that is easy to refer to? We wanted to see the 27 acres mapped out and clearly identified. Finding such a clearly identified map of the 27 acres on the web turned out not to be exactly easy.

We figured that since the administration press releases were now routinely referring to the 27 acres that Ms. Kapur and city administration officials were constantly referring to in their public appearances, the best people to call for a map with a clear reference to the map’s depiction of the 27 acres would be the press departments representing those city administration officials working on the Coney Island plan. We called the press departments for City Planing and for the CIDC.

The CIDC representative referred us to the Department of City Planning’s web site (where we had not been able to find exactly what we were looking for- we provide the same link) and also said we could refer to CIDC’s own site and gave us a link to the CIDC press kit.

Press releases notwithstanding, the CIDC does not seem to have a map of the 27 acres. We found this image on the CIDC website. You might think it is supposed to be the 27-acre amusement area but it isn’t, even though it is accompanied by these words: “Enlarge the amusement area from its current 10 acres to 27 acres.”

Though we spent half of last week trying, we were never able to get a City Planning representative to identify a map clearly showing the 27 acres. After talking with the CIDC representative we got some confirmation of what we suspected, that this image (see below- Click to enlarge) on the City Planning site shows the 27 acres.

(Purnima Kapur, the Director of City Planning's Brooklyn Office)

Indeed, here is Ms. Kapur speaking at the NYU symposium:

Coney East, the section in Blue, is the area that encompasses the current amusements, and this is the area which will be the new 27-acre amusement district.
On the other hand, it could easily have been this encircled acreage which, though similar, is not the same. (see immediately below- Click to enlarge) And we caution you that there are so many mapped versions of what land will be providing amusements that there could be all sorts of other confusion.

Razzling The Numbers

Since an amusement area is in issue, maybe it is appropriate to describe the way the city provides acreage numbers as a sort of “Razzle” game, sometimes also refereed to as “Razzle Dazzle.” A “Razzle” is an old carney game and we understand that some of the carney amusement community people see that this is exactly what the city is doing, throwing out numbers that most people are having problems keeping straight in their minds.

The point of a Razzle is, after all, that the mark playing the game doesn’t keep straight in his mind the numbers that are being thrown out by the Razzler. The numbers are meant to be incomprehensible to the mark, who is supposed to believe the Razzler’s patter claiming that a win is almost within reach, with just one or two more plays designed to empty the player’s pockets. In the case of the Coney rezoning the city’s goal is to to reduce the total number of Coney Island amusement acres. Just remember that as you read further.

What’s Real: Reduction of Coney Amusements

The city is proposing to de-map 9.3 acres of “parkland” that was supposed to be preserved as amusement area and replace it with two separate broken-up sets of acreage (like the Yankee Stadium park swap). According to Ms. Kapur at the symposium:

One is an acre and half community park, which will be a neighborhood park open to the new and the existing Coney Island community. And then on the other side is a 9.3 acre amusement park which will be mapped along the boardwalk and this will become the centerpiece of the new amusement district that we are proposing to create for you.

Ms. Kapur refers to the “9.3 acre amusement park” (9.39 actually) as the “centerpiece of the new amusement district that we are proposing to create for you.” “New” is an interesting adjective in this regard because while 9.3 acres of what was supposed to be preserved as amusement acreage is being de-mapped, the “9.3 acre amusement park” is not new at all. It includes the city-owned Cyclone which already sits on a substantial portion of that acreage.* It includes the Wonder Wheel and the approximately one acre of land the city has is acquiring to lease back to the family who originally owned the Deno’s Wonder Wheel for their kiddie park. What was until a few months ago Astroland won’t be “new” amusement area under the city’s plan, but it is almost as if the developer/land speculator Joe Sitt (Thor Equities) has been working with the city’s PR people to promote the rezoning plan (totaling 47 acres in all) because Sitt’s eviction of Astroland from its 3.1 acres last fall makes it easier to argue that the city is fighting for more amusements than would otherwise be there given the recent Astroland eviction.

(* The city drawings- see picture before last above as an example- appear to show that West 10th street accessing the area along side the Cyclone will be converted to a narrow strip of newly mapped parkland. It is not clear whether it will still be used as a road or whether a new road outside the mapped parkland will be created providing the access into the area. The amusement area propsed by the city also apparently includes land on the other side of the Cyclone used for parking. )

Consider How Small

Below is an image showing how small the city’s actual proposed amusement park area will be. We obtained this months ago from the CIDC at a Municipal Art Society event and included it in one of our posts. (We are not sure that it is any longer available through the CIDC.) Use the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel as a reference for scale and you will note how little land is left for any similarly major amusement rides.

Here is another comparative reference: Coney’s existing New York Aquarium is 14 acres. Based on the acreage resources devoted under the city’s plan, future New Yorkers are more likely to think of going out to Coney for the 14-acre aquarium than for the 9.3-acre amusement park. In fact, the aquarium is sometimes considered a coordinated part of a 22.3 acre area (the Hennessey Triangle) consisting of the aquarium and the 5.3 acre Asser Levy Park (Seaside Park). There is also the 1.8 acre Asser Levy Recreation Center, Pool and Playground.

(* There is currently community controversy about how much amplified event noise should be allowed in Asser Levy Park on the weekends because of the institutions in near proximity. See: Tuesday, May 26, 2009, A closer look at the Borough President's budget, his marquee Coney project, and the off-books funding via the mayor's office.)

Even if you include the 2.2-acre Steeplechase Plaza park and Cyclone together with the 9.3 acre amusement park area, these combined areas are outmatched by the aquarium’s 14 acres. It is worth remembering that the 14 acres of the aquarium was itself once all amusement park land (Dreamland) that was sacrificed and never replaced to create the aquarium. Similarly, what was supposed to be amusement area acres were sacrificed and replaced by the Keyspan Ballpark and its surrounding parking lots, which as Ms. Kapur points out are used:

for the 38 days that it is in season and there is a game going on there. For most of rest of the year they remain vacant or very sparsely utilized.
More shrinkage: Until relatively recently, the Thunderbolt roller coster occupied more seaside acreage beside Keyspan Ballpark. It was torn down illegally by Mayor Giuliani in 2000, apparently to please a Mets official. The Keyspan Ball Park is played in by a New York Mets farm team. (See: About New York; Giuliani Razed Roller Coaster, And the Law, by Dand Barry, October 4, 2003.)

According to the above New York Times article, demolition of the Thunderbolt was “goosed” along by someone from the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is now one of the agencies importantly involved in leading the city’s effort to eliminate Coney Island amusement acreage. (It has been noted that there can be some basic problems of perspective when “development” officials are involved with providing the public with parks and recreation, another example being Brooklyn Bridge Park.)

The proposed Steeplechase Plaza is to replace currently existing outdoor playing fields wedged into the awkward small space left between the Keyspan ballpark and the boardwalk. There is room enough to fit in the old carousel that is in storage. There is at least one frightening rendering available of a city-competition winning building that would enclose some of this previously open acreage. (See: Monday, March 05, 2007, Coney's "Steeplechase Plaza" Moving Forward.)

Razzling Questions

Here is an interesting Razzle Dazzle question: Since the 2.2 acre Steeplechase Plaza immediately abuts the “27-acre amusement district” why isn’t it and its acreage included in the city's official amusement district so that people would then be talking about a 29.2 acre district?

Here is another question of that ilk: Why is Steeplechase Plaza abutting the“27-acre amusement district” not included in it while at the other end, the Cyclone is? They both go into the city’s calculation of the actual traditional open-air amusement area at 12.5 acres. Here is how Ms. Kapur formulated it at the NYU symposium:

The 27 acre amusement district consists of a new park we are mapping which, when combined with the Steeplechase Plaza on one side and the existing Cyclone on the other, is twelve and a half acres of parkland that then becomes a beachfront amusement park.
Taking a crack at a little amplifying translation we come up with the following version of the above (helping by doing some of the math):

The 27 acre amusement district consists of a new [9.39 acre amusement] park we are mapping which, when combined with the [2.2 acre] Steeplechase Plaza on one side [excluded from the 27 acre amusement and entertainment diestrict]and the existing [.91 acre] Cyclone on the other, [which is included in the 27 acre amusement and entertainment district] is twelve and a half acres of parkland that then becomes a beachfront amusement park [of which 10.3 acres are included in the amusement and entertainment district] . [Leaving a total of 16.7 acres, 62%, in the 27 acre amusement and entertainment district that are not traditional open-air amusements.]
We Are Not Amused: 16.7 Acres MAS and the Amusement Community Do Not Consider to Constitute a Preserved Amusement Area

The city fabricates its confusing eyewash 27-acre figure by including in the “amusement park district” acreage that could and probably will be used for hotels, indoor movie theaters and restaurants. The city says that hotels would be “limited to Surf Avenue.” As big buildings, hotels would no doubt take up much of the 27 acres. MAS and the community have argued that while hotels could still be located on Surf Avenue, “There should be no hotels south of Surf and east of Keyspan Park” because they “would obstruct sight-lines to the beach,” “encroach on the already limited area devoted to amusements” and “compromise some of the few remaining historic buildings in Coney.” (See: Monday, April 20, 2009, All Eyes Are On. . . . Coney Island.)

Ms. Kapur at the NYU symposium makes things sound almost palatable, but remember that permission to build a water park doesn’t mean a water park will actually be built instead of a run-of-the-mill movieplex, or that what could be “open” would actually be open instead of “enclosed.” Ms. Kapur:

Complementing that is area to the north which is also amusement area and is being zoned through a special district to allow for a range of open and enclosed amusements, rides, but also bringing in uses such as restaurants that are not permitted here today, movie theaters, water parks, Imaxes, and also hotels that would be limited to the Surf Avenue frontage, also limited to locations in the corners.
To Be Really Razzled With Acreage Numbers

Forewarned is forearmed. See if you can withstand this: Everything we have written above should make clear that the city is selling a reduction and near elimination of amusements at Coney- But, even knowing that, don’t the following descriptions by Ms. Kapur at the NYU symposium make it sound like something completely different?

One is an acre and a half community park, which will be a neighborhood park open to the new and the existing Coney Island community. And then on the other side is a 9.3 acre amusement park which will be mapped along the boardwalk and this will become the centerpiece of the new amusement district that we are proposing to create for you.

* * * *

The way we have strategically located this park property, it starts to create a network of parks starting all the way from Ocean Parkway, through the boardwalk to Asser Levy Park to the New York Aquarium, the new proposed amusement park district, the Keyspan Park and then finally ending in Highland View Park* which is the new neighborhood park we are proposing to create. This is a network of 60 acres of active amusement, entertainment, publicly accessible areas within the Coney Island system. And alongside the beach which is more than a hundred acres here and the three-mile-long boardwalk this really starts to create a nexus which becomes the amusement and entertainment center.

So how exactly would this amusement district work? The 27-acre amusement district consists of a new park we are mapping which, when combined with the Steeplechase Plaza on one side and the existing Cyclone, on the other is twelve and a half acres of parkland that then becomes a beachfront amusement park. Complementing that is area to the north which is also amusement area and is being zoned through a special district to allow for a range of open and enclosed amusements, rides, but also bringing in uses such as restaurants that are not permitted here today, movie theaters, water parks, Imaxes, and also hotels that would be limited to the Surf Avenue frontage, also limited to locations in the corners.
(* Highland View Park is a proposed disconnected park three block north of the Keyspan Ballpark.)

Coming Round To The Current Irony: MAS Now “Appears” To Want Fewer Amusement Acres Than City Administration

Whereas the city’s statement about what it wants in terms of amusement acreage have gotten progressively more challenging to understand, MAS has tried to simplify what it is saying, but look at the unfortunate result. MAS recently decided to round off, when stating to the public, the 26.5 figure for the minimum amusement park acreage it is calling for. You could round 26.5 to either 26 or 27 since it ends “.5" though common method rounding would have you round up to 27. Also, since the figure stated is a “minimum figure” that is another reason to round up. In actuality, MAS was, for a time, generally rounding the figure down to 26 in its public discussions and, more recently, has rounded down to the nearest 5, stating, for instance at the NYU symposium, the minimum acreage figure should be “25 acres.” Still, it is important to remember that MAS is calling for what is the bare minimum of what it thinks is a viably sized amusement park area. Almost every other premier amusement park around the world is substantially larger.

The ironic effect of MAS’s simplified rounding down of its figure to 25 acres is that this number, while more clearly distinct from the city’s “27-acre amusement district” now appears to be calling for less than the city is calling for, even though MAS is actually calling for an open-air amusement area more than twice as large as what the city is calling for. Give yourself a pat on the back if you are following all of this. It certainly means that the press has had an uphill battle in expressing things clearly.

What the City Doesn’t Want You to Know: It Is Shrinking The Coney Island Amusement Park to Its Likely Extinction

We said at the outset that we don’t believe the city wants you to know what it is proposing to do at Coney Island. We don’t think the city wants the public to know to what a tiny vestigial remnant it intends to shrink the once-great Coney amusement area because then the public would almost certainly oppose the selling of all those amusement park acres. Isn’t the city growing? Why then should the city be eliminating the resource of a great amusement park? Why should the city seemingly be doing everything in its power to see that a historic amusement park is sold off to real estate develop developers and land speculators for blander uses of the seashore less accommodating of the public or our imaginations?

The Municipal Art Society called for the a minimum of 27 acres of traditional style amusements at Coney: We think the city’s somewhat sneaky rejoinder to MAS’s recommendation speaks volumes. When someone confuses the issue and doesn’t take a debate on squarely and directly we think it is a fairly good indication that they know they are on what should be the losing side of an argument.

So here is a confusing piece of advice for you: When the Municipal Art Society says create 27 acres of amusements, listen. When the city says create a 27-acre “amusement park district” disregard what they are saying. And when YOU say there should be 27 acres of amusement park at Coney Island, emphasize “at a minimum” and “as called for by the Municipal Art Society, an organization we can trust.”

By the way, those alternative replacement uses the city envisions substituting for Coney’s amusements may be generations in coming even if the amusement area is put asunder now . . . But that is material for a future Noticing New York post.

Note: There is a brand new resource regularly posting new information about Coney Island issues which we suggest you check out: Amusing the Zillion (A former carny kid casts an insider’s eye on the amusement business, Coney Island, and fun spaces in between)

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