Hit Hard by Sandy, Coney Island Museum Will Re-Open May 26

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Image via Coney Island USA
After being closed for a year and a half due to Hurricane Sandy-related renovations, the world-famous, sideshow-hosting, awesome-stuff-having Coney Island Museum will re-open May 26, just in time for Memorial Day. We're so excited we may show up dressed as a topless mermaid.

Coney Island was hit especially hard by Sandy; in April of last year, the area's unofficial mayor, Dick Zigun, who runs the museum and heads Coney Island USA, the non-profit behind it, told the Daily News the museum had suffered "major damage" to the museum, its props and inventory.

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Some Well-Intentioned but Probably Misguided Alien-Followers Flew a Swastika Over the Beach on Sunday

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Image via Twitter user Gifter Photos
A group intent on "rehabilitating" the swastika had a genius plan Sunday afternoon: flying a banner with a big ol' swastika on it over a portion of the shoreline, where it was spotted by beachgoers in Long Island, Rockaway Beach, and Coney Island. No possible way that could be misconstrued! Nope!

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The Partial Dismantling of the AstroTower Also Decimated Coney Island's Fourth of July Business

Categories: Coney Island

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Image via Twitter user Rochelle Goldman.
After reports on Wednesday that it was "swaying dangerously," the Department of Buildings dismantled the top portion of the AstroTower, one of Coney Island's last historic rides. As welders lopped off about 53 feet and 44,000 pounds of weight from the structure, the Cyclone and the area around it remained closed, as did the Wonder Wheel and a two-block-long section of the boardwalk.

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After 49 Years, Coney Island's AstroTower May Be Taken Down Tonight

Categories: Coney Island

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Image via PlanetGordon.com
Earlier today, we told you that parts of Coney Island's Luna Park as well as a stretch of Surf Avenue were closed following reports that a decades-old ride, the AstroTower, was swaying and appeared unstable. But Coney Island blogger Tricia Vita at Amusing the Zillion called bullshit, saying the whole thing smelled like a plan to take down a beloved older ride that didn't fit in with the newer, shinier counterparts that Luna Park's parent company, Zamperla, has built around it.

Looks like Vita might have been right. New York 1 broke the news less than an hour ago that the AstroTower will be demolished tonight.

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Luna Park Evacuated After AstroTower Starts Swaying. But Could There Be a Conspiracy at Work?

Categories: Coney Island

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Image via PlanetGordon.com
The AstroTower, in happier, less windy times.
Oh good lord. Coney Island's Luna Park was evacuated late yesterday afternoon, after reports that a nearby ride, the bagel-on-a-stick-shaped AstroTower, was swaying and looked potentially unstable.

Around 3:15 p.m. yesterday, the city's Office of Emergency Management tweeted that due to a "structural issue," Surf Avenue had been closed between West 10th and West 12th Streets, and that Luna Park, the Cyclone, and Wonder Wheel Park were also closed.

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Try Watching This Stop-Motion Video of the Polar Bear Plunge Without Getting Cold

Photographer Jena Cumbo stitched together some of her shots from the Polar Bear Plunge--which took place on New Year's Day on Coney Island--to make this teeth-rattling video. What's a better hangover cure than diving into the near-freezing Atlantic Ocean? A bacon egg and cheese and some Excedrin, you say? Touché

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The Great Coney Island Toilet Paper-Rationing Crisis Is Over

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Wikipedia
Coney Island was not all fun and hot dog eating contests this holiday weekend. In fact, there was a silent, misty menace seeping through the crowds (cue Jaws soundtrack): a lack of toilet paper.

In an "exposé" Monday, the Post explained that Parks Department employees were "rationing" toilet paper in the Coney Island women's bathrooms along the boardwalk. And men weren't getting any of the "cheap, single-ply" goods. Can someone please get some Charmin up in here?

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Roman Shusterman, "Peace Through Face Sitting" Guy, Now Offering Free Massages

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Steven Thrasher
​Roman Shusterman caused a minor stir in Union Square last year when he began a campaign to achieve world "peace through face sitting." (Yes, that is basically what it sounds like: he'd ask women to sit on his face, which would somehow mysteriously lead to humanity laying down arms against each other, and yes, some actually did it.)

We ran into Shusterman at Coney Island a couple of weeks ago, where he was on the first day of his new "Free Massages" campaign, and asked him how it was working out so far.

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Coney Island Mermaid Parade Features Pasties, People Named Hellvis

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Esther Zuckerman
On Friday we talked to Talk Stoop-er Cat Greenleaf about her stint as Queen Mermaid of this year's Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Driven by curiosity and a desire to see people in bizarre costumes, we ventured to the far reaches of Brooklyn Saturday to see what Coney Island wrought.

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Cat Greenleaf, the Mermaid Parade's Queen Mermaid, Stoop Talks With Us

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Esther Zuckerman
When I arrived at Cat Greenleaf's Cobble Hill brownstone this morning, she offered me some "Brooklyn seltzer," which she proceeded to pour into a small cup from an old-fashioned bottle. Greenleaf has made a lot of her Brooklyn residency. Her red door near the corner of Wyckoff and Court Streets is the backdrop for her NBC New York show Talk Stoop, in which she conducts casual conversation with celebrities while, of course, sitting on the stoop. We took to that same stoop, alongside Greenleaf's English bulldog, Gracie, to discuss her latest Brooklyn honor: She is this weekend's Mermaid Parade's Queen Mermaid. As we chatted, sometimes pausing to talk with passersby, conversation turned to matters like her show, her neighborhood, and Taxi TV -- she's fine if you turn it off.

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