At the Mermaid Parade, Breast-Oglers, Sea Witches and Hipster-Queer Sea Captains

"Breasts. I come exclusively for the breasts," says Ronnie Koppl at the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Meanwhile, his wife, Karen, smiles, shakes her head and lightly scolds, "Ronnie, No!"

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Coney Island Polar Bear Club Ushers in 2012 With Annual Frigid Dip

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C.S. Muncy
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the "oldest winter bathing organization in the United States," was at it again with aplomb over the weekend for their annual New Year's Day swim. Photographer C.S. Muncy was there to get some shots. While it was warmer than usual as far as outside temperatures run this time of year, the water was a reported 45 degrees and "one heck of an ice bath," per one participant. If semi-nude bathers willingly plunging into frigid waters in January are a thermometer of the times, styles for 2012 are skimpy, but hats are definitely in, as are (still) homemade Occupy signs.

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Kilauea Volcano Erupts in Hawaii; Violence Continues in Libya; Cabbie Runs Over Passengers

• Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano is erupting from the Puu Oo crater, which collapsed over the weekend, creating a vent 545 meters long (about a third of a mile), with lava shooting up 72 feet into the air. Watch here. [Pat's Papers]


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Coney Island Boardwalk Truce: Businesses to Stay for Summer?

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Not for another year!
The hotly contested beachfront businesses on the Coney Island boardwalk look set remain and keep that decades-old charm, if that is what you call it, for one more year.

Attorney Marc Aronson, who represents the eight boardwalk businesses in the eviction case against their corporate entertainment landlords, Central Amusements, told New York magazine, "We're working on something that'll be an amicable resolution for all the parties and something that'll be really just for both sides, and we're really close."

Details of Aronson's "amicable resolution" are hard to find, but insiders told the hyper-local Coney Island blog Amusing the Zillion that the likely scenario included an extension of the existing leases, but that the 2011 summer season would probably be the last for the "Coney Island 8."

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Leslie Mendez, 15, Missing From Coney Island

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Leslie Mendez
​Cops are asking for the public's help in finding Leslie Mendez, a 15-year-old Coney Island girl who was last seen Tuesday, February 1. Mendez lives at 2850 West 16th Street in Brooklyn. She's 5-1 and 150 pounds.

Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit tips at nypdcrimestoppers.com or text info to 274637 (CRIMES), entering TIP577.

Coney Island 8 Vow Not to Give Up Against "Goliath"

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Tricia Vita/Amusing the Zillion via Flickr
Snowdrifts on the third rail have the DNQ trains crawling along toward Stillwell Avenue like they were headed for the last stop on the Trans-Siberian. Polar bears have been seen canvassing the shallows. It's home to white skeletons of roller coaster steel and a brutal cold wind. It's Coney Island in the winter, Vladivostok to Manhattan's Moscow.

It doesn't sound like an inviting destination, but Central Amusements International, the American arm of Italian thrill ride maker Zamperla, is determined to turn it into one. So much so that eight historic boardwalk businesses were told by lease-holder CAI in November 2010 to pack up and make way for a development project worth millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs, with the aim of turning Coney Island into a year-round destination.

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Evicted Coney Island Businesses Say City Is Lying, They Never Asked for a Buyout

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via Ruby's Coney Island
Yesterday the New York Post reported that the businesses being evicted from the Coney Island boardwalk (including longtime institutions like Shoot the Freak and Ruby's Bar) had "drawn a line in the Coney Island sand" and were demanding a buyout of $2 million to leave the premises. Linda Gross, president of LCG Communications, a PR organization representing the eight businesses, says this is untrue.

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The Chilean Miners Are Going to Disney World; Foursquare Check-ins, Now With Photos...Plus, More Non-Snow-Related News

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Nothing snowy here.
People are talking about a few other things besides the snow! Really! (By the way, those riders on the A train who were stuck have been rescued, thank God.) Also, the 7 train is now suspended. In other news...

• The Chilean miners are getting a trip to Disney World! Plus, a $500 gift card for each of their families. [CNN]

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Snow Flurries Today; Continental Found Guilty of Concorde Crash; Bodies of Missing Balloonists Found

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• Look for snow flurries today! Also, it's cold. Despite what you might hear, this is actually not the first time we've gotten snow this year. Nor will it be the last. [Weather]

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The Coney Island Boardwalk Army Meets Tonight to Fight the Concrete Menace of Change with...Recycling.

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Many people -- especially Brooklynites -- are of the opinion that Coney Island is going to gentrified culture-dead hell, as a bunch of classic Coney businesses are being given the boot by its new owners. Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz knows, and kinda cares. But what of the actual boardwalk we hear now may be replaced by concrete?

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