If you’re going to New York for a longer period of time, like let’s say more than 5 days, I’d defo recommend to visit Coney Island. If you’re lucky enough you catch a sub that doesn’t break down after 15 minutes of traveling for at least one whole hour (sense the frustration?), and public transport will take you there in approximately one hour. That might seem like time you don’t have to spare (since you are in NY, I get it), but really, it’s worth it. I promise. I don’t know how things are in summer, but my winter visit to Coney Island was such an experience. I will truly never forget it.
It was a beautiful day in NY and I decided to get out of town, and head to the beach (so weird to find yourself at the beach within one hour from Manhattan). Ofcourse Coney Island is the best way to go as a tourist, because of the crazy boardwalk over there. Stupid me didn’t think of the fact that is was winter and that something like a boardwalk might be handling seasonal opening hours. So yes, everything was closed and everything was under construction. But if anything, the fact that everything was closed and dark might have even contributed to the wonderful experience I had.
I was privileged with a ‘real’ look into the lives of the locals. Except for a few people on the street it was like totally empty. So empty I hid my big touristy camera underneath my big touristy scarf with my big touristy Lonely Planet because I was aware of the fact that this neighborhood lives off of the summer season, and whilst that is not running right now, people are poor. I felt like such a snob, but I had serious robberyscares. Especially after I visited the local McD for a chance of finding a toilet only to find the cleaning lady explaining to me that “the doors don’t close here, cause people are shooting and stuff”. Such a big difference with all the rich stockbrokers and such in Manhattan or other lively boroughs in NYC.
Next to this rich girl awakening I had, I also really enjoyed the silence of Coney Island. The beach was covered in snow, and like I said, everything was closed due to winter season. A perfect opportunity to let my inner photographer go loose, as you can see in this post. It reminded me a little bit of some footage I saw before of Detroit – the real ghosttown.
What I am saying, is that you can’t miss out on a little trip towards Coney Island if you have the time. Just to catch that out-of-town experience and get some of that cultural juices flowing. If you’re visiting during the summer season you can even catch a rollercoaster! I’m sure they fixed all the rides properly and there won’t be any felanges missing.
Hungry? Don’t go to McD like I did, but take the time to visit Nathan’s. Coney Islands most famous restaurants. Fun-fact: they proudly host a hot dog eating contest every year. The housefront even features a huge countdown to it.