Apparently, Coney Island was once an island with nothing on it but a whole load of rabbits. So, the Dutch named it Rabbit Island or Konijn Eiland. The English sounding equivalent was Coney Island. That's how it got its name. This is true.
Martha, my oldest best friend Megan's girlfriend, and I, went to Konijn Eiland today, not to chase down rabbits or trade with the Dutch, but to enjoy a day on the tawdry boardwalk and to get on those rides!
The new subway terminal at Coney Island is swanky. Like an American version of Gare d'Austerlitz. The first thing you see when you get off the train is Nathan's. So, you just have to eat, immediately. (Notice the Steeplechase above Nathan's. That used to be the parachute ride.)
After shoving down the dogs and cheese fries, we decided to play a little Skeeball. The game was in disrepair. Martha's Skeeball had trouble keeping score. I actually got a ball into the 100 hole in the upper left hand corner. It didn't register. While the fix-it lady was taking care of Martha's scoring lights, I told her what happened to my unscoring 100, she said, "Oh yeah, that one does that," and she gave me a few tickets to make up for it. After we amassed our huge sum of Skeeball tickets (about 80) we headed for the rides. Time for the Scrambler.
I can assure you, this woman started to look much happier once the ride got going. We loved it. The torque was wonderful. The air breezy. We followed it with The Tilt-a-Whirl. You pull on the lap bar, and that thing twirls like a dervish. Pukey. Off. The Cyclone beckoned.
Look at happy Martha daringly making her way through the quaint painted chain link entrance to the ride. This roller coaster is so old and rickety, you have to wonder how many people have died on it.
Up the Hill.
Down the Hill.
And that was one of the smaller downhills. The Cyclone is a world wonder because it's really compact. Every track is right next to each other. The drops feel vertical. The bumpy factor is high.
And look at these ancient tracks, all wobbly and bent. Supported by salt-air weakened wood.
We played some in the arcade, cashed in our Skeeball tickets for very cheap stuff and took a rest.
Lest you think our day was all hot dogs, cheese fries, games and rides, one must not forget, this whole thing began because of the Atlantic Ocean for the Dutch, the English and for us. You can take the D or the F or the N or the Q trains to the sea. Do it. It's invigorating.