The Battle for Coney Island

Not everyone may agree that New York's historic Coney Island is in danger of being relegated to the scrap heap of history, but there are enough to battle an impending deal with a developer.

O.L. Robau, a Brooklyn, NY, resident who identifies himself as a "New York Real Estate Broker/Filmmaker," has a blog called "Kinetic Carnival" that is devoted to "musings, past and current events as well as the future that is the legendary Coney Island."

Robau and others are frightened by the ongoing plans of Thor Equities, a company that has spent nearly $100 million buying up a huge chunk of Coney Island from various owners en route to converting the iconical old amusement park and beach part of Brooklyn into a a glittering resort. Something New York magazine back in 2005 headlined "The Incredibly Bold, Audaciously Cheesy, Jaw-Droppingly Vegasified, Billion-Dollar Glam-Rock Makeover of Coney Island."

Kinetic Carnival is mounting a petition drive to oppose Thor's plans. There also is a My Space site, complete with raucous, annoying background music, working to "save" Coney Island, a legendary place that has been a drawing card for young and old, and mostly middle- and lower-income, visitors since the 1860s.

While the forces of Good and Evil -- you take your pick over which sides wear which labels -- are waging war, you still can see what remains of the old Coney Island and its neighborhood. With spring not far away, we're nearing the area's most magical time of the year and its historic boardwalk, beaches and bistros attract visitors and locals alike.
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• Astroland Amusement Park
The American Experience: Coney Island
New York Aquarium
Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk
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