Coney Island's history dates back to the 1800's, when it was envisioned as a working man's paradise. For pocket change, you could enjoy rides and hot dogs. While you'll need a little more than pocket change now, this venture outside Manhattan has a true charm, and can connect with most anyone's inner child. Over the summer you'll find packed beaches, Friday night fireworks, and the famous Nathan's hot dog eating contest on July 4. But if you're coming from Midtown or the Upper East/West Sides, be sure to take an express train or you'll be in for a ride not quite as amusing as the Cyclone.
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Walking the Boardwalk: Coney Island and Brighton Beach
New York is the place that people from around the world flock to in a bid to get lost amongst the rush of people and activity that chokes the small island of Manhattan. Unfortunately, only a small handful venture across the Hudson to explore NYC's most populous borough and dive into all the great things that Brooklyn has to offer: great food, fantastic shopping, lush green parks and sandy beaches.
Located in southwest Brooklyn are the residential neighbourhoods of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Sitting on the doorstep of the Atlantic Ocean, these suburbs are home to a high number of East-European and Russian immigrants who have the good fortune of residing next to a wide stretch of sandy beach and a boardwalk that takes visitors from one neighbourhood straight into the the other.
Aside from frolicking in the ocean and working on your tan, there's more to be done at Coney Island and Brighton Beach. You can visit the New York Aquarium (http://www.nyaquarium.com/) or stop in at one of the amusement parks and take a spin on the ferris wheel, lose your lunch on the roller coaster or indulge in intriguing 'delicacies' like deep fried Oreo cookies. If need more sustenance there are plenty of Mom & Pop stands along the boardwalk where you can satiate your tastebuds with clams, fries and an ice cold beer. There are also ongoing events (circus, magic and more) from June thru to September.
This picture is too perfect for February, and it is. It was taken last summer at Coney Island, Brooklyn New York. Weather has been gorgeous in January. I am keeping my finger crossed that this would go on till spring, and then summer for this picture perfect weather to emerge again for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors in New York City.
By AFAR Traveler
Don't miss the Coney Island Wonder Wheel, over 80 years old and never an accident! Watch out for the swinging carts! (And grab your original Nathan's hot dog AFTER, not before, the ride)
Coney Island and its beaches fascinate me. You can take the subway there right from Manhattan, and suddenly you're transported to another world. It's full of Russian immigrants, and you can find Russian restaurants, stores and interesting nightclubs. The famous boardwalk and beach area seems so strange just a block from busy city streets, but there it is.