Coney Island can be fun, but on a blazing hot day at the height of summer, it’s not exactly my first choice for a good time. I’m not sure why we never thought to go during sunset hours before because let me tell you, that golden hour light makes everything glow with a charm. Kick in a cool ocean breeze and the twinkle of amusement lights that gradually illuminate the boardwalk and the place transforms altogether. We have this thing that we do with the kids sometimes where we won’t tell them where we’re going, but rather keep it as a surprise until they can guess. It’s a little tortuous and they probably get really annoyed at us, but hey, sometimes we take liberties as parents and have some fun (at their expense). Last week we decided quite at the last minute to take a train ride to Coney Island after the day’s plans got totally derailed from that bad mood I had that day. I guess the parental guilt crept in and I wanted to make it up to the girls. They were thrilled, of course, and it was so nice to be out there in the ocean air watching the day transition into night.
When we took the train home after the sun went down, I sat there in the mostly empty subway car remembering how I used to ride the same F train as a teenager in college, coming home from some crazy winter Fun House party in Coney Island, back to the East Village. That one hour ride was long from the end of the line in Brooklyn to 2nd Ave in Manhattan. It seemed even longer still at 2am in the morning, particularly if you were tired and maybe a little, um, messed up from partying.
Coney Island doesn’t look like it did back in those days in the late 80s, but even with all the shiny new rides it still somehow feels like Coney Island, with a little less flavor and a lot less trash. If you’re curious about what it looked like in the 80s, here’s an Air Supply video for you, shot in Coney Island around 1982. People around my age should remember this cheesy song. I mean my god, Air Supply was big around that era, weren’t they? The Solid Gold era as I like to refer to those music years from when I was a kid. If you’re not from my generation then maybe you’ll recognize this song from supermarket shopping or riding elevators.