My glass-half-full speculation, it turned out, came to naught: Astroland, the cherished Coney Island amusement park, closed its doors last night for the last time. And before anyone asks: No, the Wonder Wheel (owned by neighboring Deno’s) and Cyclone (owned by the city, operated by Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert) are not going anywhere. (You’d be surprised how many people, even professional journalists, ask that.)
Last year as Astroland’s summer season came to an end, supporters of the fabled Coney Island amusement park rallied outside the gates to demand that it remain open. This year, not so much: When the gates went up for Astroland’s final day yesterday morning, there was just a small crowd of families and curiosity seekers, who quickly fanned out with their cameras and ride tickets in hand.
The mood was very different this year, and for good reason. As park owner Carol Hill Albert announced on Thursday, the 46-year-old amusement park, which opened on the site of the old Feltman’s beer garden back when the Parachute Jump was still in working order, has run out of lives. Next year, in all likelihood, the space between the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel will be an empty lot… [read more]