Destroying Coney Island to save it (Metro NY)

The long-awaited death of Coney Island looks like it may finally be at hand, and there’s plenty of blame to go around:

Coney Island in winter always feels desolate, but this year the spooky whistle the wind makes as it rattles the Astrotower sounds especially mournful. After two straight years of “last summer ever!” at Coney, 2009 is starting to feel like the end for real. Astroland itself is in the process of being packed up — possibly for shipment to Australia — leaving only the Cyclone and the smaller Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park as remnants of Coney’s once-great amusement district.

Along the boardwalk, huge “For Lease” signs cover the storefronts, and no one’s sure which will reopen next spring.

Such is what’s become of the city’s 4-year-old plan to “revitalize” Coney Island via a sweeping rezoning plan to bring in housing and “entertainment retail.”… [read more]