Once the world's biggest playground, the waterfront amusement district declines. From hey-day turn-of-the-century attractions like theatrical re-creations of tenement fires, Coney Island has pared down to the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel and a handful of sideshows and food stalls. What's left opened for the season April 3, under the banner of the "Second Annual Last Summer."
A proposed re-zoning and overzealous developing crowd out the carnival rides and further threaten the relatively un-gentrified, still predominantly Russian and Ukrainian Brighton Beach neighborhood. Protected as a heritage site, the Cyclone coaster will continue to roll, but shaded by condos rather than freak shows.
Coney Island in early spring turns up a collection of images that the signal bleakness of a potentially permanent off-season.