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Coney Island, Brooklyn

Coney Island, Brooklyn

Photo: Elizabeth Weinberg

With its proud carnie culture, tattooed 80-year-olds, perhaps-not-ironic antique bathing suits and vintage rides like the Tilt-A-Whirl, Coney Island is a Tom Waits song in the making. As a destination for sun, surf and fun, it was historically a great social equalizer, its seaside attractions bringing the city together in a particular juxtaposition of toughness and innocence. So many all-American attractions were popularized here: the roller coaster, the hot dog, soft-serve ice cream. And so many end in exclamation marks, all the more deserved this year. Deno’s Wonder Wheel, erected in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company and still turning, rightfully claims, “They don’t build them like this anymore!”

From: New York City's Boardwalks Make a Comeback

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