Goodbye Coney

Friday, April 10, 2020

Do any of you remember being in grade school and being asked , "what motivates you?” And every basic in the class would be like , "my mommy and daddy!!!” That my friends, was never my answer. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are phenomenal, but my motivation was always Coney Island, and I’ll tell you why.

My morning walks to the Stillwell Avenue train station, as a child, would consist of passing the drunk and the druggies almost every morning. I’d see the little baggies on the floor and instantly knew they weren’t for candy. Pabst blue ribbon and , brown Heineken bottles were my introduction to brand logos. And the looks people eyes of being faded away into an alternate reality , even at a mere 7am, were ones I grew familiar with.

We were smart enough to never walk on Surf Avenue at night, because no good would happen.  We couldn’t walk around the neighborhood dressed up too nice , because we didn't want to attract attention. My parents were afraid of us to hang out with our friends, so we didn’t get to do too much of that. Coney didn’t have the best rep back in the day. It was a hot neighborhood. Most of grade school and high school I was embarrassed to tell people were I even lived. The second those words would come out of my mouth, the replies were instant, "isn't that a really bad neighborhood? "Don't only poor people live there?" "Isn't that the ghetto?"

Coney had its pros and it's cons for sure, but once the train pulled into the terminal, and I could see the flashing lights from Luna along with the shore, I knew I was home. Regardless of what people had to say, there was still something special about it.

It holds even more value to me because I based my blog around it- everything from my name, to my photoshoot pictures, are all because of home. 

I’ve lived here for exactly a quarter of my life- the last 25 years if you are mathematically dyslexic like me. That’s a realllllllllly long time. That translates to:

  • 25 summers spent at the beach
  • Over $1,000 spent on $2 cabs (real ones remember when they used to be $1)
  • A little under 4,015 rides on the B74
  • two hurricanes (one catastrophic one causing us to rebuild our house)
  • several summers of baseball games
  • 275 summer Friday fireworks
  • a billion rides to and from the Stillwell Avenue Train station
  • hundreds of walks on the boardwalk at dusk to see the changing sunset
  • years of watching the Mermaid Parade (several seeing it in person)
  • Porkie getting stolen TWICE and sold off 
  • several summers at NAT camp
  • several years playing for OLS and then 4 years playing softball on the Hustlers
  • a few house parties
  • a few years dancing ballet and modern at Arts House
  • a few visits to the Seagate beach club
  • 4 years of shooting content at Luna, the boardwalk, and the art walls
  • and ALOT of time spent in my cozy, checkerboard room

So, now that you've seen the title, you can guess that I left. I didn't think that two weeks after writing the "resolution tour," that my boyfriend and I would actually find our starter apartment! So that my friends, was my reason for moving.

My inspiration from a young age has always been Coney because I never wanted to end up like some of the people I've grown up seeing. The homeless, the hippies, the drunks, the druggies, the mental lady that carries the baby stroller with the baby doll down Mermaid and Neptune. I don't know their stories or if they plan on changing it, but I know mine. IT WILL ALWAYS BE HOME, and no matter where in the world I go, I won't lose sight of that or the memories I've made from growing up here. It's made me a stronger person; one thats had to work really hard to make a living for myself, and to have been able to make this move. 

It feels really weird to not live there anymore, but its still a short drive away. I'm only a few steps away from seeing the parachute jump from my new backyard. 

on that note: Hello Shaolin, I've returned. 

Photos by @royal.youths
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