Monday, October 14, 2013

A quieter Coney

A few months ago, some friends and I got a Living Social deal to go to Luna Park in Coney Island. My trips to Coney Island in the past have been largely in the heat of summer when I was too lazy to go to a beach that's wasn't cover inch by inch in people and, sometimes, broken glass. The one exception is the time a couple of years ago that I did actually try to go to the new and improved Luna Park on its last weekend before Halloween, heading out on a Friday night after work. It was about 40 degrees, and my friends and I decided that it was too expensive, so we ended up getting a hot dog at Nathans, playing some skee ball, and calling it a night. Actually, the one last memory of that trip was that while the Luna Park employees dressed as werewolves whose sole job seemed to be to sneak up behind you, lean over and invade your personal space, and then say nothing (or, occasionally a "boo!" if they were going all out), the only really scary thing was when we tried to go to the boardwalk for a minute because one of my friends had never been, and there was some very menacing guy standing there. We couldn't see his face, but he seemed enough like a video game villain guarding the boardwalk that he wordlessly convinced a group of four people that maybe we didn't want to explore that way so much after all. He also convinced me to never go back to Coney Island in the winter at night again. The hot dogs just aren't that great.

Sketchiness aside, Coney Island's Luna Park can be a fun place, and when you have a coupon, it's an inexpensive way to spend the day. Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day to ride some rides and wander the boardwalk. I even rode the Coney Island Cyclone again, something I'd done five years ago shortly after moving to New York and sworn never to do again after it gave me such a headache. This time, the headache was less, although I did feel some minor back pain. Also ever since that woman died on a wooden roller coaster in Texas, I've also been a bit paranoid about the things. I made damn sure that safety bar was latched down. Despite the beautiful weather, it's safe to say Luna Park's season is winding down. There were no lines for anything, and in some cases we were on the only riders on a ride at a time. Definitely an improvement on most amusement park experiences. 

I think this picture really captures the day. Note the blueness of the sky and emptiness of all those seats. 

A friend and I riding something that was mainly for children. We watched it for a while before finally seeing a parent ride it and deciding if it could support his weight, it could support ours. And a good thing too, because it was really fun. 

We didn't ride the Wonder  Wheel because it wasn't included in our deal and because I don't really care for ferris wheels. It does photograph well though. 

One of Sam's more artsy endeavors to photograph the boardwalk. 

Another very cool shot. 
We only used about half of our 4-hour time allowance due to the lack of lines. While Luna Park is decently sized, there's really only a handful of roller coasters, and then a lot of things that spin you around in various ways. After a solid 2 hours of that, we all had the usual amusement park collective concussion, so we opted to walk around and remark on how surprisingly beautiful the Coney Island beach looks without people on it. We then got quesadillas and made the long journey back to Queens. With a good book, the hour and half on the N train really isn't that bad. So 'til next time, Coney Island!

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