After over an hour on the train, thanks to the D turning into the N on the local track (don’t get me started on another MTA rant), we stepped off the train and were immediately greeted with the giant yellow and green signs indicating a Nathan’s hotdog was within steps of our salivating mouths.

I didn’t know what to expect of Coney Island. From old movies and negative articles, I’d designed in my mind a broken-down, dilapidated beach-front full of depressing creaky rides and a sullen overcast of fun-that-once-was.

I was, however, wrong. First, let me set the scene: it was a perfect summer day; a mere 80 degrees compared to the near 100 degree days we’ve been experiencing as of late. Families were abundant and the beach was crowded. After we devoured hot dogs and cheese fries, we headed to the boardwalk.

First stop: an arcade where we were promised a fish for $5.00. More specifically, we were given a bucket of 52 balls for $5 with a guarantee of a fish even if we didn’t make a ball into one of the dozens of glass bowls in front of us. Fortunately, our beer pong skills from college paid off and we each walked away with a new pet fish.

Next stop: the newly opened Luna Park. It’s set next to the still running 90 year old roller coaster (which we decided against riding) and other, older rides. Luna Park’s rides are more geared toward younger kids (but hell yeah we rode the teacups!)

From there, we stopped at the Circus Side Show and contemplated going in. The little curtain and screams coming from within kind of deterred us, though. I’m sure it might be cool but something about the dinginess made it feel like a peep show – except with clothes and knives and snakes.

Final take: Coney Island certainly isn’t glamorous. It has a seedy aura to it that I’m not sure will dissipate anytime soon. But, the beach was beautiful and well taken care of. Plenty of snacks and games to play. Luna Park is new and shiny and family-friendly. We didn’t get to the aquarium because it was so beautiful out that we decided to save it for another day. Yes, we will go back.

Posted by cher on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 am.

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