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Coney Island Baby
(2004 – 2007)

Every night she comes
To take me out to dreamland
When I'm with her, I'm the richest
Man in the town

She's a rose, she's the pearl
She's the spin on my world
All the stars make their wishes on her eyes

She's my Coney Island Baby
She's my Coney Island Girl
She's a princess, in a red dress
She's the moon in the mist to me
She's my Coney Island Baby
She's my Coney Island Girl

Tom Waits
Coney Island Baby

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“I have dreamt
that all my teeth fell out
but my tongue lived
to tell the tale”

From “Junkman's Obbligato” in A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

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The two quotes above pretty much sums up the story of Coney Island - shiny dreams and decay.
Since the early 1800's, Coney Island, “playground of the world” has played many roles in the lives and imaginations of New Yorkers and the world. Beginning as a quiet seaside town, Coney Island went on to boom years in the 1880's and up to the Great Depression. After that Coney Island transformed into a “Nickel Empire” of cheap amusements and the 1964 closing of Steeplechase Park, the last of the major amusement parks, dealt the local economy a severe blow and for many years much of the area went into decay with only Astroland still operating. For every passing decade since the amusement area has shrunk but the area still remains a relatively popular destination – nostalgic, easily accessible and cheap.
Many plans have been made to revitalize the area, but so far a “new” Coney Island only exists in developers' colorful renderings of bustling boulevards and in lengthy rezoning plans.


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