KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: NYC: Coney Island!
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Monday, July 10, 2006
NYC: Coney Island!


There is no question that it's summer in New York. I am on my yearly trip to see family and friends, eat around town and take my beloved trip to Coney Island. I have been traveling to this antique amusement park since I was too short to go on the rides.



Although Coney Island is not known for it's food, per se, there is a small "menu" I eat every year. First is a pistachio soft serve cone with colored sprinkles, second is raw clams on the half shell, and I finish with Nathan's ridged fries.



Coney Island is the only place I have ever been able to find pistachio soft serve.



This year I was in a bit of a rush so I missed eating clams and fries, but I found a new food. The Coney Island Shortcake sells home-made strawberry shortcakes on an edge of a bar between a fast food stand and my favorite surreal game, Shoot The Freak. Graphic designers by trade Kalene and Dan, the creators of Coney Island Shortcake, didn't want to spend another summer at home in front of their computers. Both lovers of the amusement park, they built a white rolling stand, painted 3D wooden signs, contracted out shortake making to an Italian baker in Brooklyn, slice strawberries fresh every day and attach a nitrous jet to a canister with fresh cream for the simple three ingredient dessert.





I always stop at the Coney Island Museum as I was, for many years, a proud Coney-O-Phile, and as well a dedicated Mermaid Day Parade goer, sponsored by the Coney Island Hysterical Society. The museum is a small, mostly volunteer run organization. With a new Coney Island revitalization on the horizon, the hope is that those of us who feel strongly about keeping intact the soul of this quirky place will support the cause.



Newly sparked interest in the history of Coney Island has brought a number of artists in to re-invigorate some of the old marquees. If you can tear your eyes away from the dizzying sights, sounds and smells of what's before you, and look up, you will find some wondrous examples of nuevo Astroland inspired paintings, whimsical and well crafted.



Even the subway station, home to more than four lines, has been given a make-over.



If you're like me and you love a day of overwhelming sensory overload, can shamelessly consume deliciousness which might not be food, feel like you're on acid even if you're sober, give yourself the permission to talk to strangers, ride the last wooden, non-electric rollercoaster in the country, wander aimelessly and visit childhood memories, then you'll love Coney Island.


 
 

5 Comments:

Blogger wendygee said...

LOVE the Pistachio rainbow sprinkle soft serve! Great pix! Thanks for the NYC flashback...really miss those hot summer nights, classic arcade images and strangely fabricated foods...

7/10/2006 9:15 AM

 
Blogger cucina testa rossa said...

ditto. the pistachio softserve with sprinkles pic is so striking! i always went straight for the cotton candy. they call them barbe-a-papa's here or father's beards.

7/10/2006 12:51 PM

 
Anonymous M.K. said...

I first had pistachio soft serve on the boardwalk in the 1950s',and it remains one of my strongest ice cream memories.And the silent pleasure of hitting the top of the first ramp on the Cyclone,staring out to sea for a split second,and then descending into happy adrenaline,fear[less] chaos is a rush unique...

7/10/2006 3:22 PM

 
Anonymous Michael and Ellen said...

Shuna Lydon is developing a new art form, two new art forms: photography and writing you can eat!! And we can never tell which tastes better!!

7/10/2006 5:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

im an englishman looking forward
to visiting coney island with my family be there 26th to the 29th of april
have fun

4/12/2007 5:26 PM

 

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