We make a pilgrimage to Coney Island every summer when I visit my family in New York City. It is a long and eventful subway ride from Manhattan to the tip of Brooklyn. It reminds me of my childhood: the thrill of the rides, the joy of winning a crappy stuffed animal, the Nathan’s hot dog, the skee ball frenzy, the mix of cultures and characters and so much more. Now, one ingredient in the classic summer recipe is gone. Astroland has closed, yet another New York gem unable to make it in these hard times. The three-acre amusement park, inspired by the 1960’s space race, was one of my favorite spots. A recent article in the New York Times laments the loss. The iconic rocket ship that bears its name in the shadows of the Wonder Wheel has been a backdrop for many a photo in my family. One day when I was a kid, we were headed to Coney Island for a family outing, and a 94-year-old neighbor scoffed, with a twinkle in her eye: “Coney Island, that place was seedy in 1905.” That’s what I love about it! I often recommend a trip out to Coney Island to friends who ask me for my New York favorites. I’ll have to see what it is like minus Astroland.