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.

Filed Under Amusement Park, Family Travel, Feature, New York


2 Responses to “Astroland Out of Business”

  1. tricia on December 14th, 2008 12:38 pm

    Hi Darya,
    I work at the Coney Island History Project which has a public exhibition center under the Cyclone coaster. It is painful to see Astroland being dismantled. Everything must be out by Jan 31. The park closed because the real estate speculator who bought most of Coney Island is trying to force the city to give him zoning for high rise condos!

    Currently we are trying to save the iconic rocket and relocate to another public venue, preferably in Coney Island! If anyone know of a good home for the rocket please contact us!

    Please visit Coney in 2009! The Cyclone and other amusements including The Wonder Wheel, a kiddie park, the ElDorado Bumper cars and arcade, the Aquarium, The Coney Island History Project, Coney Island USA, and Lola Staar’s roller skating rink are open and welcome all to the summer of 2009.

  2. Darya Mead on December 15th, 2008 1:06 pm

    I am so sad… I’m glad my kids got to experience it in all it’s glory. Any chance the economic downturn might be a good thing–who really needs more luxury condos?


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