The tents on Stillwell Avenue were still missing this Memorial Day, but Thor Equities’ much ballyhooed “Festival by the Sea” made a go of it anyway.
About 50 vendors who paid for the privilege of hawking their flip−flops, Hannah Montana towels, $5 t−shirts and other flea market−caliber goods on formerly bustling Coney Island land gamely manned tables set out underneath the open sky.
That left one half the “Festival by the Sea” totally barren and a lot of empty space mapped out in white paint in anticipation of more vendors who never bothered to show up for the official start of summer.
The city put the kibosh on the tents Thor Equities originally wanted to use after finding that the material wouldn’t stand up to strong winds.
Curious browsers who nevertheless decided to venture out over the unpaved and stone−strewn ground to check out what was there appeared less than thrilled by the selection — although the constant party music was kept at blaring decibel levels in the hopes of keeping the atmosphere “festive.”
“It has potential,” Jennifer from Greenpoint observed. “They need more vintage stuff.”
Vendors’ assessment of business appeared to range from “it’s slow” to “it’s all right.”
The situation over at Thor Equities’ other property at West 10th Street and Surf Avenue – formerly home to Astroland Amusement Park before Thor Equities’ principal Joe Sitt decided not to renew operator Carol Albert’s lease −− was a bit livelier.
Many of the patrons who brought their small children out for a day of fun at this new version of “Dreamland” didn’t seem to mind that big−time rides like the “Break Dancer” and “Pirate Ship” where gone and replaced with mostly carnival attractions and what appeared to be a miniaturized knock−off of the “Parachute Jump” called the “Star Dancer.”
With four excited kids to please, however, Pennsylvania visitor Sabine Senechares expressed displeasure with the $10 that was being charged to get into the bouncy house located at the rear of the property.
“It’s too expensive,” she complained. “For $10 I want more than a bouncy house. There are other parks where I can get a better deal.”
Thor spokesperson Loren Riegelhaupt told this newspaper that despite the rocky start things would improve on the developer’s land.