I grew up in Sheepshead Bay. As a child, we came to Coney Island, to Steeplechase Park, which was an enclosed park then. You paid your admission and got a card, which was really a circle. I loved playing Skeeball and going on the Bobsled rollercoaster.
Coney Island itself was getting a little sleepy, so Steeplechase Park was the place to go as a child. My parents felt it was a safer environment than roaming around the neighborhood.
From what I remember, there were nice rides and excitement, but it wasn’t so razzle dazzle. According to what older people have told me, Luna Park was the razzle dazzle, and that’s what they’re trying to emulate with the new Luna Park. It looks good, it attracts people, it’s a safe place to have fun, and it will add a good dimension to what’s here. It’s better than having a vacant space on West 10th Street.
The new Luna Park will be sure to bring people down to Coney Island, which will not only affect Luna Park but affect all the other rides and events that are planned here this summer. It will generate more income, more excitement, and more positive attention to the amusement area of Coney Island, and hopefully that reflects on the year-round community.
Judi Stern Orlando is executive director of Astella Development Corporation.