Courier Life is making history!
A new Coney Island community center has commended three of our papers to posterity by enshrining them in the wall of its just-finished facility.
The long-awaited YMCA at the corner of W. 29th Street and Surf Avenue included recent copies of the Brooklyn Paper, Brooklyn Courier, and Bay News in a time capsule for future generations to read and admire.
Also in the package addressed to the future were a cup and menu from Nathan’s, a bobblehead and ball from the Brooklyn Cyclones, posters from the Mermaid Parade, beach sand, a piece of the Boardwalk, and T-shirts from the Brooklyn Nets and the Coney Island Freakshow. The Y said it wanted to both make connections with its new community, and share our brilliant prose and illuminating articles with generations yet to come.
“We wanted perhaps to give some words of wisdom to the future leaders of the community,” said spokeswoman Ellen Murphy.
Murphy said the capsule had no set opening date. She said that the Y’s current lease at the location is for 40 years, but noted that some of its facilities in Brooklyn have lasted more than a century.
The facility — occupying two floors of an affordable-housing complex — has been eight years in the making, and the plans for its construction weathered disasters both natural and man-made.
“We survived two hurricanes and a recession, and we’re finally here,” said Paul Custer, senior vice president of government affairs for the Y.
The new facility features basketball courts, weight-lifting equipment, cardio exercise machines, and two swimming pools. The YMCA said it plans to host fitness programs for Coney Islanders of all ages, as well as literacy classes, arts programming, and community meetings.
While the group has yet to decide on its membership rates, it promised assistance plans to keep them affordable. Custer pointed to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant as a model, and vowed that People’s Playground residents would get similar accommodations.
“We were very careful to be sure we hit a good middle point in the community there,” Custer said. “We intend to replicate that in Coney Island.”