Tag Archives: Beach

Coney Island on July 4 in the 1930s

2 Historic Photos Show the Enduring Popularity of Coney Island

This is what Coney Island looked like in the 1930s:

Coney Island July 4, 1934

Coney Island July 4, 1934

Million Turn Out At Coney Island

Here’s part of the 1,000,000 New Yorkers who visited Coney Island, a summer resort, on July 4 to get away from the heat of the city, as they disported on the beach, many of them shirtless. Credit line: Acme -7/4/34

Many of them shirtless, imagine that! Don’t you love the old news captions?

While Coney Island doesn’t get a million visitors a day any more, it still gets crowded during summertime. One thing you might notice: there are probably lifeguards present in their high perch chairs to watch over the throngs of swimmers, but I cannot see any in this photograph.

Below – Coney Island Beach three years later in 1937. Continue reading

Why Are There Annoying Flies At Jones Beach Field 6?

Is There Anything You Can Do To Keep The Flies Off Of You?

Jones BeachIn the summer if you ever go to Jones Beach in Long Island, especially the often filled popular field 6, you will notice one of two things, there are hundreds of flies swarming around and biting you or there are none at all. I have spent an inordinate amount of time swatting and killing flies as they relentlessly bite away.

So why is this?

The answer lies not in the temperature, the food you bring with you, your choice of sunscreen or fly repellant.

The swimming flags hold the key. Continue reading

Old New York In Postcards #7 – Dreamland Coney Island Part 1

Coney Island’s Dreamland Amusement Park 1904-1911

Coney Island Dreamland at night

Dreamland Map from Jeffrey Stanton's site http://www.westland.net/coneyisland/index.html

Dreamland Map from Jeffrey Stanton’s site
http://www.westland.net/coneyisland/

Dreamland was built on a 15-acre parcel at Surf Avenue and West 8th Street and opened on May 14, 1904. It cost over $3.5 million to build. The park could accommodate over 250,000 people. Ex-State Senator William H. Reynolds was the man behind Dreamland. The original name of the park was to be the Hippodrome, as Reynolds originally wanted chariot races around a lagoon. On the architect’s plans the name was changed to Wonderland, but the name that stuck was Dreamland. With its bright lights and a dizzying array of exhibits and amusements Dreamland was an apropos name.

On the right is a map of how Dreamland was laid out.

Coney Island Dreamland opening ad 1904 05 08 NY Sun

The week before Dreamland opened, this ad in the May 8, 1904 New York Evening Sun heralded the pleasures that awaited visitors.

Coney Island Dreamland Tower Night 2 Coney Island Dreamland Tower Night 1Coney Island Dreamland Tower side view

The defining feature of Dreamland was the White Tower built by architects Kirby, Petit and Green and modeled after the Giralda Tower in Seville. It was 370 feet high and had over 100,000 electric lights. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #21

Carol Hughes, Marie Wilson and June Travis Take A Stroll On The Beach Circa 1938

Carol Hughes Marie Wilson June Travis

Warner Bros. young stars in training, Carol Hughes (1910-1995), Marie Wilson (1916-1972) and June Travis (1914-2008) take a walk on the shore in this studio publicity photograph.

Although they never all appeared together in a film, Warner Bros. had high hopes for each of the starlets in the 1930’s and set up this photograph to showcase their assets.

But none of the women ever achieved the stardom that the studio had planned for them.

Carol Hughes appeared as a supporting player in many films beginning in 1935 until retiring in the early 1950’s.

The 5 foot 5½ inch Marie Wilson was known for her beauty and stunning figure. Her film and television career spanned from the 1934 at age 18, until her death from cancer in 1972 at the age of 56. Of the three actresses pictured here, her career was probably the most successful having starred in My Friend Irma (1950), A Girl In Every Port (1952) with Groucho Marx  and Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation with James Stewart (1962).

June Travis started her acting career in 1934 and made many B-films. In 1940 she married a Chicago businessman and left Hollywood and her film career behind for good making only two more movies over the remaining 68 years of her life.

The Coney Island of Yesteryear – The Original Coney Island, Luna Park and Steeplechase Park In A Vintage Film

Coney Island in the Late 1930’s Early 40’s

Coney Island Luna Park entrance 1942On so many levels this is extraordinary. The time is somewhere between 1937 & 1941 based upon the rides shown at Luna Park at Coney Island. The original Luna Park closed in 1944.

When I first saw this film I re-watched it three times. What would it be like to experience the original Luna Park? This film gives you an idea.

Where is the time machine?