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Alice An
MC / Show Host , Model , Stylist
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Return to Coney Island

Khanh and Judy kidnapped me tonight and despite all of my very vocal reservations, insisted on going to the original Nathan's for a hot dog. I have a peculiar attachment to Coney Island. It's nostalgic to me not because I was there in its heyday, or because I grew up spending my summers there, but because I studied it in my Modernism class at UT.There is just some magic about Coney Island, something about the history, its personality-- even in its currently run down state.  I love the kitchy signage and the freakshow posters, that mermaids flood the town once a year. My Australian cousins thought my utter joy over discovering the Luna Park recreation in Sydney was a bit curious, but I was just so taken by the imagery.Just FYI...We also studied Levittown and I think I have an odd fascination with that as well. (However...I took Baroque and Mannerism and I don't really have any sort of fascination with or attachment to Italy, but, maybe if I went to Italy that would change.)So the first time I visited Coney Island back in 2001 I was smitten.It was long before the developers were set to come through, before Keyspan Park opened its doors, even before they "cleaned up" the board walk and installed those stupid little palm tree water sprinkler things along the beach.The Coney Island of 2001 was nothing like the Coney Island of the 1900's. Luna Park, which I studied in class, was long gone, replaced by Astroland and Wonder Wheel Park. But I am pretty certain that even in all it's ghetto glory that the festive air that surrounds the boardwalk today had settled into the area back in the days of Luna Park and just took permanent residence.During my early years in the city, I used to frequent Coney Island, taking the yellow train down there every few weeks in the warm weather. One of my all time favorite New York events is still the Mermaid Parade. But in the last few summer seasons I have failed to make it out. When I heard that the new developers were planning on tearing it all down at the end of this season, possibly forever, it broke my heart.It was sad seeing how it's changed, a good quarter of the attractions that used to inhabit the block leading to the boardwalk have already been packed up and removed, replaced by a big presumptuous sign that says "The Future of Coney Island." Maybe a charmless sterile future, since the developers decided to go back on the original plan to "renovate" and "preserve" the Boardwalk area.Maybe it was appropriate that I returned at night. It felt like a ghost town--all of the vendors were closed and the amusement parks shut down.I'll have to find some time to take a trip back in the daytime. 

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Languages Spoken
english, cantonese
Location (City, Country)
New York City, United States
Member Since
October 5, 2007