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The first Mermaid Parade came to Coney Island back in 1903.  The 2008 edition took place this past Saturday.  Was it the last?  Joe Sitt of Thor Equities hopes so.

With the promise of bringing in a world class water park, he's spent the past 4 years buying both, Coney's amusement area, and support from local politicos like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Domenic Recchia.

Now however, Sitt's is more focussed on rezoning and redeveloping this amusement empire which dates back to the 1870's.  Described by PBS as an Electric Eden; America's first playground; home to the world's first roller coaster, hotdog, and (believe it or not) incubators!    

Sitt is looking to use all but 9 (out of a total of 61 acres) acres of land to build high rise condos, hotels, and time shares.  Even the 9 sparred acres will be rezoned for amusement and "entertainment retail" meaning the Coney Island Tower could soon be replaced by a Nike Town or a super sized Starbucks.  This is only part of what will be missed if Joe Sitt wins:

Check out the beautiful picks on the link below:

So what can be done to keep Coney Island (NYC's last amusement area located on NYC's most popular beach, with subway access to 4 major lines) the people's playground?

Well, if you're in the area, please join the "Save Coney Island Coalition" tomorrow, Tuesday, June 24th, 6:00PM at Lincoln High School (2800 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY) for a public meeting. (Note: Lincoln High School is located 3 blocks north of the Q train's Ocean Parkway station)

The Save Coney Island Coalition says YES to revitalizing Coney's world famous amusement zone, but NO to:

  1. 26 new high rises of up to 30 stories each.
  1. Retail malls in the entertainment district.
  1. Shrinkage of the amusement zone from 61 to 9 acres.

If you can't make it to the meeting, but still want your comments documented by the city, please write your thoughts to:
Rachel Belsky, NYC Economic Development Corporation
110 William Street
NY, NY 10038

Or phone her at 1-212-312-3718
Or fax her at 1-212-312-3989
Or e-mail her at:

Comments will be accepted until Friday, July 11th, 5:00PM.

If you'd like to reach out to Mayor Bloomberg, Councilman Recchia, or City Council President, Christine Quinn, please e-mail them at:

Mayor Bloomberg can also be reached at:
Or phone him at: 1-212-NEW-YORK
Or fax him at: 1-212-788-2460
Or write him at:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall, NY, NY, 10007

If you're anywhere outside NYC, but simply love Coney Island please help by sending Mayor Bloomberg a post card. Remind him that every non New Yorker is a potential visitor to New York. Remind him that most Coney Island visitors go for the sand, waves, amusements, boardwalk dives, but NOT for generic retail, formula restaurants, malls, and certainly NOT for luxury high rises.

Originally posted to BrooklynJohnny on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:52 PM PDT.

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