The Correct Use of Roller Coasters

Linus Gelber

I'm down at Coney Island to take my Friday Thursday Walk. It's a steamy hot day, dangling like bait in the path of a coming thunderstorm. Step outside and you're immediately a little tired, slicked with a light sweat that isn't quite sweat but isn't quite not.

Once again the future of the Astroland amusement park is looking bleak. The property is currently owned by Thor Equities, which is the sort of rapacious and nefarious developer that promises rosy futures and constructs blank luxury high rise condos in place of the rosy promises.

The proposal to turn this old immigrant surf-and-turf playground into a Vegas-style luxury resort - on the dirty banks of New York harbor, of all things - was tossed out last year, and at this point I don't know what is planned in its place. When Astroland closes at the end of August, though, it may be for the final time.

In the meantime, it's still Coney Island. The Cyclone roller coaster, along with the Wonder Wheel, will survive whatever development comes: like the old Parachute Jump, they are New York City landmarks, and can't be torn down for pretty pennies. Nathan's isn't moving any time soon, and the Side Show (yay Side Show!) is secure in its place. But for the rest, well, who knows.

The zoom effect on this shot is done in-camera, not in post-processing. It's quite hard to get right, but I think it's better than digital blur.

Incidentally: New York recently required restaurant chains to post calorie counts on their menu boards, which is great info to have. Calories in a medium order of fries from Nathan's (there is no small size) with a medium lemonade: 975. And that's not the cheese fries or the chili fries or the cheese and chili fries. Just the plain naked ones. 975!

Get in and ride it bigger.

This photo has been spotted as high as #63 on the Flickr daily Interestingness charts.

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