Saturday, September 6, 2008
Bye bye Astroland, last of the Coney Island amusement parks. I imagine the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel will remain but the park with all of the cheesy rides and sideshow games is closing this weekend for good. Last night I dropped by with dozens of other city dwellers, cameras in tow, taking pictures of what in the next year or two promises to be more condos. At this point I am almost numb to seeing new building sprout out of old homes or empty lots. That's progress I imagine and I shouldn't be so resistant to change. A new house beats and old one I guess. But when you take away something that could be enjoyed by many for the use of a few, that just doesn't seem right. To me Astroland was nothing special but it belonged there and I could see the people loved it. Not your fancy shmantzy crowd, they have the Hamptons and St. Barts, but really the lowliest. The poor could go there, strollers in tow, have some cotton candy and let their children run around for a few bucks. Who benefits from a condominium? The builders, the owners, the staff and the residents. That's it. In a city that's had a population explosion in the last twelve years I fully understand the need to build more housing. However, certain things should be allowed to remain. It's not like the amusement park was a money loser. People went, but I imagine there is even more money to be made selling the land and collecting rents and taxes so the political will was not there. Man, that just sucks.