Coney Island is one of those places that has an outsized profile in the American imagination, but it's seemed to exist since the 1970s in twilight, halfway between a glorious past and an uncertain future. That's some of what New York wedding photographer Joshua Brown saw on a visit last winter.
Now, prompted by yet another round of rumors that developers are readying the wrecking ball, Nick Carr's great "Scouting NY" blog has taken a long look at the beleaguered beach resort, including a tour through the magnificently derelict Bank of Coney Island. (Carr's a location scout, which explains why he seems to be all over the five boroughs; the bank pictures, though, come from another scout, whose identity Carr is keeping to himself.) Over at Kickstarter, meanwhile, filmmaker JL Arsonson is fundraising for a documentary called "Last Summer at Coney Island." He's down to a 96-minute cut and is rounding up donors to help him bring it home. (Full disclosure: I'm one of them.)
What do the three have in common? An affection for Coney Island as it's been — down at the heels, sure, but authentic in itself, and a window into a kind of mass-market popular culture that our big cities are ever more willing to bulldoze. It seems like every spring brings fresh rumors of Coney Island's demise. It'd be a shame if this year they finally came true.