Coney Island is not a place I’d recommend to tourists. It’s actually not a place that I’d recommend to anyone, for that matter. I feel that perhaps the idea of Coney Island is far more appealing than the reality of it: sort of dirty and run-down, overpriced fried food, and some really shady characters as night falls.
Despite these feelings, I ventured out to the famed “island” (P.S.: It isn’t an island anymore. The body of water separating it from Brooklyn was filled in, making it a peninsula) with my friends to check out the Siren Music Festival this past weekend. I was somewhat surprised to find the place pretty much the same as I remember it from two years ago on my last visit. It seems that every year there is a big announcement made that this is the LAST year of Coney Island, but other than a section of construction in the middle, there are still food stalls, amusement park rides, and midway games galore.
I resisted temptation to pay $10 to see the “Freak Show”. Something is just unsettling to me about this concept, even though I know that the “freaks” are actors nowadays and not actually people being exploited against their will. We did ride The Cyclone though, out of a bit of my boyfriend’s nostalgia for a science project that he did about the roller coaster back in grade school.
Even though I’m normally not a fried food kind of person, we did indulge a little bit over the course of the day. We felt it necessary to try Nathan’s hot dogs, since we had never tried them before. My bigger concern though was to make sure that we saved some room for a funnel cake at the end of the day. Coney Island might not be my favorite place in the world, but take crispy fried dough and mix it with powdered sugar and I’ll probably be alright for a few hours.