Look Who’s Turning 90!

When you hear the name Brooklyn many things come to mind; whether its things like real estate, food, festivals, or landmarks, the borough has an abundance to offer that will not disappoint.

Nathan's Hotdog

At the top of that list is the Cyclone at Luna Park (formerly the grounds of Astroland) in Coney Island, an iconic attraction that cannot be missed. Whether you’re a resident or a tourist visiting New York, the cyclone is a part of Brooklyn’s history and an attraction not to be missed.

“As a New Yorker, the cyclone is one of the top things you have to do,” says Angie Morris, Luna Park’s brand manager. “It’s amazing to hear guests from all over the world add the Cyclone to their “must do” list.”

Cyclone

In just a few short weeks, the historic wooden roller coaster will turn 90 years old! Since it’s opening on June 26th, 1927, it has been giving thrill seekers a ride to remember. It’s not been without its hiccups; in the 1970’s due to economic turmoil the coaster was almost torn down but then mayor, Ed Koch, fought to save it, saying he wasn’t sure Coney Island could survive without it. “Brooklyn is the Cyclone,” says Morris. “It is a generational ride that is shared with all Brooklynites.”

In 1988, it was declared a landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

It also holds a bit of history; famous celebrities have ridden it and aviator Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean, reportedly said a ride on this roller coaster was greater than flying a plane at top speed.

It’s also been featured in such action thriller movies such as, “The Warriors,” and “Shakedown” with actor Sam Elliot while stars like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson danced under it in the hit film “The Wiz.”

The Warriors

Soaring above Coney Island’s boardwalk at the corner of Surf Avenue and West 10th Street, the impressive coaster reaches an 85 foot peak before a roaring 60 mph plunge brings only the bravest to the bottom.  Overall, there are 12 drops throughout the 2,640 feet of swirling track and 27 elevation changes. For a minute and 50 seconds, passengers aboard the cyclone experience a thrill on the all wooden piece of machinery that’s like no other. It’s definitely not a ride for the faint of heart!

Rollercoaster Picture

To commemorate this milestone birthday, Luna Park will be celebrating the cyclone’s 90th on Saturday, June 25th with the biggest block party in Brooklyn. Rain or shine the party starts at 2pm and is free for all ages. The fun-filled day will include such activities as face painting, a photo booth, and appearances by the Harlem Globetrotters and a musical performance from Brooklyn’s own Fabolous.

Globetotters

Along with the rest of the rides, games and food, the famous Feltman’s of Coney Island which closed its doors in 1954 is returning this summer to the original spot where it first began.

“We celebrate milestones for the Cyclone because it is a NYC landmark,” says Morris. “As we’ve done in the past with the 75th, 85th, and now 90th; it’s our way of honoring an icon and as we gear up for the 100th!”

But don’t be deceived; while this coaster might be turning 90 there is nothing old about her. Fully refurbished last year, it has been repaired and restored throughout the years and is inspected daily for the safety of its riders.

Luna Park first opened in 2010 on the former grounds of Astroland and this summer they’ve removed their 4 hour wristband to introduce the All Day wristband which gives guests the opportunity to ride all of the rides unlimited times all day long. So if you’re brave enough you can conquer the Cyclone more than once in a day!

Luna Park

Serenity Within Arm’s Beach

As the free-throws wind down and the home runs and sun heat up, we’re sharing our picks for New York City’s best beaches.

150529 - midlandMidland Beach
If your sun and dusted with the siren-filled city and other busy beaches, Midland Beach offers a soothing hassle-free experience. It’s part of Staten Island’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach. The popularity of the fishing pier, bike paths and bocce courts will leave you with lots to rant and wave about. The Sea Turtle Fountain and sprinklers; calm waves; as well as roller-hockey rink are just some more reasons why Midland Beach is a family favorite.
Every Thursday this summer, NYC Parks offers free “Thrower Power” classes for the public. It’s a circuit style workout to unleash your explosive power and build strength and flexibility.

Coney Island Beach150529 - Coney
As the Grand Central of New York City’s beaches, Coney Island is a hustle and bustle affair. It perfectly juxtaposes the new with the old and iconic events such as the Mermaid Parade and Nathan’s hotdog eating contest transform this beach from serene to spectacle. The sand may not be as pristine as other locations, but with 4 subway lines and miles of stands and stalls, it’s by far the most convenient.
Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg food frenzy has reached Coney Island with a dozen food vendors offering seafood, Tex-Mex and more. Fridays are fun days with the Coney Island Circus Sideshow and Burlesque at the Beach taking over.

150529 - BrightonBrighton Beach
Its nickname is Little Odessa, so it’s no surprise Brighton Beach is largely Russian and Ukrainian. This means you sometimes feel like a kid in a sandy store when it comes to dining options as the line of Russian eateries gives you a number of options for your borscht, kebabs, caviar and vodka fix. While you’re strolling and refueling, don’t forget to look around. People-watching is half the fun! If you’re thinking about driving, get the wheels in ocean early as parking spaces cam be hard to come by.
Keep an eye out for the annual Brighton Jubilee on August 30th. The multi-block party includes music, food, entertainment and merchandise.

Jacob Riis Park Beach150529 - Jacob
For a bite-sized beach break, Jacob Riis Park Beach is a serene sandy spot that’s part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The low key beach has walkways, boardwalks, ball courts, a pitch-and-putt golf course and minimal concession stands. An art deco bathhouse that was built in 1932 backs up onto the beach and now houses historical exhibitions and serves as the base for ranger-led programs.

This summer, beachgoers will get to experience the euphoria of the Brooklyn Night Bazaar as the weekend entertainment staple has just signed a five-year lease with the bathhouse. Expect food, live concerts, games and market stalls.

150529 - ROckawayRockaway Beach
Encompassing more than 170 acres of sand, Rockaway Beach is the largest urban stretch of beach in the United States and houses the only two surf beaches in the five boroughs. It’s the shoreline with the headlines as after Hurricane Sandy the community has worked hard to restore the fishing areas, sports spaces, boardwalk and lively selection of shops and restaurants along Beach 116th Street.
Seven playgrounds keep kids happy while local musicians’ live tunes help you tune out.
The Rockaway Beach Surf Club serves up a list of live music, photographic and film events this summer. Plus, mark your calendars on August 15th for the Third Annual Surf Film Festival, themed “Women of the Seven Seas.”