Amusement park rides and sideshows, hot dogs, and mermaid parades: Coney Island, a tiny stretch of beachfront in Brooklyn, has left an indelible mark on the world’s popular imagination for nearly 150 years. Correspondent David Pogue rides a rollercoaster of history in exploring the allure of the New York seaside resort.
Coney Island is a residential Brooklyn neighborhood that morphs into a relaxation and entertainment destination each summer. Locals and tourists crowd its beach, the Wonder Wheel and Luna Park, an amusement park featuring the famed Cyclone roller coaster. Street performers, the Circus Sideshow and the Mermaid Parade in June lend an eccentric vibe. Nathan’s Famous is known for its July 4th hot-dog eating contest.