It’s almost summer time in Brooklyn which means free time for the kids and family outings on the weekend. You’ve just moved to Brooklyn, so you’re not sure what to do. Of course, New York City has a number of attractions throughout its five boroughs, but there is only one place that comes to mind when you think of Brooklyn: Coney Island.
When Hurricane Sandy hit, the effects were devastating for Coney Island. The storm wrecked one of New York City’s most famous attractions, taking with it almost a century worth of history. Though the boardwalk was left relatively intact, defining landmarks such as the Coney Island ballpark, the New York Aquarium, and the flagship Nathan’s were all left worse for the wear. There was flooding everywhere and recovery seemed like a long and hard journey.
Now, nearly seven months later, Coney Island is getting back on its feet and it is almost ready of the new tourist season. Much of the surrounding area is still in recovery. The post office is only partially running and the library is still closed. But like a patient who recently got his cast removed, Coney Island is taking its first tentative steps, knowing that they will only become stronger as they continue.
The parks are mostly fixed and opened. Due to the flooding, many machines have corroded and been replaced. The New York Aquarium, which suffered a lot of damage, is set to partially open on May 25th. Most of their marine mammals and fished managed to make it through the hurricane. Coney Island ballpark, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, is set for its June 18th home opener, now with artificial turf to replace the grass damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Even Nathan’s is set to open up for business again on Memorial Day.
All around is a sense of hope. Because of Sandy, the Mermaid Parade, a staple of Coney Island’s summer season, seemed impossible to pull off. The storm destroyed their headquarters leaving the planners with no money for the parade. Yet as The Observer reports, they have already managed to raise over 35 thousand dollars and the possibility of the parade is increasingly possible. Everything is falling into place, piece by piece and the long journey to recovery doesn’t seem as hard anymore.
As Gordon Lee quoted in The Huffington Post, “We’re open; we’re on schedule. Now we just need people to start coming.” Millions of dollars have gone into fixing Coney Island and they have made remarkable progress is such a short amount of time. They aren’t a hundred percent yet, but they are getting there. Even after such a disaster the people are operating with high hopes. Considering that almost 11 million people visited Coney Island last year, they are anticipating a similar crowd which will help the local business greatly. So if you’re looking for something to do on the weekends, head on down to Coney Island and witness the resilience of New Yorkers. Go experience decades of history and on the way, help revitalize one of the most important parts of New York City