The Great Fredini (Photo Via 3dprinter-world.com)
Fred Kahl is known in Coney Island as The Great Fredini with his Scan-A-Rama, where he scans and creates prints of people as souvenirs. Now, he has also embarked on a project to create a 3D printout of Coney Island’s destroyed Luna Park, according to the Atlantic.
The Atlantic describes the process:
First he has to make sure the five 3D printers working out of his home studio are churning out the goods. “At any given time I have at least three machines printing,” he says. “I try to start prints every morning and every evening. It’s still a lot of work maintaining them, though; bearings need replacing, boards fry, extruders clog. I can’t even tell you how many hours I’ve put into this. It’s totally obsessive.”
Kahl makes models based on reference from a collection of historic Luna Park imagery that he has gathered. “In the old days I would find postcards at flea markets,” he says. “The advent of Ebay made collecting postcards easier. I have hundreds of cards and photos now, as well as images I’ve scrounged online from the Library of Congress, Pinterest, blogs, you name it.”
… “I basically build the park’s structures in software using photo references, and place a 3D scan of a human in the model for scale to get the proportions right,” he says. “When I’m done, I export parts, scale them and cut them into printable sized chunks that will later be glued and assembled. Its hard to reconstruct because the park changed every season, so I’m just shooting for an amalgam of what it was at its peak around 1914.”
The artist will be basing most of his prints on old postcards and depictions of the the park. He’s collected them on his Flickr. He’s also working miniatures of his Kickstarter donors into the panorama, and a portion of it will be on display at the Coney Island museum beginning in May.
Courtesy of the United States Coast Guard
Late in the 19th century, Congress approved the construction of a lighthouse on the western end of Coney Island. The now-defunct 124-year-old beacon has become the subject of a mini-documentary that aired last week on MetroFocus.
The documentary focuses on Frank Schubert, the last Coney Island lighthouse keeper- as well as the last civilian in the country to hold that job. In the article that accompanies the four-minute documentary, creators Max Kutner and Johannes Musial write:
After serving with the Army in World War II, Schubert found work as a lighthouse keeper. In 1960 he moved with his wife and three children to the Coney Island Lighthouse. For three generations of Schuberts, the lighthouse became the family’s home. “My parents got married at the Coney Island Lighthouse, and then I was born the next year and they basically raised us there,” said Scott Schubert. “As a kid it was great. We’d be climbing on the lighthouse. It was like our jungle gym. You don’t even realize that it’s really different than any other house. It’s just sort of grandpa’s house.”
The use of GPS on boats has made lighthouses less necessary, but at one time such beacons helped prevent boats from crashing against rocky coastlines. The original Coney Island beacon was lit by Keeper Thomas Higgenbotham on August 1, 1890, according to United States Coast Guard. The lens used was powered by Kerosene and it was visible for more than fourteen miles.
Here’s the Metrofocus documentary:
Photo by Jim McDonnell
The creative arts scene of Southern Brooklyn steps into the spotlight as the works of five photographers are showcased in Coney Island USA’s “A Stroll Through Coney Island Among Friends,” an exhibition that displays the artists’ mesmerizing love affair with every nook, cranny, wrinkle and mole of America’s Playground.
The five photographers — Norman Blake, Kenny Lombardi, Bruce Handy, Jim McDonnell, and Eric Kowalsky — will be on hand for an opening reception this Saturday, February 22 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Shooting Gallery Arts Annex, 1214 Surf Avenue between Stillwell Avenue and West 12th Street.
Admission is free and… oooh, wine will be served too, so it promises to be a very civilized event. Culture. Yes!
“A Stroll Through Coney Island Among Friends” will be on view Saturdays and Sundays, from February 22 to April 6 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
To learn more, go to www.coneyisland.com.
Looking through the recent photo essay on Untapped Cities, you’d think these eerie black-and-white Coney Island photos were a set of vintage images of the iconic neighborhood.
You’d be wrong. The photos by Ayelet Pearl might be reminiscent of harder times in a rundown neighborhood, but apparently that’s just what the area looks like in the winter.
The photographer writes:
[In] February, the walk to the boardwalk is entirely deserted. The wind howls and swirls of snow whip against your face and your boots are barely enough to tackle the slushy mess that puddles around the curbs. But the boardwalk, nearly untouched by harsh car wheels and stomping feet, is covered in a thick layer of snow, extending out across the sand and gently being swept into the ocean at the very edge.
There’s still life to be found, Pearl writes, in the Christmas lights stretching over empty streets, or the Cyclone’s stately demeanor. And it’s still able to “satisfy the soul,” even devoid of the hustle and bustle of the summer months.
Check out all the photos here.
Muscle man, Coney Island, 1950 (Source: HaroldFeinstein.com)
Acclaimed photographer and Coney Island native Harvey Feinstein, who says he “dropped from my mother’s womb straight into the front car of the Cyclone roller coaster,” has put together a fantastic set of photos from the 1940s to the 1970s of Coney Island sportsmen in honor of the upcoming Olympics.
At Coney Island, watching was always the sport for me, which worked out really nicely since the place is and always was, teeming with show-offs and good natured competitors. A large crowd and lots of applause was the equivalent to a medal, and pretty much anybody could capture one. As a spectator, admission was free and you could count on a repeat performance next week-end — or a completely new and different one.
Coney Island is an event — a kind of Olympics of humanity. You can stand in one place and see it all, and you might be both audience and actor without even knowing it.
Beach boxers, Coney Island, 1969 (Source: HaroldFeinstein.com)
The photos span the years from 1949 to 1977 (with one sneaking in from 1997), showing regular men who took to the beach to flex their muscles, participate in a sandy boxing match. or horse around with pals.
Feinstein is one of the New York School photograhers who rose to prominence between the 1930s and 1960s, capturing street life scenes that shared the flavor and fight of New York City through drastic changes. His works hang permanently in the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Jewish Museum. His body lives in Massachusetts. His heart beats in Coney Island.
Check out the full photo set.
Five man pile-up, Coney Island, 1949 (Source: HaroldFeinstein.com)
January 31, 2014, marks the first day of the 15-day-long Chinese Lunar New Year celebration, and we would like to wish our Asian neighbors a hearty gung hay fat choy!
It’s the year of the horse, a symbol of energy, warmth, intelligence and ability. People born during the year of the horse are believed to be born communicators; clever and talkative. They can also be superficial and hot-blooded. But we like them anyway.
Some celebrities born the year of the horse include Harrison Ford, Sir Isaac Newton, Barbara Streisand, Kobe Bryant, and Emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng of China’s Qing Dynasty. Duh.
A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you all!
Jerry Seinfeld and comedian Todd Barry visited Coney Island in the latest episode of Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Barry, a stand up comedian from the Bronx, is know for voicing characters in shows including Dr. Katz, Tom Goes to the Mayor and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as well as a supporting role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.
Seinfeld picks Barry up from the East Village in a 1966 MGB Roadster, and explains to him the point of a convertible sports car: “You want to look stylish. You want to feel fun loving, so that other people are attracted to you as a vivacious individual.”
If you’ve never seen Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Seinfeld picks up one of his comedian buddies, they drive around for a while, and get some coffee.
The duo drove through the Battery Tunnel (which, in a convertible, they describe as “great;” I’d think it be the express lane to cancer and syphilis), then underneath the Verrazano on the Belt Parkway, and finally meander through Coney Island’s streets before parking (rather terribly) next to the Cyclone. They walk the boardwalk while discussing how sad the businesses look, stop into Tom’s Diner, and hit Nathan’s where they call the hot dog eating contest “disgusting.”
Eventually there’s a comment about being a sperm impregnating the city. Check out the whole thing below.
Local guru and Made in Brooklyn founder Dom Gervasi is coming back to his native Bensonhurst, according to his Facebook account.
For those of you who don’t know who he is (gasp), Gervasi is the founder of a touring company called Made in Brooklyn Tours and grew up in Bensonhurst. The tour company takes customers on a guided trip through the borough.
The son of Italian immigrants, Gervasi grew up on the block where “Mama Sbarro opened her first Salumeria in Bensonhurst,” according to a Q&A we did in 2012. Dom is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Guide. And up until now he lived in Bay Ridge (for shame!).
Gervasi writes in his post, “After an intense, emotionally draining search, I found my new home in Bensonhurst, my native land, where we still close the lights and doors and demand that you sit down for a cup of eXpresso when you come in.”
He notes that the neighborhood isn’t exactly the same one he left.
“No longer the domain of Italian-Americans alone, Bensonhurst is ethnically diverse – looking forward to traveling without leaving the country,” he wrote.
In the Q&A, Gervasi reveals that he has a sixth sense to actually “taste” neighborhoods. He then describes Bensonhurst’s taste:
Today? It tastes like Szechuan raviolis smothered with red sauce and a side of rice and beans. It’s a mix of swaggering attitude, pragmatic thriftiness infused with the indomitable spirit of Rocky Balboa.
Welcome back, Dom. We’re happy to have you. Just… y’know, don’t try to taste us or anything.
Quote the internet: ERMAHGUD! BEYONCE’S GOT A NEW MOOZAK VIDYA!
Beyonce’s new Coney Island-themed music video for her song “XO” dropped on Monday, causing my news alerts to go haywire with mentions of Coney Island. So, apparently, I can’t get back to bringing you the news until we give Beyonce some publicity that she didn’t pay us for, per our agreement with the Devil.
Beyonce spent a day in Coney Island this summer to shoot the video, riding the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel and bumping her gratuitous ass off at Eldorado.
She also made a woman cry.
I mention it because everyone seems to have stopped talking about it with the release of her new video, but she did. She scared a woman nearly to death, locked her in a cage and dangled her from great heights for half an hour while Beyonce’s team of
slaves professionals blotted more concealer and eyeliner on the star’s heavenly flesh.
Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic. When Beyonce went to shoot the Wonder Wheel portion of the video, operators thought they cleared the ride out. Apparently they forgot one couple who they left at the top for about 30 minutes. When they were let off, the woman had been crying. Apparently, Beyonce was unaware of this whole thing – although I find it hard to believe Beyonce is anything less than omniscient.
Anyway, about the music video. It’s actually pretty awesome how heavily it features Coney Island. It doesn’t quite feel like a music video though – really, it’s just more of a long, pretty commercial for Coney Island. I can live with that.
My favorite part is at the 0:47 mark, when one of the arcade carnies, apparently unaware of Beyonce’s divinity, attempts to stop the cameramen from recording and pushes the lens away. I’m glad they left that in. That is Coney Island.
Earlier this week we brought you a great video from one of our contributors that chronicled people’s reactions to the Dyker Heights holiday lights, and yesterday we featured a fantastic set of photos from a local photographer who attempted to capture the entire breadth of the displays’ diversity.
Today we share our appreciation for this awesome community tradition with the final post in this three-part series with the video above, which beautifully showcases the decorated homes throughout the neighborhood, set to some appropriate music. It’s a video we found on YouTube by user Alexandr Belikov, who we thank for his great cinematography.