“To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Coney Island is located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn.
From midtown Manhattan, I traveled about 45 minutes taking the Q train to Stillwell Avenue last Sunday afternoon.
For a fare of $2.75, I can also reach Coney Island for about 60 minutes if I take the D, N or F train from Queens, where I stay.I observed that Philippines beaches are far better than Coney Island, a peninsular residential neighborhood beach in Brooklyn, in terms of the color of water and natural sand.
Water in Philippine beaches is more pristine and the sand is white and natural especially in Boracay in Aklan and in other areas in Guimaras and in Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo.
On the contrary, sand in Coney Island no longer naturally deposits on the beach, thus it is replenished by the city government in regular beach nourishment projects using dredged sand.
The city government also groomed the public beaches on a regular basis.
When I faced the beach in south I noticed there was no significant obstructions and was in sunlight all day until eight o’clock in the evening.
But unlike in the private beaches in southern and northern Iloilo where beach goers are charged for the use of cottages, the public beaches in Coney Island are open to all without restriction, and beach goers are not charged with any fee.
There are no cottages in Coney Island.
Coney Island’s beach area is divided into “bays”, areas of beach delineated by rock groynes, which moderate erosion and the force of ocean waves.
Meanwhile, there’s a sand beach at the west end of Coney Island at Sea Gate which is private and only accessible to residents.
There’s also a broad public sand beach that starts at Sea Gate at West 37th Street, through the central Coney Island area and Brighton Beach, to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of approximately four kilometers.
The beach is continuous and is served for its entire length by the broad Riegelmann Boardwalk.
A number of amusements are directly accessible from the land-side of the boardwalk, as is the aquarium and a variety of food shops and arcades.
There is a 1,300-foot long public beach further down in the community of Manhattan Beach.
Before going back to Queens, I dropped by at the world-famous Luna Park located across the beach and to watch several rides, I saw only in the movies, for a few hours.
There was an extreme thrill special feature, Coney Island Cyclone, the “Mother of American roller coaster culture” and the “Big Momma” of Coney Island, the Cyclone tops everyone’s list of things to do in New York City.
Another extreme thrills were Zenobio and Sling Shot, which I consider to be the most bizarre of all the rides I will never attempt to take.
There were also the high thrills: Coney Clipper, Astro Tower, and Steeplechase; moderate thrills: Circus Coaster, Coney Island Hang Glider, and Coney Island Sound; and the mild thrills for kids: Cozmo Jet, Speed Boat, and Mermaid Parade.