My first adventure to Coney Island was with a distant cousin, ( can’t remeber which but it was one of Michael Wang’s sisters) when I was 9 years old.
It wasn’t the rides, or the beach or even the hotdogs, but my fascination is with the Coney Island Sideshow.
Whenever I hear that someone has not seen the Sideshow, I have a need to bring them to the show. How can anyone have not seen something so fantastic, so wonderful, and so simple? For $7 you get to enjoy a show that is suspenseful, sensual, and sometimes downright nasty. It’s the 7 car pileup that you simply cannot turn away from. The best example is the line of people paying $1 extra to look into the blade-box that imprisons the contortionist girl.
Yesterday I took LB to see the sideshow, but they were closed for the season. I was disappointed, but it was a beautiful day to experience Coney Island. The empty beach and closed amusement parks gave the setting a post-apocalyptic feel. We found the only off-season video arcade, had a bite of hotdog at Nathan’s and took a memento at the photo booth.
Even in the middle of winter with the wind whipping through the skeletons of Astropark, I can still hear the pipe organ music, smell the popcorn and hear the call of the Sideshow Announcers.
“That’s right, everything in the show are real, the swords are real, the nails are real…”