Tag Archives: New York City

Coney Island

Coney Island is a neighborhood at the far southern tip of Brooklyn featuring an amusement park, a boardwalk and a beach. It’s where a famous Mermaid Parade takes place every June, where Nathan’s holds a hot dog eating contest each year on the Fourth of July, and where the Polar Bear Club invites civilians to jump in the ocean on New Year’s Day, no matter how cold the weather. During the summer months, there are lifeguards here, and bodybuilders take turns showing off at a pull-up bar on the sand. There are tattoo parlors and stands offering frozen alcoholic beverages, and more than a few unsavory characters. The New York Aquarium is also located here. From Manhattan, it takes an hour and fifteen minutes to get here on the Subway. From where I live now in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood, it is six subway stops away or a 45-minute walk. Since I moved here, all the rides, events and attractions have been closed or canceled because of the pandemic, but it is still an interesting place to walk around.

Coney Island Fred Michmershuizen Brooklyn

This fabulous book of historical photographs, a gift from my dear friend Garrett Glaser, is filled with all sorts of fascinating information about the rich and colorful history of this unique spot. There have been a number of different amusement parks located here, including Astroland, Feltmans, Luna Park and Steeplechase Park, sometimes operating adjacent to one another in a spirit of friendly competition. Attractions over the years have included hotels, resorts, water rides, a parachute jump, a Ferris wheel, and even a hotel shaped like a giant elephant! Many of these novelties no longer exist, but the Cyclone, pictured on the book’s cover, is still there. I have ridden the Cyclone a number of times over the years, and in my opinion it is one of our country’s best roller coasters. It’s a wooden ride, very fast and steep, similar to the Blue Streak at Cedar Point, but more compact. Also pictured on the cover is the “Astroland Moon Rocket,” which people could climb around inside, and a “Skyride,” in which passengers floated overhead in spherical capsules.

Here are a few more notes about Coney Island:

  • When people first started visiting the beach in the 1860s, they were fully clothed, sunbathing was unheard of and almost nobody went in the water!
  • In the 1870s there was a railroad known as the Culver Line that went to Coney Island, still operating today as part of the F line of the New York City Subway!
  • In the 1960s Fred Trump bought Steeplechase Park and demolished all the fun stuff with the intention of building apartments on the site.
  • In the 1890s there was a bike path along Ocean Parkway from Prospect Park to Coney Island. That bike path, described as the oldest bike path in the country, is still there, and I have ridden on it myself many times over the years!

Coney Island has evolved considerably over the past 150-plus years, and this book does a nice job of documenting much of this history. One thing that strikes me is seeing the very large crowds in many of the historical pictures. Thanks for this wonderful book, Garrett!

NASDAQ opening

I attended the opening of NASDAQ today, at the TV studio in Times Square. The president of the American Dental Association and principals of Henry Schein Inc. rang the opening buzzer, to commemorate the 18th annual Give Kids A Smile effort to treat and educate underserved children.

Fred Michmershuizen Henry Schein


Article on the Dental Tribune website here.

Article about what to do in New York for visitors from out of town

Every year I write a “travel story” for our at-show newspaper, Dental Tribune Today, which we publish on-site at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. The article is meant for those who might be coming to the event from out of town and offers some sightseeing ideas.

Click below to see the article in a larger window. You can also read the article on the Dental Tribune website, by clicking here.

Rumors of War

Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” sculpture, on temporary display in Times Square. According to the description posted nearby, the work is a response to the many Confederate monuments displayed throughout the country. After being on display in New York until Dec. 1, the description says, the sculpture will go to Richmond, Va., where it will be permanently installed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” sculpture


Wiley is the same artist who painted President Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Kehinde Wiley Barack Obama

Declaration of Independence in Jefferson’s own hand

Today after work I visited the New York Public Library, where an original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence was on display. This is a rare, handwritten copy in Thomas Jefferson’s own hand, one of only four in existence. Congress had removed passages from the original proposed text condemning the slave trade, and Jefferson wanted to preserve his original version. So, after the Declaration was adopted on July 4, 1776, Jefferson hand wrote several copies to send to some of his friends. These documents, part of the library’s permanent collection, are so priceless that they are only on display two days each year. I waited in line for two hours to just view and to take these pictures — which I color-corrected in Photoshop, as the lighting inside was dimmed.

Click the pictures to see them bigger:

copy of Declaration of Independence in Jefferson’s own hand

Recent shows include ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘Network’

Over the holiday break I caught a number of shows, starting with “Lifespan of a Fact” just after Christmas at Studio 54 on Broadway, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale, which I saw with my friend Franklyn.

Then New Year’s weekend, I attended a trifecta of shows, starting with “Sandra Bernhard: Quick Sand” at Joe’s Pub with my friend Bob; “Hamilton” also with Bob; and “To Kill a Mockingbird” starring Jeff Daniels, which I attended alone. It was my second time seeing “Hamilton,” which was a last-minute miracle. I won front row tickets for 10 dollars each on the official Hamilton app.

Then last Friday I caught “Network” starring Bryan Cranston at the Belasco with my friend Jay.

Fred Michmershuizen

New Year’s Eve Eve in Times Square

On Sunday night, Dec. 30, after seeing the new play “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Shubert Theater, I walked through Times Square — which was the calm before the storm of the New Year’s Eve festivities! Normally I would not go near Times Square around New Year’s Eve, but after the theater got out on “New Year’s Eve Eve,” the crowds were small and there was almost no pushing and shoving.

It was a great opportunity to take a few pictures.

Fred Michmershuizen