Last week, I finally had the chance to harness my inner Coney Island Queen, which Lana del Rey had been instilled in me after blasting in my ears for a solid two years.
If you didn’t already know, New York City in the summer time has weather that closely resembles what it might be in Satan’s realm. I’m I being little dramatic? Maybe. I’m just trying to prove a point here.
That being said, I saw the chance to escape Manhattan for a day and took it faster than I scarfed down the lobster roll you will see in the coming pictures. I wasn’t expecting much from the *legendary* Coney Island, but got what I wanted and so much more.
First of all, I was very pleasantly surprised at how clean the beach and boardwalk were. I figured that a beach used by Manhattan & Co. (by that I mean Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem and the Bronx) would be as dirty as all five combined are, but man, was I wrong.
While it certainly doesn’t sparkle like Nantucket does, the seaside town is pretty clean, but smaller than I thought it would be. There are a decent amount of rides to choose from and a nice assortment of fast-food stands that collectively sell everything from Middle Eastern food to a good ole American corndog.
But, the true gem of the Coney Island grub scene is Nathan’s Famous.
In fact, the whole area is obsessed with Nathan’s. Turns out, it goes beyond how delicious their Philly Cheesesteaks are: the famous food chain started in Coney Island where its original location still stands.
But plot twist: I ordered a lobster sandwich from the iconic grub hub, and my friend got a fried fish sandwich. Yes, both were very tasty. Sometimes, you gotta push the envelope.
Post-nosh, we hit the beach where it was (unsurprisingly) pretty packed. But pro-tip: if you’re facing the ocean, wander down to the far West and away from the crowds for much more open space.
And, of course, we strolled along the boardwalk past the hotdog stands and t-shirt shops towards Brighton Beach which had a pleasant, peaceful air to it.
It’s good to know that if you want to escape the crowds at Coney Island, you certainly can by walking a little farther down the boardwalk.
After the food, the boardwalk, and the beach, there is one last component to the mystical Coney Island: the rides.
I was lame and didn’t go on any, but I have somewhat of a valid excuse: it was a tad expense. For instance, one time on the bigger (+ cooler) rides is around $7. Of course, you can buy all-day, or four-hour passes which will give you more bang for your buck, but that just reiterates that going on the rides there should be an all-day event, as opposed to a one-and-done.
I guess in that aspect it’s best to treat the area as a beach with a theme park; not so much a beach where you can go on a roller coaster or two.
All and all, I am happy to say I finally understand why Lana croons about Coney Island so much: it’s a beach that radiates a casual, care-free vibe, allowing all visitors to sit back, relax, and eat a hot dog without worrying over the social matters places like Manhattan can push into their minds.