Coney Island 2017 is a different kind of place.
Cleaner. Friendlier. A mellow mix of New Yorkers enjoying the balmy air.
The Boardwalks are low to the ground now, making “under the Boardwalk” a code harder to understand. The feeling seems mellow, almost un-New-York, a feeling amped up when the cool air hits your face on a sweltering day in the City. All in all, it’s pretty cool in more ways than one. It doesn’t matter that the Cyclones game is kind of dull when the real-live Cyclone is part of the view. It doesn’t matter if the game goes into extra innings when the fireworks go up on schedule by 10 p.m.
I was born close to the spot I am sitting at the game. Literally, this is the Return of the Native, Coney Island style. When we neared the stop in Bensonhurst where I had grown up and waited many a long day and night for the N train, also lovingly called the Sea Beach, with a cruder nickname, the recorded conductor keep saying “we are being held here momentarily.” After the third time, it began to seem symbolic. Like the evening. At Coney Island.