Sunday, June 1, 2008
WHY THE CONEY ISLAND BOARDWALK CAN KILL YOU!
It's the weekend after Memorial Day and I thought I'd take a stroll down the boardwalk from Coney Island to Brighton Beach. I love these walks, especially when the weather cooperates. It was 70-degrees and sunny with a nice breeze.
Now, I should preface this by saying it was noontime and despite what some of you may think, I had not had a single drink, yet I was stumbling all over the boardwalk.
I've noticed the boards deteriorating for years, but it never really dawned on me how bad it really was.
Every few feet you'd hit a protruding bolt, an uneven board, a gaping hole or what I experienced as I got closer to Brighton Beach, entire swaths of the boardwalk blocked off because the boards had collapsed.(click on any picture for a closer look)
Now, I'm reading New York City's Commissioner of Parks and Recreation, Adrian Benepe has targeted $5,000,000 in repairs. But, the boardwalk renovation project won't start until September, when the current Summer season is over.
I can't imagine how many people will be carted off to Coney Island Hospital with stubbed toes, cut feet, broken ankles and worse over the next few months.
It really is an obstacle course....and again I stress, "George was NOT drunk."
There are big plans for Coney Island, but before the ambitious and marvelous can rise from the torn down ashes of this little Brooklyn neighborhood, the basic infrastructure needs to be repaired. It seems most of the people living in Brighton Beach, for instance, are elderly and fat. They can barely navigate the boardwalk to begin with and now there's another obstacle, or should I say, many.It's an embarrassment. I actually walked over a section of boardwalk that must have been so bad, they nailed down sheets of plywood to cover up the holes and cracks.
I've got a suggestion....a way to convince the city to move this project along. Let's just start tripping and falling on the city-owned boardwalk and then sue their fat cat asses. I'm not a sue happy guy, but they've got a serious problem here that needs to be corrected pronto. Not next September, but now. Bring those crews out in the middle of the night, like they do on the BQE or the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and start repairing the boards.
Now, for something completely different, yet similar. How can that be. Read this account from the Gothamist blog site:
A patron of the Coney Island boardwalk bar Ruby’s got sent on a shocking detour during a trip to the men’s room over Memorial Day Weekend. It so happened that Observer reporter Chris Shott was having a beer at the bar around 5:30 Saturday when the owner abruptly pulled the plug on the jukebox and threw everyone out.
As the boozy crowd abandoned their beverages and shuffled out, a slew of firefighters, police and paramedics huddled in the back amid the eerie glow of a bright Coors Light sign near the men’s restroom… An officer in shorts and a blue polo shirt marked “Community Relations,” bluntly summed up the situation: “One guy was taking a leak, the floor partially collapsed, and he fell 10 feet.”
He fell into the basement where there were "rats...bigger than dogs" and was able climb out on a ladder. After emerging from a 6' by 6' hole "literally covered in shit" (the plumbing was also damaged!), he was taken to the hospital.
And so it goes.