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Coney Island is a peninsula, but at one point was actually an island. Coney Island is located in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City, and is home to some of the best resorts, amusement parks and beaches that the city has to offer. The site endured a down time in the years after World War 2, and was neglected for many years before being revived. The island itself is around four miles in length, and is nearly half a mile wide. Coney Island at one time was separated from the main land by tidal flats. At one point, the city had plans to turn the tidal canal into a ship canal, but those plans were abandoned and the creek was eventually filled in with concrete.
The location first became a resort after the Civil War in the 1860s. It served as a getaway, as many rail lines and ships would come into the area, and the economy boomed. It attracted a number of legitimate businesses including horse racing, hotels and amusement parks, but also attracted a lot of illegal entertainment including gambling and prostitution.
One of the most famous attractions on Coney Island in the way of food is Nathan’s Famous original hot dog stand. It originally opened in 1916 and has remained in business since that time. The small stand is known for hosting an annual hot dog eating contest each year since the stand first opened, which garners the stand television coverage from around the world.
In the early days of Coney Island, construction on the island almost wasn’t allowed. Many of the city’s citizens requested that the city deem the land a national park. Those plans were eventually abandoned in favor of building on the location and attempting to attract customers from around the world. Following World War 2, much of Coney Island saw its funding dry up, and the island’s attractions fell into disregard. The area went through a number of changes. Robert Moses was not in favor of the type of entertainment that inhabited the area, so he passed laws that barred the building of new amusements, and began to tear down many of the original attractions on Coney Island. He even moved the boardwalk several feet back from the ocean.
In the late 1970s, the city decided that it was time to revitalize the grounds, and a revitalization project for Coney Island was drawn up. Although Coney Island is not the attraction-filled location it once was, there are still a number of theme parks including Dreamland, which started operating in 1999. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, a family owned park, is still operating and has more than 20 rides that are located along the Coney Island boardwalk. The island is a popular sightseeing stop for many tourists who come to New York City. Although the location is not as dominant as it once was, it is still a great place to bring the kids to spend a day at the theme park, go to the beach and do a little sightseeing.