Coney Island Redevelopment Battle a Total Freakshow

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When we last left the Coney Island redevelopment mess, Mayor Bloomberg had offered Thor Equities $105 million (down from a $110 million offer several months ago) for the company's 10.5 acres of land in the area—an offer refused by Thor's Joe Sitt, who instead announced plans to open an amusement park called Dreamland on the former site of the legendary Astroland. The city then announced its own temporary amusement park, which might feature a Ringling Brothers' circus, an opportunity created when Sitt's negotiations with Ringling fell apart over a dispute over concessions sales. Phew, caught up? Perf. Now, on to the latest.

Over the weekend the Times' Charles Bagli checked in on the warring sides, focusing on the role of City Councilman Dominic Recchia, a childhood friend of Sitt's who has been firmly aligned with the developer in the competing Coney Island redevelopment visions. The Bloomberg-Sitt feud is an interesting one, certainly, but it lacks the outright freakishness of the battle shaping up between Coney Island Circus Sideshow operator Dick Zigun and John Strong III, a longtime carny (and we've been waiting years for the opportunity to use the term "carny" with seriousness) who Sitt brought aboard to run Dreamland's freakshow. Above, a pair of photos of some fliers dropped in the Curbed Photo Pool and posted on the Coney Island message board, showing that Dreamland's marketing push is kicking into high gear and taking aim at Zigun's Sideshow. But in a war of the freaks, aren't we all winners? That depends on your love of people swallowing sharp objects.

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