Coney Island of the Minds (Visions from Jonathan Lethem and 22 Others) - NBC New York

Coney Island of the Minds (Visions from Jonathan Lethem and 22 Others)



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    The sun has set on Astroland, but what does the future hold?

    Some people just don't give up. Those who love Coney Island are "some people." Something called the Center for an Urban Future, a nonpartisan NYC think tank, has released a report called Coney Island Visions in reaction to rezoning plans for the fabled amusement park.

    The report is made up of the commentary of 23 disparate local luminaries — everyone from Brooklyn-based novelist Jonathan Lethem (Paul Auster was apparently unavailable) to Mike Wallace to Irwin Cohen, developer of the Chelsea Market and a host of architects, designers, planners, historians and amusement industry veterans (but notably no carny freaks or even one single person with lobster hands). 
    Astroland is being sold off piece-by-piece, but Lethem is not nearly so elegiac in his comments as you might imagine. "Of course it can’t stay the same. It can’t be frozen in time. And too much of it is run down and ramshackle," he says, before launching into what sounds remarkably like a hope for an all out developer war over the property.

    Part of the goal of the report seems to be to kick off the efforts of the Municipal Arts Society which is launching a program called Imagine Coney, where every regular Joe is asked to submit his own vision for the future of Coney Island (maybe Auster can get in there).