Postcard: Coney Island

A developer sets out to revive New York City's beachfront amusement district, but at what cost? On the boardwalk of a storied summer getaway

Keri Leary / Stone / Getty

Birds fly over the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY.

A woman in red satin pants makes her way down the boardwalk on stilts, passing a man shouldering two parrots and a python. It's summertime again at Coney Island, the New York City neighborhood long known for its carnival atmosphere and amusement parks by the sea. This year, though, the mood isn't entirely festive. Uncertainty shrouds the original America's Playground, from the wood-trestled Cyclone roller coaster to the billboard counting down the days until Nathan's annual hot-dog-eating contest. An ambitious real estate developer has bought up two-thirds of Coney Island's main amusement district, and no one is quite sure what will...

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