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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Final Fatigue: Astroland's last go round.

Coney Parachute JumpBy now you probably know the Astroland section of Coney Island's storied amusement center has closed, most likely forever. As is my way I got a story from my childhood, I'll make it short.

There was a tower ride at Astroland called the Enterprise. Shaped like a donut on a pole, it simply went up, reallly slowly, while revolving (even slower). Once it reached it's peak, maybe higher than the Cyclone, it stopped motionless and after a while it came down.

My mom took me on the Enterprise when I was six. She was thrilled by the slow enterprise and had been looking out into the distance when she glanced back at me looking bummed. She apologized for the ride being so boring. To my (and maybe her) surprise I consoled her with the truth, I loved it. I had never seen anything from so high up, and the view of the ocean, beach, Coney Island and the city in the distance, it blew my mind in a quiet way.

That day was my first time on the rides at Astroland, and it's gone and to be honest, there's been so many things closed in this city in the short span of ten years (Empire Skate, the Roxy, CBGB's, Florent, Tonic, Vinyl, Wetlands, The Tunnel, The Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, Albee Square Mall, Gil Hodges Lanes; The Kenmore, Plaza, Metropolitan and Duffield movie theaters to name a few, that I have final fatigue.

So as far as Astroland goes, I'll never forget how much more exciting it was for my mother to watch me ride the rides, than the rides were themselves, especially now that she's gone. But like her and alot of other things, memories is all we got now, and the best we can do is hang on to and make the most of out of whatever emotions we got left.

Gowanus Lounge had this intensely anti-climatic video of the closing at Astroland, which demonstrates why memories are better than endings.

But don't worry the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel will be there next year.
Aft the Fireworks

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