Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Explore Brooklyn- Part 1- Coney Island!

In addition to blogging about my regular appearances and platform work, I'll be dedicating some posts to all of the fun and awesome things you can do in the best borough (because seriously... we are...). Our Borough President, Marty Markowitz, has an amazing Brooklyn Tourism Website, which highlights the fact that you don't need to leave Kings County to find awesome food, entertainment, recreation, arts and adventure. Think of this as my own little tribute to his initiative. With that said, allow me to present: Coney Island and Brighton Beach!

William's Candy! TOO MANY OPTIONS! (We decided on cotton candy and chocolate covered strawberries- not shown here)

Keyspan Park- Home of the Brooklyn Cyclones!

On the pier


The NY Aquarium is one of my favorite places to visit!

I can't help myself! Freezing cold, but totally worth it!

Summer's just around the corner, so on my day off, I decided to beat the crowds and hit one of my absolute favorite warm weather spots in Brooklyn- Brighton Beach and Coney Island! I live in Manhattan Beach- a short walk down the shore from Coney Island, so Joe and I grabbed the camera and headed out for our first visit of the season. We headed over to Brighton Beach Ave, where we usually spend a few blocks checking out all the fun little fruit and veggie shops, mixed in with salons, jewelry stores, bakeries... you name it! Once we hit Ocean Ave- we usually head to the boardwalk, to begin the beach experience!
Once on the beach, we were greeted by the usual horde of brazen, people-friendly seagulls (everyone who's been to Coney Island/ Brighton Beach has a seagull story... keep that in mind when you visit). We headed down the boardwalk for a stretch; a prime place for people watching (seriously... I've seen some incredibly strange things happening on this boardwalk). After a bit, we hit the sand and made our way to the shoreline to wade in the 45 degrees water. I truly cannot help myself- I'm a huge water person, and just have to go in, no matter what the weather!
Once we hit the NY Aquarium, we headed back up to the boardwalk, where we passed all of the food stands and bars, along with the all the rides, including the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone! (I've ridden it twice, and that's quite enough- thank you!). We continued down to the pier (see above), made a quick stop at Keyspan Park (GO CYCLONES!), and made our way down to the Eldorado Arcade (not the one on 12th St- the one on Surf Ave). Now THIS is what Coney Island's all about! Dimly lit, well-worn, slightly sticky old school fun! After schooling Joe at Skeeball, our Air Hockey game was a draw (because Joe crawled on the table, which registered interference and ended our game!).
By this time, we had worked up an appetite, so we headed to Nathans for lunch! Don't judge- YES, I know I'll be in a bikini on stage in less than 2 months; YES, I know that there is very little on the Nathan's menu that comes anywhere close to being nutritionally sound; and YES- it was delicious! (Everything in moderation, right?) Of course NO trip to Coney Island would be complete without a stop at William's Candy. They have every sweet treat imaginable (seriously- if it's 50+% sugar, they probably carry it), and they make the most amazing fudge and caramel/ candy apples! Joe and I made our selections, and happily headed to the train (the thought walking back was a bit daunting to Joe). Stillwell Ave is the last stop on the D, F, N and Q (hint, hint). All in all, another fantastic day at Coney Island!

Check out the Coney Island Fun Guide to learn about all of the wonderful things going on this summer.