Coney Island Boardwalk

Oceanfront kitsch

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Apparently, this 2.5-mile beachside walkway is called the Riegelmann Boardwalk. I’ve never heard that, though even as a native New Yorker I didn’t set foot in Coney Island until I was in college. This urban beach looks like, well, most other beaches on the east coast of the US, with yellow-white sand, coolish foamy waves, and bathers of all shapes and sizes. It’s when you look away from the water that you get a flashback to the 50s, or even the 30s. The boardwalk itself has been refurbished with sturdier wood planks (and some concrete) in recent years but the original Nathan’s hotdog stand along with the various clam shacks and kitschy souvenir shops are as no-nonsense as ever. You could follow the boardwalk in the opposite direction from the classic rides at Luna Park, you’ll end up in the neighborhood of Brighton Beach where the Russian and Italian restaurants also serve up nostalgia.

Categories: See & Do: Beaches |

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