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Nathan’s Famous – Coney Island Boardwalk – Astroland

New York City 2009

Thanksgiving Tour

New York City | New York

04 Dec 2009 | Fri

Day 10 of 11

  • Nathan’s Famous | Coney Island Boardwalk | Astroland
  • Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Brooklyn Bridge NYC
  • New York 5th Avenue | Glass Apple Store | FAO Schwarz
  • Rockefeller Christmas Tree 2009

Nathan’s Famous | Coney Island Boardwalk | Astroland

Nathan’s Famous, the iconic hot dog stand located on the Coney Island Boardwalk, has been a landmark of the New York City area for more than one hundred years. Founded in 1916 by Polish immigrants Nathan and Ida Handwerker, Nathan’s is best known for its world-famous hot dogs and traditional boardwalk atmosphere.

Nathan’s Famous Original Coney Island

Nathan’s began as a nickel hot dog stand in Coney Island in 1916 and bears the name of its co-founder Nathan Handwerker (1892 – 1974), who started the business with his wife, Ida Handwerker, née Greenwald. Ida created the hot dog recipe they used, and Ida’s grandmother created the secret spice recipe. Because Nathan’s Famous all-beef hot dogs lacked rabbinic supervision and the meat wasn’t kosher, Handwerker coined the term “kosher style” because the hot dogs were not made from pork or horsemeat.

Handwerker was a Jewish-Polish immigrant who arrived in New York City in 1912 and soon found work at the Coney Island, Brooklyn, restaurant Feltman’s German Gardens. By one account, he was encouraged by singing waiters Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante to go into business in competition with Feltman’s; as United Press International noted in 1974, “There are many stories about Nathan and how the business began, but this is the way he told it…” The company’s official history does not mention the future stars’ encouragement. Nathan and Ida spent their life savings of $300 (worth about $7,000 as of May 2018, accounting for inflation) to begin the business.

– Wikipedia Nathan’s Famous

But it’s not just Nathan’s that draws visitors to Coney Island. Along with the beach and amusement park rides, Astroland gives locals and tourists alike a unique experience. Opened in 1962, Astroland was an iconic symbol of American nostalgia that featured a collection of classic rides from various eras.

The Riegelmann Boardwalk (also known as the Coney Island Boardwalk) is a 2.7-mile-long (4.3 km) boardwalk along the southern shore of the Coney Island peninsula in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, facing the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1923, the boardwalk runs between West 37th Street at the edge of the Sea Gate neighborhood to the west and Brighton 15th Street in Brighton Beach to the east. It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks).

The Riegelmann Boardwalk is primarily made of wooden planks arranged in a chevron pattern. It ranges from 50 to 80 feet (15 to 24 m) wide and is raised slightly above sea level. The boardwalk connects several amusement areas and attractions on Coney Island, including the New York Aquarium, Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, and Maimonides Park. It has become an icon of Coney Island, with numerous appearances in the visual arts, music, and film. After its completion, the boardwalk was considered the most important public works project in Brooklyn since the Brooklyn Bridge, with a comparable impact to the Catskill Watershed and Central Park.

– Wikipedia Riegelmann Boardwalk

From bumper cars to rollercoasters and carousels, Astroland offered something for everyone. While Astroland has since been replaced by Luna Park, visitors can still find remnants of the historic amusement park around the boardwalk.

Astroland was a 3.1-acre (1.3 ha) amusement park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City that first opened in 1962. It was located at 1000 Surf Avenue (at the corner of West 10th Street) on the boardwalk. It ceased operations on September 7, 2008.

Astroland was first built as a “space-age” theme park when it opened in 1962, although in later years “a visit [was] more like stepping into the past than the future.” Some of the later rides were similar to regular carnival rides, but others offered a kitsch experience that was lacking in modern amusement parks.

– Wikipedia Astroland

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