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The Coney Culture

    If you’ve never been to Coney Island, I recommend that you add it to your bucket list. Coney Island is historic and it has its own bizarre unique culture that is not exactly comparable to anything else. Jewelry goddess, Wendy Brandes and I experienced it firsthand just the other day.

    me with my blue dolphin and bald lady

    sexy WendyB

    The weirdness began with the longest subway ride ever. Wendy and I felt like we were on some Twilight Zone train to nowhere – where the hell is New Ultrecht Avenue anyway?

    David Byrne is on a Road To Nowhere...

    After about an hour, we arrived at the tip of Brooklyn but it felt like the edge of the world where circus folk live. Needless to say, Wendy and I didn’t exactly blend into the crowd!

    Wendy (in the middle!)

    So, what were two sophisticated, stylish city girls going to do in that crazy town? Well, we figured 'When in Rome' and we made our way to the cheesiest looking bar and pulled up a couple of plastic chairs. We had a grand old time at Cha Cha’s drinking a beer and eating oysters. Cha Cha’s also provided live entertainment – well, if you consider the drunken guy walking around singing karaoke-style to every song that pumped out of the juke box.

    With our bellies full (of oysters) and our thirst satiated (with beer), we were now ready to tackle to the rides. Um, does that sound like a recipe for disaster? Yeah, it does. WendyB must have an iron stomach because she fared much better than I on the kiddy ride, Tilt-A-Whirl. “I need to get off this thing NOW!” I demanded. “Oh, please God, I am NOT good with spinning,” I whined as I clutched my stuffed blue dolphin.

    happy with my blue dolphin BEFORE the scary ride began...

    amateur YouTube video of "Tilt-A-World" -- try to watch and not get dizzy!

    After sitting on a bench with me for 10 minutes, Wendy was itching to use our Wonder Wheel tickets. “You need to go alone,” I told her. And so she did! Twice, in fact, since we had purchased two tickets. Not only did she step up and brave the Wonder Wheel, but she had the cojones to choose the “swinging” car rather than the “stationary.” That is one brassy lassie! I was happy with my stationary position – on the ground!
    Wendy gets ready to ride

    sitting pretty

    high above the tree tops

    I did redeem myself by kicking booty on the baseball throw and Wendy wiped up the competition (me) with the water pistol shoot. We were, unfortunately, unsuccessful with the “claw grab” where we spent a gazillion quarters trying to win a stuffed Stewie for Wendy! She was so bummed out that she decided to console herself by getting a tattoo!

    Roy gives Wendy a vampire tattoo

    Next up was the photo booth for posterity and then of course, more food and drinks! We were really trying to live like the locals! Wendy went to Nathan’s and since I’ve always been kind of afraid of hot dog mystery meat, I opted for a funnel cake! Sooo healthy! Sadly, we had to pour out our gigantic strawberry daiquiri we were planning to split because it was the most vile liquid either one of us had ever encountered. On the upside, Wendy got a really cool gym water bottle out of it.


    As the sun set on the home of the world-famous Cyclone, the lights and bright colors of Coney Island looked beautiful. The breeze blew off the ocean, we could smell sea salt in the air and hear the screams and laughter of children. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    P.S. I admit when the express train whizzed past “Prince Street,” I felt a slight sense of relief to be back on my home turf – Manhattan.