Photographer: Jenene Chesbrough, Brooklyn, New York
Getting the shot: This shot was taken on opening day of Astroland/Coney Island 2006. Every year my friends and I bike down to hang out, put our feet in the sand, ride the Cyclone, and eat some Nathan’s Famous cheese fries. There were organ grinders and lots of Coney Island regulars hanging in front of the Sideshow when all of a sudden The Pontani Sisters ran by in matching outfits… and I grabbed this shot. I realized afterwards they were shooting a silent video (I think) and that’s why there was a gorilla there that day as well! This picture really captures the spirit of a disappearing Coney Island. Lots of changes are in place now, and this year looks like it will be the last year of Astroland and maybe the Sideshow too. I hope the freaks and fun stay in Coney and that this new wave of “improvements” retains some of the original flavor.
The Details: I was shooting film with my Seagull TLR medium format camera (a cheap version of the old Rolleiflex twin lens Diane Arbus used).
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