Archive for the tag 'brooklyn cyclones'

Photo courtesy of Butch Moran

Fireworks rang in the 2013 season. (Photo by Butch)

Coney Island’s traditional Friday night fireworks will kick off for the 2014 season on June 20, just hours before the first day of summer and the Mermaid Parade, Amusing the Zillion reports.

The fireworks, sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island, are free to all, taking place on the beach near West 10th Street and West 12th Street.

Friday night fireworks are fired at 9:30 p.m.

Before that begins, however, there will be several displays of burning, colored gun powder in the sky over the neighborhood. The Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park put on their own shows, and the site reports that this year each show will have a musical theme. The Cyclones begin their display on opening day, Saturday, June 14, and host two more post-game shows that week on June 16 and June 17.

Check Amusing the Zillion for MCU’s full fireworks schedule, which includes several Saturdays and some weekdays.

July 4 falls on a Friday this year, but the People’s Playground might defer to the East River’s blasts. A NY1 report last month claimed that the city was withholding permits to the Alliance for Coney Island for their Independence Day display. Despite multiple attempts, we have not been able to confirm the report, and will update if we hear anything different.

Here’s a little video from last year’s opening night:


Photo by Allen Shweky/Brooklyn Views

UPDATE (June 3, 2014): The public relations folks for the new Thunderbolt contacted us this morning to note that the opening is now being pushed to next week. They’re not sure of the date yet, but the announcement is coming soon.

Original article:

Coney Island’s newest roller coaster, Zamperla USA’s Thunderbolt, is slated to open this Friday, June 6, according to Brooklyn Views.

When first announced last year, the coaster was originally scheduled to open in time for Memorial Day. That was pushed back until just after Memorial Day, and delayed  again to this Friday.

Still, after 2.5 months of construction, the $9 million coaster is nearly ready for showtime. The three-car coaster will hold 27 people as it zooms along 2,233 feet of track at 55 miles per hour. It’ll reach its peak height at 115 feet before plummeting nearly straight to the ground and into a 100-foot vertical loop, then an 80-foot zero-g roll followed by a heartline dive and corkscrew. That two-minute ride will represent the single-largest private investment in Coney Island in decades.

Source: Zamperla

Source: Zamperla

Coney Island’s newest amusement tycoons, Central Amusement International (a.k.a. Zamperla USA), broke ground on the Thunderbolt yesterday, the first roller coaster in more than a century at the People’s Playground to throw riders through a literal loop.

The three-car coaster will hold 27 people as it zooms along 2,233 feet of track at 55 miles per hour. It’ll reach its peak height at 115 feet before plummeting nearly straight to the ground and into a 100-foot vertical loop, then an 80-foot zero-g roll followed by a heartline dive and corkscrew. The whole shebang lasts two-minutes.

The new ride, which borrows the name of the original Thunderbolt coaster that was built in 1920, decommissioned in 1982, and torn down in 2000, will cost $10 million, the single largest private investment in Coney Island in decades.

According to the press release for the groundbreaking:

Creation of the coaster helps realize the goals outlined in the Coney Island Revitalization Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2009. The plan is anticipated to generate billions of dollars in economic activity and create tens of thousands of jobs over the next decades by preserving and expanding the historic amusement area, investing in district-wide infrastructure, and building new housing, commercial and community space.

No word on when they’ll get to the district-wide infrastructure and housing stuff, but the roller coaster will be open in May.

Here’s a video mockup of what a ride on it will be like:

Thunderbolt Roller Coaster Looks To Rock Coney Island
Video: Take A Virtual Ride On The New Thunderbolt

It’s been a long, crazy summer by the beach. Nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the area, Coney Island went through a wild summer season. Like any neighborhood with a theme park at its heart, there were thrills, chills and nearly collapsing Astrotowers.

As the summer wind gives way to autumn chills, I’m reminded of some of the bigger Coney Island stories of the summer. As the boardwalk reopened, a stronger corporate presence began to entrench itself, inviting the forced jingoistic promises of fun from the likes of Applebees. With many tri-state beaches closed following Sandy’s wrath, the beaches at Coney Island were more popular than ever, enraging locals looking for parking, fighting through crowds and dealing with increased trash. As the boardwalk boomed with new businesses and a fancy new parachute jump light display, the local community was still reeling from damaged schools and medical facilities, closed libraries and sinkholes. The longstanding Astrotower was taken down after people grew worried that the whistling space needle was about to be knocked over by the wind.

Tragedy was also a common theme on Coney Island. There was murder at the Marlboro Houses (2740 86th Street) and the horrifying story of a little girl who fell out of a window at the Gravesend Housing project (3194 Bay View Avenue) after suffering signs of abuse, and a 5-year-old who suffered severe injuries on a Coney Island ride. The area also dealt with ugly racism when the Jackie Robinson statue standing outside MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) was defaced with hate speech. The community rallied together, cleaning and rededicating the statue on “Diversity Day,” remembering all the good that Robinson stood for. On the lighter side, Beyonce took a whirl on the Cylcone, inadvertently causing  a woman to sob in terror after being stranded in the sky on the Wonder Wheel while Beyonce’s team prepped her makeup.

Those are just a few of the stories that capped off a transformative and turbulent year for the area. The video above, produced by Tibitubu, captures the waning summer spirit of Coney Island in a short and beautifully filmed package that features a subway ride to the beach, crashing waves, music and seagulls.

Photo by Jim Mancari via

Met legend Lee Mazzilli and his son L.J. Mazzilli (Photo by Jim Mancari via

New York National League fans were thrilled when Met baseball legend Lee Mazzilli’s son, L.J., was selected by the team in the fourth round as the 116th overall pick in the 2013 draft. In a recent interview with Brooklyn Based, L.J., who is currently playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones, noted the Mazzilli family’s strong ties to Sheepshead Bay.

L.J.’s father, Lee, was a huge homegrown star of the New York Mets in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. A Lincoln High School graduate, Mazzilli was part of a proud athletic tradition. His father was welterweight boxer and Sheepshead Bay native Libero Mazzilli. As the Met’s sole representative in the 1979 All-Star game, he hit a dramatic game-tying home run in the 8th inning and later scored the winning run for the National League  in the ninth. After being traded for future Met great Ron Darling before 1982, he returned to the Mets during the 1986 Championship season and contributed as a key role player.

Mazzilli’s son, L.J., continues the family’s proud Brooklyn athletic tradition as a second basemen for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He spoke of his memories with his grandparents in Sheepshead Bay:

Where’s your favorite place in Brooklyn?

Sheepshead Bay. My grandparents were there until they passed away, so you know, there’s lot of history there. You know, that park right underneath the overpass by Avenue Z. I grew up playing handball and basketball and stickball and would ride my bike around there and then hit my grandma’s salon shop down the road. My grandpa would take us there and meet her for lunch all the time. So I mean that’s my favorite spot when I was little.

I really hope L.J. Mazzilli makes it to the major leagues as a New York Met. There is just so much to root for here; his father’s glory days with the team, the Brooklyn roots and especially the Sheepshead Bay connection. Did anyone ever remember spotting the elder Mazzillis in the area? Let us know.

Source: Glennschuck via twitter

A worker removing the graffiti (Source: Glennschuck via twitter)

A demented vandal defaced the Jackie Robinson statue outside of MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) with racial epithets and a swastika. The New York Daily News is reporting that the act of vandalism was discovered on Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m.

The Daily News described horrible content scrawled on the statue:

Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument to Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: “Heil Hitler,” “Die n—-r,” “F–k n—-r” and “F–k Jackie Robinson.”

Cyclones official Billy Harner was rightfully aghast at the discovery of the hate infused garbage covering the monument to one of America’s greatest civil rights heroes.

“The statue is a symbol of tolerance. It’s an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did,” Harner told the Daily News.

While graffiti written on the bronze part of the statue was removed, workers are having trouble removing the black marker from the stone base.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. Meanwhile, according to a report, local politicians including Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Eric Adams and City Council candidate Mark Treyger have offered a $1,500 cash reward for anyone who provides information that leads to a police arrest.

Greenfield, Adams and Treyger all expressed outrage over the continued rash of hate graffiti being scrawled across Southern Brooklyn.

“I am very concerned about the rise of hateful and anti-Semitic incidents here in Brooklyn and throughout New York City. The fact that a statue celebrating the historic friendship of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese was vandalized with anti-black and anti-Semitic graffiti makes this incident even more despicable. We must once again come together as a community and a city to send a clear message that this cowardly behavior will not be tolerated and that we will support the NYPD in bringing those responsible to justice,” Greenfield said.

“This action is not in the spirit of Brooklyn or in the spirit of Jackie Robinson or Pee Wee Reese. And to desecrate the statues that represent their memory and legacy is unforgivable. When the perpetrator(s) of this hate crime are caught — and I’m confident they will be, they should face the maximum penalty under the law,” said Senator Adams.

“The vandalism of the statue of civil rights icon and hero Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in the borough we are proud to call home, is a sad reminder that those who hate, hate indiscriminately. We cannot – and will not – be intimidated by such vile individuals. Everything that is great about Brooklyn, and New York City, comes from its diversity. For this to occur in Coney Island – a neighborhood known for its rich diversity – is particularly outrageous and despicable. Make no mistake, whoever committed this act of vandalism has committed a crime, and the District Attorney should prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law. We are offering a reward of $1,500 for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible,” said Treyger.

The New York Daily News has also put out a $10,000 cash reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the crime.

Anyone with knowledge of the incident can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Source: akdetrick via flickr

Source: akdetrick via flickr

On a whim, I hopped down to Coney Island to catch the fireworks on July 4 last year. It was hot and crowded with no good place to steal a glimpse of the fireworks show without cramming myself between a bunch of sweaty, drunk people. Luckily, for those like me looking for a better seat, you can fill up the Cyclones baseball stadium, MCU Park, for free to watch the fireworks on Independence Day this year.

The Cyclones baseball team will be out of town this year on July 4, but they are opening their doors at 4:30 p.m. to the public. Once inside, you’ll be able to scout out some choice seats, use the public bathrooms and buy food from the concession stands. That’s not all, though. The Cyclones have a litany of events all leading up to the fireworks show at 9 p.m.:

•  A pig roast presented by Thomas Joseph Catering

•  “Beers of New York” beer garden

•  A special performance by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn

•  Live music from oldies and Top 40 cover bands

•  Family activities including the “Fastest Arm in Brooklyn Competition” on the Cyclones speed pitch

The events are a joint operation between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Alliance for Coney Island, and while admission is free, guests are encouraged to donate on behalf of the Brooklyn Public Library and Coney Recovers, an initiative of local organizations working in partnership to assist with the recovery of the Coney Island community.

This actually all sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to loosen up the traffic on the boardwalk on one of Coney Island’s busiest days.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

The Brooklyn Cyclones kicked off their summer season with a cool gesture, wearing uniforms honoring New York victims of Superstorm Sandy. SI Live reported that the uniforms, which normally bear the player’s names, instead bore the names of many of the local communities including Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Breezy Point, and Oceanside, devastated by Sandy.

The display of the uniforms is actually part of the Cyclones’ greater effort to give back to the area as it struggles to recover from Sandy. Every Monday this season will be known as “Meaningful Mondays.” Three dollars of every ticket sold on Mondays will be donated to various local charities and highlight different neighborhood groups. Here is a list of the upcoming Meaningful Monday events.

  • Monday, July 1 – Coney Island Night to benefit
  • Monday, July 8 – Gerritsen Beach / Sheepshead Bay Night to benefit Gerritsen Cares.
  • Monday, July 22 – Nassau County Night to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund.
  • Monday, July 29 – Red Hook Night to benefit the Red Hook Initiative.
  • Monday, August 19 – Staten Island Night to benefit The Stephen Siller Foundation.
  • Monday, August 26 – Breezy Point / Rockaway Night to benefit The Graybeards.

You also have a chance to grab one of the cool uniforms that honor Sandy victims as the Cyclones will be raffling them off for charity as the season progresses. Great stuff by the Cyclonesm and if you want more information on the “Meaningful Mondays” events you can click here.

Students from the Millennium Development/Starrett City with former pro baseball player Terry McFarlin (top row left) and Mets Hall of Fame pitcher John Franco (top row in 42 cap)

Over 200 students from an assortment of Brooklyn youth groups celebrated Jackie Robinson day Monday by meeting some ex-baseball players and getting a private screening of the new movie about Jackie Robinson, 42, at the Regal Cinemas in Sheepshead Bay, according to a press release.

The kids, who spent the day hearing stories from former ballplayers John Franco and Terry McFarlin, were culled from the Marlboro Housing Development, Millennium Development/Starrett City, and the Coney Island Communities youth groups. They learned about the groundbreaking heroism exhibited by Jackie Robinson in the face of intense hatred and bigotry as he broke baseball’s color barrier back in 1947.

Franco and McFarlin, both products of Southern Brooklyn, also shared powerful words of wisdom with the children on hand.

“Stay focused on the goals you set for yourself and never stop working to improve yourself in a effort to achieve those goals,”  said ex-Met Franco.

“The more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. Always give 100 percent in whatever you do and more often than not, you will be successful,” added McFarlin.

In honor of Jackie Robinson day Monday, every player in the major leagues wore the number 42. Jackie’s number is also ceremoniously retired by every team in baseball.

The event was sponsored by the Municipal Credit Union (MCU) and the Brooklyn Cyclones, the New York Met Class-A affiliate.

Source: Wally Gobetz via Wikimedia Commons

The Brooklyn Cyclones have announced that they will raising moneyfor various Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts, through a new program dubbed “Meaningful Mondays.”

The way it works is that $3 out of every ticket sold at MCU Park (1904 Surf Avenue) on Mondays will go to several charities involved in the recovery process. This will start in July.

According to the press release, each week the “Meaningful Monday” will focus on a different neighborhood affected by the storm. Here is a schedule the press release provided of which neighborhoods will go with which week:

•           Monday, July 1 –Coney Island Night to benefit

•           Monday, July 8 – Gerritsen Beach Night to benefit Gerritsen Cares.

•           Monday, July 22 –Nassau County Night to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund.

•           Monday, July 29 – Red Hook Night to benefit the Red Hook Initiative.

•           Monday, August 19 –Staten Island Night to benefit The Stephen Siller Foundation.

•           Monday, August 26 – Breezy Point / Rockway Night to benefit The Graybeards.

Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen states in the press release, “We hope that through our Meaningful Monday efforts, we can help the countless people still struggling to recover from the storm, recognize the heroes who were leaders in their communities during their time of need, and provide a night of fun and laughter at the ballpark as we all recover from Hurricane Sandy.”

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