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This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

Geographically, Coney Island is a sandy peninsula, formerly an island, just beyond lower New York Bay about five miles south of Manhattan that is about 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide.

Culturally, however, it is one of the most significant and recognizable neighborhoods in New York City. From its early days as one of the world’s first sea resorts to its mid-20th Century status as a symbol of urban blight, it became a powerful emblem of Brooklyn’s resurgence.

Pavilion of Fun postcard by Coney Island History via Facebook.

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This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

Coney Island has been Brooklyn’s playground since it was built in the late 1800s. It’s also the ideal destination for a day trip. Now that the rides are open for the season, this is the perfect time of year to explore — before the sun gets too hot or the crowds too big.

Wonder Wheel photo courtesy of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park via Flickr.

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Two 23-story rental buildings at the 1960s-era Trump Village in Coney Island have been completely gut renovated and rebranded and just hit the market. Rents start at $1,500 for studios, $1,650 for one-bedrooms and $2,332 for two-bedrooms. Many of the 880 apartments at the renamed Shorecrest Towers had been rent stabilized.

Andres Escobar handled the interior design. Now the apartments have stainless steel appliances, oak floors, high-gloss white lacquer cabinets and marble floors in the bathrooms. The lobbies, hallways, roof deck and lounge are also getting upgrades. Aptsandlofts.com is marketing the two towers at 2940 and 3000 Ocean Parkway.

Donald Trump’s father, Fred C. Trump, built the seven-building complex along the Coney Island waterfront in 1964, according to the Times. These two buildings on Ocean Parkway had always been rentals, and the other five consisted of affordable co-ops in the Mitchell-Lama program, where owners can now sell their apartments for big profits at market rates. Meanwhile, two blocks away on Neptune Avenue, the Trump Village shopping center connected to this development is slated to be replaced by a 40-story apartment tower, which locals strongly oppose.

Click through to see interior renderings. What do you think of the look, location and pricing?

Shorecrest Towers [Official] GMAP
Shorecrest Towers Listings [Aptsandlofts.com]

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Tons of Brooklyn and New York City-themed films are screening at the Coney Island Film Festival this weekend, exploring topics from the history of the Thunderbolt to a 40-year-old pizza shop in Sunset Park. There will also be showings of horror movies, children’s films, experimental music videos and a documentary on the history of the drive-in movie. And of course, they’re screening the Warriors on Saturday and Sunday nights. You can also check out a live burlesque show and open bar on Friday night for $25 or attend individual screenings for $8. Head over to the Film Festival’s site to see the full schedule, which starts on Friday at 7:30 pm and runs through Sunday evening at 6 pm.

Photo via Coney Island Film Festival

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Green-Wood Cemetery will host an exhibit next month celebrating the life of William F. Mangels, the master mechanic and designer of several turn-of-the-century Coney Island rides, including The Whip, The Tickler, The Wave Pool, and The Human Roulette Wheel.

“William F. Mangels: Amusing the Masses on Coney Island and Beyond” will feature plenty of historical Coney Island artifacts, such as a Marcus Illions carousel horse, original sketches and vintage photos,  a 22-foot-long shooting gallery, a Whip car, a Pony Cart, a Speed Boat, and fire engines. The exhibit will open September 7 in Green-Wood’s chapel and run through October 26.

Image via Green-Wood Cemetery

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Learn about Coney Island’s honky-tonk past and its present-day struggles to balance historic preservation and development on a walking tour organized by the Municipal Arts Society. Local historian and preservationist Joe Svehlak will lead the tour, which will happen this Saturday at 10:30 am. It will touch on the new Thunderbolt coaster, older amusement rides, and the memorials at MCU Park commemorating Jackie Robinson and 9/11. Tickets cost $20 or $15 for MAS members, and can be purchased here.

Photo by Michael Tapp

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget that New York is a city of islands. It has 520 miles of coastline — more than Miami, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined. Brooklyn alone, projecting outward from the Southwestern corner of Long Island, is mostly surrounded by water: the East River, the Upper and Lower New York Bay, Jamaica Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Three things you might know about the waters surrounding Brooklyn:

1. The waters around Brooklyn are rich with marine life. In fact, they were once, like, buy-a-brownstone rich, with 12-inch oysters and six-foot lobsters.

2. Back when explorers like Giovanni da Verrazzano and Henry Hudson (of bridge and river fame, respectively) sailed into New York Harbor, sturgeon were so abundant that the fish were considered hazardous to boat passage.

3. Today, despite decades of unchecked use, the New York seascape still hosts everything from whales, to seals, to more than 338 species of fish.

Most New Yorkers don’t even think about this rich marine life living just off their shores. The New York Aquarium is trying to change that, helping residents and visitors understand these vital waters, and protecting them from growing threats, including expanded shipping, dredging, overfishing, and energy development.

Back on its feet (or flippers) after Hurricane Sandy, the aquarium is also working on transforming itself for the future, and you can be a part of it. Check out the plans, which include a thrilling new exhibit, Ocean Wonders: Sharks! You don’t have to be buy-a-brownstone rich to lend a hand. Donate today.