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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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The New York Aquarium broke ground on its 57,000-square-foot shark hall today in Coney Island, the Daily News reports. “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” will be wrapped in a sparkling wall made of small aluminum squares meant to resemble a wave. The $127,000,000 exhibit will feature more than 115 species of marine wildlife, including sharks, skates, rays and turtles. Forty-five sharks will live in the exhibit’s three 500,000-gallon main tanks. The three-story building will have a coral reef tunnel that gives visitors a 360-degree view of ocean life, in addition to a roof deck, classroom space and cafe. The aquarium also posted a fun 3-D model and virtual tour of the planned building, which is scheduled to open in 2016.

The aquarium planned to break ground on the new shark hall last year, but damage from Hurricane Sandy forced it to delay the project. Only half of the aquarium’s 14-acre complex has been usable since it reopened last May.

Coney Island’s New York Aquarium Breaks Ground on New $127M Shark Exhibit on Friday [NYDN]

Image via New York Aquarium/Wildlife Conservation Society