Coney Island's Astroland Takes Its Final Shot at the Freak

Coney Island's Astroland Takes Its Final Shot at the Freak

A New York establishment, Astroland Amusement Park on Coney Island's boardwalk, closed its doors Sunday, after 46-years of amusing visitors. Since landowner Thor Equities decided not to renew the lease with the park owner, 300 park workers will be out of work after they dismantle the rides.

Not all is lost — the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel rides have been spared, thanks to their independent ownership and landmark status. And Thor Equities has plans to bring new rides by next summer.

Since we all know the children matter most, it's a shame to hear that the news of the closure on Coney upset the local kids, as well as nostalgic adults. A seventh-grade teacher at a Brooklyn school explained that the kids greeted the news with disappointed curiosity. Ms. Simonson said:

They were upset and confused that the rides they'd spent childhood summers on would no longer exist. I reassured them that some elements of Astroland would still remain, but I also understood their disillusionment. They don't get all of the politics and profits behind the changes — to them, it just seems like strange people are going to march into the park and knock things down.

Are cities losing their character to progress and profit, or is it time for modern and financially sustainable institutions of fun?