15 Jun Mermaids Take Manhattan — Lobby to Save Coney Island
Mermaids took to the streets of Lower Manhattan today to deliver some important information to members of the City Planning Commission in advance of their vote later this week on a flawed City rezoning plan for Coney Island. The Coney Island-loving mermaids took a break from preparations for next weekend’s Mermaid Parade to urge the City Planning Commission to the rezoning plan, which would radically reduce the size of Coney Island’s amusement district.
“Coney Island equals amusements. It’s not brain surgery. We have to make the amusement area bigger,” said Miss Cyclone Angie Pontani, who led the contingent of mermaids. “If this plan goes through as it is, it’s going to be a tragic loss, and 20 years from now, people are just going to say, ‘What was the City thinking?’”
The mermaids dropped by the office of City Planning Commission chair Amanda Burden to deliver a brand-new rendering of the soaring hotel towers — rising up to 27 stories — that the City wants to place in the heart of Coney Island’s historic, low-rise amusement district. The image — produced by local activist group Save Coney Island — is the first approximate to-scale view made available to the public of the proposed high-rise towers. Shockingly, the City has yet to publicly release a scaled rendering of how its proposed high-rises would actually look.
The New York Times has warned that the “hotels could too easily become a wall, blocking public access to the sideshows and the rides, the boardwalk and the ocean. The hotels also squeeze the outdoor rides into a narrow strip of about 12 acres — an area that is simply too small to attract enough rides and attractions to bring back the big crowds.”
The mermaids are urging the City Planning Commission to expand the number of acres reserved for amusements and to move the proposed high-rises outside the heart of the amusement district.