Coney Island

Coney Island’s a refuge during heat waves

August 15, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Welcome to Coney Island, where thousands flock during heat waves. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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This is why there are beaches.

For heat waves.

The People’s Playground — AKA Coney Island — is just a subway ride away when Brooklynites need to take refuge from stifling summer weather.

It’s also the go-to place for folks from places farther afield, like New Jersey.

Countless thousands descended on Coney Island this past weekend in search of ocean breezes and cool salt-water waves when the heat index, which factors in humidity, hit 110 degrees.

The really stalwart thrill-seekers among them stepped off the beach for a bit and rode the Wonder Wheel and the Thunderbolt or peeked at the sharks on display at the New York Aquarium, all on Coney Island’s historic boardwalk.

Everybody else stayed as close as possible to the shoreline, staking out their spots with umbrellas, beach towels and even some tents.

“We come a couple times a year,” said Nicole Hyde, 24, who was sitting just inches away from the water’s edge with her friend Charlotte Williams, 21, on Saturday afternoon. “We like to people-watch.”

The two women, who both live in Bay Ridge, rode the subway to the beach.  

Henry, age 1, was encased in a mini-mountain of cool, wet sand. His family had buried him up to his tummy, turning him into a human sand castle.

The family traveled from Passaic, N.J., to spend the day at Coney Island.

“It’s far, but it’s beautiful,” his mother, Ana Ponce, said in Spanish.  

Michael Lawler, who lives in South Jersey, was soaking up the sun during his first-ever visit to Coney Island.

“This is great,” he said.

Before settling in for an afternoon on the beach, he and the friend he came with had eaten lunch at Nathan’s, the famous hot-dog stand.

The two men made their trip to the neighborhood so they could attend a concert by the Avett Brothers, a roots band, at the recently opened Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk.

P.S. Today, tomorrow and Wednesday, the forecast calls for temperatures of around 90 degrees.

Is anybody else planning to play hooky from work? See you on the boardwalk.

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