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1965 and Onward: Development
In 1965, Fred C. Trump, father to notorious blowhard Donald Trump, bought the abandoned Steeplechase Park for development. If you're at all interested in why Donald Trump is as terrible of an excuse for a person as he is, here's a little story about his dear old dad. Fred Trump was just so TERRIBLY excited about getting to tear down an historic amusement park and replace it with the hideous buildings that he and his son seem to favor, that he threw a funeral for amusement parks. Who did he invite to the funeral? Bikini-clad girls handing out hot dogs to eat and rocks to throw at the old buildings. That family! Class acts, all of them.
Anyway, the last few decades have really been a time of development and change for Coney Island. Development that, happily, does not involve fire! Giuliani helped to get a deal going that would result in the demolition of the classic Thunderbolt roller coaster which was famously seen in Annie Hall (boo!) but also this led to the construction of a minor league stadium for the Brooklyn Cyclones (yay?). Then in 2003, Thor Equities took control of the land and has slowly been introducing new rides and elements to Coney Island's amusement park area, rendering it almost unrecognizable to what it once was in the past.
Almost, but not quite. Because, while Coney Island has undergone a great many changes in the last few decades, it has also retained many elements of its past. The Wonder Wheel still stands, as does the Cyclone. The Parachute Jump may no longer be operational, but it still rises high above the sand, the water, and the people—so many people! Coney Island still attracts hundreds of thousands of people a year, drawn to its shores for things like the Mermaid Parade or a round of Shoot the Freak. It's changed, sure, but what hasn't? And there's still nowhere else like it in the world.
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