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Maybe more than any other area beach, Coney Island seems to get constant flack for being some kind of garbage-strewn hell hole remnant of the city's lowest low points—if we never hear another joke about finding syringes in the sand, it'll be too soon. The reality of the situation isn't nearly that bad. At least, not if you stick to the main area around Ocean Parkway and West 8th, which got 4 out of 5 stars—it only lost points for not having water quality monitored more than once a week. It gets dicier further out, though, and outposts at West 8th and the Pier, 16th-27th St., and West 28th-West 37th st. all rated just two stars. Stick to the main boardwalk, is the takeaway here.