New York Nooks

Covering NYC and the Arts

A Desire Named Streetcar

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By Henry Stewart, Special to Bay Currents

Surf Ave. Trolley Pole
A rusted trolley pole on Surf Ave., currently used to hold street signs

As Arthur Melnick drove down Surf Avenue with this writer on a recent rainy afternoon, he acted as a tour guide to the Coney Island of his youth, pointing out, amid the vacant lots, where the old swimming pools, arcades and rides used to be.

“All these empty lots were attractions,”he said. “All this was Coney Island…”

Melnick, 62, hopes to restore a small piece of Coney Island’s storied past by bringing back trolley service to its streets, a project he has been working on for six years.

Now, he might be closer than ever before to realizing his dream — the trolleys appear to fit in with several of Mayor Bloomberg’s current priorities, from going green and relieving traffic congestion to promoting a revitalized Coney Island.

“People would come to the area just to ride the trolley,” Melnick said. “It’s a tourist attraction in itself.”

It’s just a matter of convincing the city to give the OK.

Read More by downloading this pdf (and jumping to pg. 7)

Photo from the Trolley Pole page on Flickr


Written by Henry

April 10, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Posted in Coney Island

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