nycgo.jpgFamily-Friendly Amusement Parks, Beaches, Cultural Institutions and Restaurants Ready to Welcome Visitors and New Yorkers for the 2013 Summer Season New York, N.Y. -- NYC & Company, New York City's official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, today announced Coney Island as the next destination to be featured in Neighborhood x Neighborhood, an initiative designed to increase visitation, support local businesses and encourage exploration in areas outside traditional tourist locations across the five boroughs. Coney Island offers visitors a unique City experience, complete with pristine beaches, thrilling amusement parks, rich history and boardwalk delicacies along the Atlantic Ocean. Accessible via a convenient ride on the D, F, N and Q subway lines, Coney Island transports visitors from the bustle of Midtown Manhattan to family-friendly beaches and attractions in less than an hour.  "Appealing to visitors of all ages across the globe, Coney Island is the ideal New York City summer destination for families, combining the beauty of the City's waterfront with the vibrancy and energy of the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk and attractions," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. "First-time visitors will soon learn what New Yorkers have known for years: Coney Island is one of the best places to enjoy a New York City summer." "Coney Island provides an array of attractions in a seaside destination unlike anywhere else in the world," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. "From the Mermaid Parade to the Coney Island History Project to the New York Aquarium, the return of this community's unique cultural offerings is great news for visitors who will flock to the boardwalk all summer long." "On behalf of my constituents, allow me to welcome you to America's Playground: Coney Island," said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. "Visitors will find that our beach, boardwalk, amusements, local restaurants, and businesses are among the best in the country. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, our local attractions and businesses have worked hard to rebuild and reopen and we are eager to welcome visitors to the area to enjoy and experience our comeback and the wonderful spirit that has made Coney Island an iconic American entertainment hub for decades." "We invite all to come back to Coney Island this summer. With recent development and brand new additions, it is an exciting time for Coney Island. Recognized worldwide as the ‘People's Playground', Coney Island welcomes millions of visitors annually, and has something to offer for everyone. This month's Neighborhood x Neighborhood campaign highlights the eclectic mix of attractions, shops, and eateries that make Coney Island the One and Only Coney. This neighborhood is truly unlike any other and a must-see for anyone visiting New York City," said the Alliance for Coney Island. Cultural Institutions and Attractions
  • A New York Mets minor league team boasting five division titles, the Brooklyn Cyclones play their games at MCU Park, a 7,500 seat stadium just steps from the Coney Island boardwalk. Starting June 18, fans can watch the Cyclones take on opponents in the NY-Penn League and get a glimpse of future major leaguers in action. 
  • Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park offers visitors a variety of family and children's rides, including the park's namesake ride, Deno's Wonder Wheel. An official NYC Landmark, the 150-foot eccentric Ferris wheel was built in 1920. 
  • Located under the Wonder Wheel, the Coney Island History Project exhibition center, offering free admission, is home to historic neighborhood artifacts, photographs, maps and ephemera of "America's Playground." The project also offers walking tours and performances that celebrate the colorful history of Coney Island. 
  • Luna Park has something for everyone, with more than 40 rides and games, from heart-pounding roller coasters and classic kiddie rides to quintessential amusement park games. Luna Park is also home to the historic wooden Cyclone roller coaster, which was originally built in 1927. 
  • On June 22 at 1pm, the Mermaid Parade, the largest art parade in the nation, will kick off at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue. Full of eye-catching and extravagant floats and over-the-top costumes, the parade is enormously popular among all ages. Following the parade, winning floats will be announced at the Mermaid Parade Ball.
  • The 14-acre New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States and is home to more than 350 species of aquatic wildlife including walruses, sea lions, otters and penguins. The aquarium has a fully remodeled Aquatheater, where families can enjoy a new sea lion demonstration and Glover's Reef, which features sea life found in the Glover's Reef in Belize.
  • Just steps MCU Park, the 2.2-acre Steeplechase Plaza is home to the B&B Carousell and landmarked Parachute Jump. The western entryway to Coney Island just underwent renovations to restore the iconic plaza and carousel.
Dining
  • Since 1907 Gargiulo's Restaurant has been Coney Island's favorite Italian-American seafood restaurant. Must-try dishes include their baked clams, fried calamari, veal valdostana and the signature fettuccine verdi al Gargiulo. Diners will be amused by the decorative plaster octopus that adorns the ceiling.
  • Nathan's Famous, known for its annual Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, serves up delicious beef hot dogs, golden crinkle French fries, sandwiches and cold beverages. The menu at the flagship Coney Island location on Surf Avenue includes a raw seafood bar, a new addition for this summer. With a second location on the boardwalk, visitors cannot have enough of this summer staple.
  • Steps from the Atlantic Ocean, Ruby's Bar & Grill is the oldest bar and grill on Coney Island's Boardwalk, serving up everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to fried clams and crab cakes. This family-owned and -operated establishment has an assortment of memorabilia commemorating the history of Coney Island.
  • Winner of a James Beard Foundation America's Classics Award, family-owned Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano has been serving artisanal coal-fired brick-oven pies since 1924. Their pizzas are composed of dough made fresh daily, tomatoes imported from Italy and the family's secret blend of spices.
  • For over 75 years, Williams Candy has been the candy-lover's dream: a popular spot known for candy apples, popcorn, marshmallow treats, ice cream, fudge, cotton candy and lollipops.
Shopping
  • Family-owned Brooklyn Beach Shop opened on the Coney Island boardwalk last year and is perfect for grabbing a memento, postcards and beach clothing. Visitors can pick up last-minute items for the beach including chairs, towels, umbrellas or a souvenir commemorating their time in Coney Island.
New York City is made up of five distinct boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The Neighborhood x Neighborhood initiative intends to spotlight the affordability and accessibility of neighborhoods across the five boroughs with a particular emphasis on areas that have seen new hotel development in recent years. Neighborhoods and featured highlights were chosen in collaboration with City Council officials, Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Small Business Services, business development districts, community leaders and with consideration of NYC & Company's more than 2,000 members. For more information about Coney Island, visit nycgo.com/neighborhoods. To read the monthly Neighborhood x Neighborhood press releases and to view B-roll and photos of the neighborhood highlights, visit nycgo.com/pressphotos. Follow @nycgo_press on Twitter for the latest information about New York City travel and tourism.

About NYC & Company: NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, visit nycgo.com.

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