An awesome Fourth of July in New York could’ve been enjoyed in so many ways, but the form of celebration I had in mind was spending the afternoon at Coney Island. Yes, I’ll admit it, my original motive for getting out to the charismatic Brooklyn amusement area was to take in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in person – and while an alteration in the contest’s scheduling overlapped with the arrival time of a few friends coming into town, I still had an unforgettable afternoon at Coney.
Actually having a few coneys certainly didn’t hurt, as my friends and I indulged in a few Nathan’s hot dogs from the original Nathan’s stand. But so much of Coney Island’s magic was (re)discovered while riding the iconic Cyclone roller coaster. I had ridden the Cyclone once before – during a family trip to NYC back in 2005, but experiencing it again the other day was probably the most fun five minutes I’ve had throughout the whole summer.
The Cyclone has been standing on Coney Island’s coast since 1927 (85 years!) and still thrills as much as it surely did back in Coney’s heyday, even in its status as a national monument. You’ll know what I mean as soon the Cyclone hurls you into its first, gasping drop.
Whether you’re a natural thrill seeker or a history buff (or probably somewhere in between), riding the Cyclone is for you, and a must-do before the summer times out.
– Zach Garcia