The Art Walls are back. A few survived the winter although they may be replaced at some point. Other new murals are up and some are in progress. Just like last year, the project lends a touch of the creative to the cash cow that is the Coney Island boardwalk.
For those of you filled with nostalgia for the boardwalk amusements of years past, don’t worry. Coney Island, for one, is still there for you. Maybe with a few less self-proclaimed freaks in its midst, and better amenities, but who is going to complain about that! Here are some very recent shots in full Coney color.
Now, however, for those of us with a taste for a different sort of color, say the paintbrushes and spray cans of some of the city’s up-and-coming artists, there is more to like at Coney. Thanks to a project called Art Walls NYC, a series of room-sized panels has been given over to artists and serves as accompaniment to the latest installment of Smorgasburg/the Brooklyn Flea, set up just half a block north of the Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. It is so new that when I visited, two men were still at work on the RIOT panel. This area offers little in the way of art and even less in quality eats at an inexpensive price. The twelve re-purposed shipping containers that make up Smorgasburg Coney Island offer everything from organic ice cream and lobster rolls to Jamaican, Thai and Mexican street food bites.
This is wonderful development- and on the day that I was there, I definitely did not miss the long lines common to the Smorgasburgs in other neighborhoods. The art itself was thought-provoking and awe-inspiring, allowing me to forget the frenetic energy of Luna Park and even the lure of the beach for a moment. It seemed to bring the downtown scene to Coney Island, while acknowledging the area’s different-ness by placing the art right by the beach and the spectacle of its amusements.
For more about Smorgasburg and Art Walls:
Now, the art!