Coney Island opens 2014 season with nod to the past

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams christens the Cyclone in Coney Island on Sunday. Credit: Miles Dixon, Metro
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams christens the Cyclone in Coney Island on Sunday. Credit: Miles Dixon, Metro

For the 10th year in a row, Coney Island resident Erik Knapp was first in line to ride the iconic Cyclone as Luna Park opened for the new season on Sunday.

“My grandfather put me on the ride when I was 7 years old,” said Knapp, who secured his place on line nearly 24 hours before the ride opened.

Knapp, a.k.a. Mr. Cyclone, said Hurricane Sandy damaged his home in 2012, so last summer was “all about work.” This summer, he’s ready to have fun again.

With the smashing of a bottle of egg cream on the ride by amusement tycoon Alberto Zamperla and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, summer kicked off in Brooklyn.

More than a year after the storm destroyed businesses and damaged rides, the beachfront park was booming on Sunday.

The first hundred people on line rode the Cyclone for free, and visitors paid $6 per ride for the rest of the day.

“I think Coney Island is the strongest it’s been in so many years, and the hurricane just showed people’s resolve,” said Charles Denson, director of the Coney Island History Project.

Amusements will be open daily for Spring Break, and then they will be open on weekends through Memorial Day.


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