March 12, 2009 -
In Brooklyn, even the hidden world under the Coney Island Boardwalk isn't safe from development. Recent repair work near Shoot the Freak has revealed and destroyed the Freak's domain. Luckily, there are still forgotten areas further down the boardwalk, stretches of quiet land that are home to tunnel lairs, foxholes, abandoned building entrances, discarded sharks, guard-doves, love nests and campsites. It is, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote in A Coney Island of the Mind -"a kissproof world of plastic toilet seats tampax and taxis/[...]and all the other fatal shorn-up fragments/of the immigrants dream come too true/and mislaid/among the sunbathers."
On a personal note - these photos are dedicated to Robert Guskind, whose encouragement and support, beginning with a single photo in 2006, helped inspire me to document Brooklyn's entire industrial waterfront. He was a generous friend who advised me in creating this website, and then wrote a story about nearly every photo essay on it for Curbed and The Gowanus Lounge, bringing thousands of people to my photographs. I was just one of the many people in the Brooklyn community that he supported and encouraged. Robert loved Coney Island and I had looked forward to sharing these photos with him this week, on the 2nd anniversary of this website. Robert passed away unexpectedly last week.