I had a late introduction to Coney Island because it wasn't my family's beach. My first time there was 1967, and I lost my glasses in the water early in the day. I spent most of my first visit focused on the sounds and smells since I couldn't see that well. I fell in love with the grit of the place.
Though most of the original turn of the century amusement areas were gone in 1967 there was still plenty left to do. I've biked out to Coney a couple of hundred times in the last thirty years. It fails to bore me. Most of the small buildings and small businesses in these pictures will be demolished this month. They are the last tangible links to an amazing boardwalk that lived and breathed, where everything imaginable happened again and again. Coney Island wasn't a mirage, but that's the name of a song Tommy James was singing in 1967.