M and I went to Coney Island yesterday. Neither of us had ever been, so we figured we should check it out before Astroland closes for the summer. This might be its last year - some people are trying to re-zone it and build condos there. I hope it doesn't happen, but now, if it does, at least we can say we've been here:
We spent some time walking on the boardwalk. We enjoyed looking at the beach and the water, watching the fishermen on the pier, and drinking fresh-squeezed lemonade. Also on the boardwalk, we saw a few fascinating sights like this one:
Your eyes do not deceive you. This is an empty lot right off the boardwalk, decked out with graffiti and looking like a war zone. Note the sign at the back of the lot - "Shoot the Freak. Live Human Target." There is a young guy - assumedly, the "Freak" - right in the middle. You can pay $3 per 5 shots and shoot paintballs at him. Don't let anyone tell you carnie culture is dead.