A Coney Island Odyssey

It’s time for New York to earn official sticky status, and for city dwellers of all stripes head to the beach. So in honor of the new season, Abhayam is back with a narrative poem about Coney Island:


My .

God .






It is so big!!!

And holy Starburys, isn’t that like where former NBA superstar Stephon Marbury grew up and Jesus Shuttlesworth from that old Spike Lee film “He Got Game,” and like last summer Beyonce totally rode the rollercoaster and danced around there for like one of her videos or something, remember?


Me either.


Hello Coney Island!!! 

Returns Valley Girl voice to sender and … |||wait|||  people actually go in that water?  #thingsNewYorkersSay said the way New Yorkers  say it.

Nah mean?

Let’s turn the page…a few more pages…ok, let’s just fast forward to last week when before I could even make eye contact with Coney Island ‘s infamous wooden rollercoaster, The Cyclone I was taken aback by the sign for

IT’SUGAR #sparkly #cutesy #gentrilicious #postSandy new sparkly (said that already) big ass candy store…

Well, this sour-patch kid gave it a side-eye and randomly jumped aboard a boarding B36 like she was the illegitimate diabetic child of Kara Walker. Piff. What next? Build-A-Bear? 

No comment. Just stares from

a young man with a $ sign tattooed on his cheek. Oh. 


Since I had no real destination I decided to exit when and wherever he exited.

#Adventure #Stalker #reallyrandom

And I did #Facts


I had to get off the bus at some point. 

And #YOLO #justsaying

Welcome to…O’DWYER GARDENS* 

Although I wanted to follow the bro not just off the bus but over the concrete and through the hood–a ladybug didn’t know how these gardens grow, grew… if any big bad wolves… So I stood at 33rd and Surf Avenue looking around. Across the street the sun beamed. There was boardwalk between the two signs that read DEAD END.

What the – – – – was I doing here? Ahhm –here in these housing projects that were so prominently featured in “He Got Game.” Holy Jesus Shuttlesworth

was Spike Lee’s Ghost of Gentrification [Present] fueling this random @$$ adventure? You know how most non-ghetto affiliated folks brains register (when encountering THE PJs) “Nothing to see here, folks. Keep it moving!”

Not mine.

Mine started singing the Dora the Explorer theme song like “C’mon vamanos everybody let’s go!!!” 

And so I did. 

I went.| in…side…of the courtyard–no key || no buzzer –on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon I was down to make new friends. So

I greeted a Boricua bro (who had even cooler tattoos then the other fellow) y Morena sis–two 40-something old friends whose family had 3 generations in these experiments or projects. 

Man, I thought, if anyone knew Coney Island–the fun the sun that old ass wooden rollercoaster all that pre IT’SUGAR summer in the C.I. it’d be them. 

So I asked.
FFWD 60 Minutes.

 “If I may, sir, how don’t you break down?”

And he was saying that he does–that he did –he broke down |just| last| night. 

And mentally I was melting like wet cotton candy. What had I done, did, found, stumbled upon…

Hour two. 


Listen sweety, some of the stuff we told you–if you put it out there could get us killed, said the friend.

Time to vamanos.

They jokingly insisted that I walk the boardwalk back to the subway–no

more bus. You need to SEE Coney Island.

Mannnn –And I thought I was down, well-aware of what summers in the hood oft entail.

Got a born, bred and still residing in the South Bronx best friend who regularly reminds me with her vacation (escape plans). “A., in the summer everyday is a weekend and that‘s why I have to get out of here,”  she says. Cops told me the same night I was robbed in pre- IT‘SUGAResque Bushwick,“If you can–think about moving–it gets worse in the summer.”


ONCE upon a time there was community  folks left their doors open, neighbors borrowed and paid it forward they didn’t steal and sell it for less than its worth… but shit changed. Then the levees broke and flooded the inner cities with …

But this SAMO© stopped my heart because it wasn’t the same ol shit.

Or is…


This bro … #smh #ICANT

“Tell her why I don’t let you [his teenage son] be outside or be at the rides at night?”

“Tell her…”

“Tell her…”

“3 THREE MONTHS no electricity after Sandy–they wasn’t worried about us.”

“Look sweety, our boilers are STILL outside–never seen no shit like that?’

“You didn’t hear what I said, sweety?” [oh, but I did]

“Murdered right over there where you walked…”

“Raising 7 kids by himself here…” 

“These are all his kids”

“Four summers ago this year…” 

Sweety, listen

“When they go past 29th St.–THIS –is Coney Island.”

Live from West 33rd.

Anddd exhale.

By now you can tell this no fairy tale, 

no fairy godmother here but if I were I’d make this sh!+ (as corny as this does sound) end Happily Ever After for all parties involved. 

And then no one would be told to Google (as I was instructed) “Victoria Rogucki” to see why a grown man, father of 7, husband of … cries remembering 


Today I saw on Twitter via @yoursocialmix
“Coney Island Beach opens for the summer this weekend. Are you going?”