Two of BHS’s Interpreting Brooklyn artists, novelist Elizabeth Gaffney and Coney Island playwright Michael Schwartz, will be reading tonight in Fort Greene Park with L.J. Davis, a fellow contributor to the magazine A Public Space.
If you haven’t been following the debates about revitalizing Coney Island, the City Council is about to vote on a rezoning plan and the Municipal Art Society has suggested improvements to the proposed plan. The New York Times and local community organizations have endorsed MAS’s improved plan which doubles the size of the amusement area and removes hotels from the south side of Surf Avenue which would block the view of the ocean.
“Coney Island is a great business school… you have to be very dumb not to learn how to sell. And I wasn’t!”
That’s a quote from an interview with Lillian Santangello, founder of the World of Wax Musee, Coney Island’s first and only wax museum conducted by BHS in 1987. Check out BHS’s podcast to hear more from this interview.
Ms. Santangello was almost 80 years old at the time of the interview and she has wonderful things to say about her wax figures and the visitors to her museum on the corner of Stillwell and Surf Avenue – both the celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and the “riff raff”. Ms. Santangello grew up in Coney Island and started working at at early age helping her adopted father at his fruit and peanut stand. The wax figures in her museum included Nat King Cole, Roberto Clemente, and a figure in an electric chair which now haunts BHS’s warehouse…