Friday, August 19, 2011

Come on Down to Coney Island

We're not complaining when friends come to visit us in New York, but it seems like we end up doing and seeing the same things over and over and over and over again...well, you get the point.  Don't get us wrong, NYC has a lot of great tourist destinations and we're happy to play tour guides, but the view is usually the same.  While we were in the City visiting our Jonesboro buddies, they were game enough to try a new adventure with us.  That's right, we finally got a chance to go to Coney Island!

Ever notice the Wonder Wheel on the SNL credits?
The small peninsula in Southern Brooklyn is actually about the size of Jonesboro, AR and home to around 60,000 people.  Don't let the name mislead you though...Coney Island isn't an island anymore as it's connected to the mainland by a landfill!  Today, the area features amusement parks, a boardwalk and the world famous Nathan's Famous, which of course, was our first stop.  

Our dogs were dang delish!  Sure, you can get a Nathan's dog at more than 40,000 food joints in all 50 states, but there's something about getting it straight from the source.  Last year Nathan's sold more than 425 million hot dogs!  Founded by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, Nathan's Famous opened in 1916 using a recipe from Mrs. Handwerker.  She did good!

Nathan's Famous is also home to the Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest!  Every July 4th, competitors from around the globe snap at the chance to chew on the title.  This year Joey Chestnut scarfed down 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes!  Sonya Thomas downed 40 hot dogs and buns to take the first ever woman's title.  We love Nathan's, but too much of a good thing can go wrong sometimes!

The famous amusement parks of Coney Island are not only part of history, but are notable landmarks too.  In fact, the Wonder Wheel, the Cyclone and the Parachute Jump are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  We didn't ride any rides on our visit, but it sure was cool to walk around the sights and sounds that you see on television so often.

Hey, we were just happy to see something new in New York City!