News / USA

Scary Rides, Spooky House Return to NY's Coney Island

Scary Rides and Spooky House are Back at NY's Coney Islandi
X
April 25, 2013 7:37 PM
Last October, when Hurricane Sandy slammed the east coast of the United States with powerful winds, sea surges and flooding, it threatened the lives and livelihoods of thousands who live and work in coastal areas like Coney Island in Brooklyn. Through the winter, VOA’s Adam Phillips followed members of the Vourderis family as they cleaned up, reimagined and rebuilt their iconic Coney Island attractions for opening day in 2013.
Adam Phillips
— In October, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy slammed the east coast of the United States with powerful winds, sea surges and flooding, it threatened the lives and livelihoods of thousands who live and work in coastal areas like Coney Island in Brooklyn. Through the winter, VOA’s Adam Phillips followed members of the Vourderis family as they cleaned up, reimagined and rebuilt their iconic Coney Island attractions for opening day in 2013.
 
For over a century, Coney Island has been known for fun, relaxation and seaside thrills.

But that dreamland turned into a nightmare for the Vourderis family on October 29th, when a massive sea surge flooded their rides and games.
   
Their century-old Wonder Wheel and Spook House, from 1955, were nearly destroyed.

“When we got here and saw the devastation, it was like a death, figuratively like a death," said Dano Vourderis.

Deno Vourderis is a third generation worker in this family-owned business
      
"I mean figuratively like a death because a lot of the stuff has history," he said.

But the family resolved to rebuild.

Deno worked with a five man crew he has known since he was a boy.  They assisted his father, co-owner Steve Vourderis, who directed the clean-up and restoration.

"We’re men and we do what we have to do. We get it done," he said.

Steve’s brother Dennis Vourderis handled logistics and finances. He says the family had to borrow a huge amount of honey to pay for repairs and new equipment.

“But what hurts more is when you have an old piece of equipment that has been around for 70 or 80 years that was underwater and you know it can’t be restored.  So that’s especially painful to throw away," said Dennis Vourderis.

" We might be able to fix this. Louis! Don’t throw this guy out, okay?  We’re gonna bring him in the shop and see what we can do with him," he said.

Three months of solid labor later, the Wonder Wheel is refashioned, the kiddie rides are buffed up, and the Scary House’s gimmicks have been restored or replaced.  The Vourderis family felt they were ready for Coney Island’s opening day.   

“We kept a couple of the old relics, but a lot of it is new. All new mechanics, all new haunts. So, you know, the silver lining is if you come by this summer you’re gonna have a lot of new stuff to see," said Deno Vourderis.

Coney Island's rebirth became reality in March when dignitaries and New Yorkers came together on the famous boardwalk for Opening Day.

And the Vourderis family offered up fun, free of charge.

"I couldn't be happier. Everything worked out the way we wanted it to work out . All the rides are up and running. Wonder Wheel is at 100 percent. So I couldn’t be happier," said Deno Vourderis.

Much of what Hurricane Sandy destroyed has been rebuilt.

Still, it's probably safe to say that nowhere have the results been more fun than here.

 "We love you Coney!!"

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid