Once a national attraction, now a beat-up New York distraction, Coney Island has always been a feast for the eyes. ”The Coney Island shown here,” author David Lindsay writes in the introduction to this collection of photographs, ”is the last outpost of a forgotten culture, where exhibitionism retains its human scale and its original spontaneous flaws.” Stein captures the grit, funk, and fun of present-day Coney Island’s timeworn amusements, chronicling beachcombers, snake charmers, and most evocatively, the annual Mermaid Parade heralding the start of summer. A little historical detail would have added depth to Coney Island, which is an engaging but fleeting diversion. B

Coney Island
  • Book