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Dis-Astroland! Sitt’s Coney ‘Festival’ falls short

The Brooklyn Paper
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Joe Sitt’s much-hyped “Festival by the Sea” didn’t live up to its name.

The Coney Island landowners temporary amusement park of rides, sideshows and a sprawling flea market was completely canceled in its opening weekend despite a promise by his company, Thor Equities, to have 25 rides and carnival acts on the former site of Astroland amusement park, plus a Stillwell Avenue bazaar for food, crafts, and souvenirs.

But both “attractions” were a ghost town of idle employees and few customers. Workers said that the bazaar and rides would now open over Memorial Day weekend instead, according to Amusing the Zillion, a new, anti-Sitt blog.

The total shutdown was even worse than what was expected. Last Wednesday, a Thor spokesman had told The Brooklyn Paper that half the rides would be open.

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Reader Feedback

Bruce from Coney Island says:
So we know who is at fault here, the People of Coney Island are calling the former Astroland site, Sittland East. His land by Stillwell, Sittland West.

Joe Sitt fancies himself another Tilyou, but in reality his is another O'Malley.

He knows retail, thus the unwanted flea market. When the city disapproved his flea by the sea, he repackaged it as festival by the sea. Who is he fooling? Its a flea market. No one comes to coney island to buy socks, old junk, bootleg cd's and such.
May 18, 2009, 3:05 pm
lisa from park slope says:
My 5 year old is going to be so disappointed that Astroland is gone. Even at 5, she has memories of several summers of going on specific rides. We're all pretty upset about Astroland closing.
May 19, 2009, 12:43 am
tricia from coney island says:
"Dis-Astroland!" says it all! Also your previous headline "Summer of Nope!" (after last year's Summer of Hope). More broken promises from Joe Sitt and Thor Equities, for whom "a lot going on" apparently means empty lots as usual
May 19, 2009, 1:41 am
Alicia from Coney Island says:
You can blame Mayor Bloomber for sabotaging Joe Sitt's "Festival By The Sea". It was Bloomberg who forced the shut down of the indoor entertainment areas at the last minute by enforcing a new rule that tents must be able to withstand hurricane force winds. No tent can do that. If a hurricane is approaching then why would the festival be open? Hurricane season is not for another four months and it takes more than a week for a hurricane to track up the coast, fair time for warning and enough time to remove a tent. I see that the Ringling Brothers are not being asked for hurricane proof tents. They are being given a variance in the rule.

And the city has blocked the 25 rides from entering the city because of strict safety regulations that the other ride operators in Coney are not required to follow. This is harassment directed at Joe Sitt. You can thank Bloomberg for the festivals delayed opening.
May 19, 2009, 5:51 am
Paul A. Toomey from Fort Hamilton/Bay Ridge says:
Festival-Flea Market-Inflatable Rides- Flimsey Tents Sitt has shown again that he is only in Coney to make a fast buck. I'm quite sure that nobody will miss the cheesey act that Sitt is trying to pass off as a amusement area. Every ride in Coney must pass structional tests before the season opens & tents are included.Sitt has tried to make a buck anyway he can and his expertise as a amusement operatoris a sad joke.The blue plywood walls that he erected didn't even stand up! The only thing that was accomplished was that the garbage that accumlated on the property was removed. Ringling Bros have been in the business over 100 years and I'm sure they know what they're doing as far as rigging tents not some fly by night operation. Remember last year when the whole shebang packed it in by the middle of july!?! Sitt has park-n-ride on his property. Have they been licensed as required by law?? I didn't see any shingle when I was down there last.When you visit Coney Island patronize the estabilished amusements & concessions and let Sitt do just that....SIT
May 19, 2009, 3:06 pm
WhorEquities from Brooklyn says:
We at Whor Equities are hard at work bringing terrible flea markets and sad inflatable bouncy castles to Coney Island. A while back we said we'd transform the Albee Square Mall but instead we got a rezoning and flipped the property for a nice profit. That's what we do! So give us our rezoning so we can abandon Coney Island. Otherwise we'll have to continue making a joke out of it. Maybe next year we'll bring a giant swimming pool full of hypodermic needles and call it a ride.
May 19, 2009, 3:59 pm
joe from coney island says:
No one has mentioned Joe's friend : Councilman Domenic Recchia or "Wreckia". He's very much the cause in this fiasco of a Summer Season in Coney Island. Recchia was for whatever his developer buddy Sitt wanted. He's not for the people. In addition, if Marty Markowitz, Boro President would not be so Hard headed he would move his Vanity Project Amphitheater to Coney Island Amusement area, where it would do some good for the community & the other businesses in Coney Island. However they are the Kings & we are just the peasants. We don't count. It's our tax dollars being wasted.
May 19, 2009, 4:10 pm
james rutherford from ga but former coney island employee says:

they should keep dreamland of fun closed after all its just for people like geren rides inc to screw his employees out of money some more i was one of the people who worked 91hrs a week for 275.00 so its not fair close that place down until they can pay like they was suppost to by ny law .
Sept. 3, 2009, 5:56 pm

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