Residents constantly clamor for the “Old Coney Island.”
“Let’s bring it back,” they yell at the top of their lungs, in unisome.
Community board members were invited to Mayor Bloomberg’s season opening in the spring of what once was the “season opening session,” during his early years in office, a meeting some critics called “The blessing of the popped-up nails and boards.”
My car was parked three blocks away one ceremonial opening day, and so was Mr. Bloomberg’s. So I got a chance to walk with him back to his ride.
As we walked, I turned to our mayor and blurted out, “Mr. Mayor, this stadium was built by Mr. Giuliani before departing. It has been a true pleasure to sit in these stands on a hot summer night under the tall bright lights with the ocean breezes washing the humid heat away.”
I had his attention, as I was praising the work of his predecessor.
But he only listened until I added a big “But: That is only 30 evenings each year. The other 335 evenings, it is dark, cold and abandoned except for the gulls coming in from the sea using the rafters as their toilet.”
I closed it with a question as he scurried away.
“Why can’t we use the stadium for other events?”
As the mayor shook his head negatively, I continued.
“Like outdoor boxing programs, wrestling shows, dance contests…”
Mayor Bloomberg continued to shake his head negatively and shuffled off to fetch his car parked under the same parachute jump as my 1997 wreck.
But I did have one victory: in our conversation, trying to promote fall football, I told him, “New York, an empirical city, no longer has any football games here in our great five boroughs. Where we used to have an annual Notre Dame and Army game at Yankee Stadium, and Fordham at the Polo Grounds, we now have none.”
I recently saw Notre Dame come back to Yankee Stadium.
Now let Brooklyn come alive, and I promise a round of applause.
Still, if I ever see a mayor with foresight, armed for action, here where we sit and watch the world pass us by, here when our city was once so alive…
This is Lou Powsner.