A July 14 press conference at the recently-renamed Maimonides Park touted the unveiling of a new Coney Island theme song, with politicos at the event promising that Coney Island is back — and it’s “better than Florida!”
While no song was played for members of the press, billionaire businessman John Catsimatides — who seemingly organized the event and whose wife, Margo, threw out the first pitch at the night’s Brooklyn Cyclones game — used the photo op as a means to encourage Brooklynites to vote for one of two choices on the website of his radio station, WABC-AM.
Two songs are currently in the running, with a race between “It’s Coney Island!” by Vinnie Medugno and “Coney Island Beat” by Freddy Cannon, who sang the song “Palisades Park” about a now-out-of-business amusement park in New Jersey in 1962.
“One of those songs is going to become the iconic Coney Island song that we are looking forward to listening to for the next 100 years,” Catsimatides said.
The song is meant to help “attract tourists and visitors to Brooklyn’s iconic boardwalk, theme park, and baseball stadium,” according to a press advisory sent ahead of the event by Bedford-Stuyvesant Councilmember Robert Cornegy’s office.
Cornegy, the lone Democratic pol in attendance, was flocked by Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, former US House Rep. Peter King, who represented a large swath of Long Island, and most notably, former mayor Rudy Giuliani — all of whom have gigs on WABC Radio.
Prior to Margo’s appearance on the mound, a quartet of former New York Mets players — Doc Gooden, John Franco, Ed Kranepool, and Art Shamsky — joined elected officials on an overlook at the stadium for the press conference, during which the cohort drove home a simple message: “Brooklyn is back!”
And all of them touted the good graces of Coney Island.
“It’s better than Florida,” said Giuliani. “First of all it’s a much better beach, it’s 120 miles of beach here and you actually have civilization nearby — not like in Florida — and there are no alligators going to come over!”
Following the event, a spokesperson for Cornegy said he attended Wednesday’s presser because of its focus on recovery and resiliency, and its intersection with the sports world — all of which, the rep said, the lawmaker is a big supporter of.
“I continue to support the borough’s economic recovery through sports,” the pol said in a statement through his rep, Raul Rothblatt. “This time it’s a recovery theme.”
Cornegy isn’t only only Democrat to play ball with Catsimatidis this month. Sliwa’s Democratic opponent, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, was spotted dining with the conservative media mogul at Rao’s shortly after his primary victory.
Though, the Central Brooklyn lawmaker wasn’t alone in relishing the night’s theme.
The word “resiliency” also struck a chord with Michael Atoniades, executive vice president at Maimonides Medical Center, who attended the event on behalf of Maimonides President and CEO Kenneth Gibbs, “and 65,000 health care workers who put their life and their careers and their sweat and tears on the line for the last 18 months to do what they have done for the last 110 years, which is to care for our communities, to care for everyone who comes to our doors and to get people home to their families.”