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Coney Island

Coney Island

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After the devastation wreaked by 2012's Hurricane Sandy, this Brooklyn institution reopened its gates better than ever. Quintessentially American, Coney Island today is not very different from its 1950's heyday, with kitschy boardwalk shops and legendary Nathan's Hotdogs still intact. It's crammed during the summer months with visitors waiting to ride the storied Cyclone roller coaster, but there's something utterly authentic NYC about the experience. You can also take a stroll along the boardwalk to Brighton Beach with its mostly Russian and Eastern European population. If you go early in the morning, year round, you can see older women (and some men) swimming laps in the freezing ocean.

Written by Simone Girner

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