I wrote a long review for the London Times Literary Supplement (TLS) on Coney Island. Heres the first sentence:

For Rem Koolhaas, Coney Island was the pleasure point (“a clitoral appendage at the mouth of New York’s natural harbor”), laboratory and staging ground for Manhattan’s ascension into the twentieth century.

When I thought about New York City growing up, Coney Island was one the first things that came to mind, up there with the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and violence on the subways. I finally made it there as a college senior and went back every few years. Once I went alone and rode the Cyclone seven times in a row. Id reach the end, jump out, and run back to the entrance: it was a weekday in the spring so I didnt have to wait. The experience was nothing like the smooth modern roller coasters the car rattled and shook, slamming you from side to side and back against the seat so hard it felt like a giant wearing steel-toed boots was kicking you in the kidneys.

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