Things are looking up for Coney Island—tourists are coming back, jobs are opening, and heck, reality TV is just around the corner! But the Brooklyn Paper tells us otherwise: their take on the whole situation is "Coney job growth is strong—but not for carnies." Intrigued by the prospect of freaks losing their jobs, we dug a little deeper.
The Paper writes that "Coney Island—and its sister neighborhood, Brighton Beach—added the most private-sector jobs in the borough last year, but the majority of those jobs weren’t at the neighborhood’s ballyhooed and tourist-friendly amusement centers." So we spoke to the self-declared "Mayor" of Coney Island Dick Zigun, who said: "Stupid article did not query anyone who works at our freakshow or, for that matter, any entertainer venue within the amusement district whatsoever... truth is that our artistic payroll and independent contractor pay is UP... with the opening of Scream Zone, Luna Park/CAI/Zamperla now has a larger payroll than Astroland ever had." As for the fate of the freaks, Zigun said Sideshows by the Seashore had 50% cast turnover this summer and hired a dozen new freaks.
So there you have it. Jobs are up, tourists are up, and the freaks are alright. Everybody go eat some hotdogs, gawk at the fire-eaters, and ride the Cyclone til you puke!