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I still remember, it was a Thursday morning in June and I was living in Queens. I hitchhiked to Coney island. It took me one-and-a-half hours and when I got there, no one was around. I realized that people generally only go to the beach on weekends. I saw this little fellow standing by himself in the midway. He told me that his name was Little Louie and that he had bad teeth . . . --Bruce Gilden
On the outskirts of the five boroughs sits Coney Island, the world famous pleasure beach that has been the summer destination for New Yorkers since its heyday in the 1890s. Toward the end of the 1960s, just one year after he first picked a camera, Bruce Gilden took the subway train through Brooklyn to capture the sunbathers, the weekenders, and the sideshow freaks who stroll the Boardwalk and sprawl on the sands of Coney Island. As the area's reputation slipped, Gilden continued to take pictures. The result is this book, which gathers together a selection of his Coney Island photographs from the late 60s up through the late 80s, some of which are paired with hand-written recollections, all of which testify to Gilden's ability to eke out the characters and eccentricities of daily life.