Shannon and I went to Coney Island yesterday with Bill and Emily. The place is such an institution and neither of us had ever been, so of course we had to go. We figured there were a few things we had to do: First, ride the Cyclone – after 85 years, still considered one of the best in the world. Second, eat hot dogs at the original Nathan’s. Third, pizza for dinner at Totonnos, which is always in the running for best pizza in NYC.
Bill & Emily’s daughter Olivia was with us as well, and she, of course, spent lots of time on the kiddie rides. I’ll leave it to her to recount those events. 🙂 and I’ll just stick to the stuff we old folks did.
We started out the day with an early lunch at Nathan’s
This is the original Nathan’s location and the place where they have the big hot dog eating contest every year. It had been a while since I’d had a Nathan’s hot dog, and I remembered reading somewhere that what set them apart was their casings and the “snap” they make when you bite into them. Turns out it’s true, they do have a “snap” when you bite into them. Really tasty as well.
First up in the ride department was the Wonder Wheel, which bills itself as the world’s tallest ferris wheel. It was pretty tame but offered a great view.
Next up was the flume ride. Shannon & I ended up in the front of an otherwise empty car, the result of which was a complete soaking for both of us. It was pretty hot out, so the soaking was actually quite welcome.
The Cyclone was the final ride of the day. Now, I haven’t been on a roller coaster in years, so I was a bit nervous getting on one of the top coasters in the world. A sign warned us to “secure all hats, glasses and wigs.” Since I don’t wear a wig, I tightened up my Yankees cap and got on. Right as the first drop started, my hat just flew off. “I lost my hat!” I yelled to Bill, showing my command of the completely obvious. Immediately, a voice from behind me yelled “I got your hat!” A kid in the car behind me had caught my hat on the way down. Whew. As far as the ride itself went – It was great! I’d definitely do it again. And now I can say that I’ve ridden the Cyclone.
After all this, we needed some dinner. So we headed off to the original location of Totonno’s, which was pretty out of the way. If you didn’t know where it was, you’d never find it. “Only God Makes Better Pizza” says the Zagat survey, so we were expecting some really good pizza.
As always, the pizza was measured by how it stacks up to Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven. Totonno’s is a somewhat similar style – thin crispy crust, fresh mozzarella, coal fired oven. The result was some fine pizza, although I don’t think it quite tops Pepe’s. Totonno’s crust, while nice and crispy and having the requsite bit of char, was a bit soggy in spots. The cheese was fresh, but less “done” than Pepe’s, which may be a matter of personal preference.
That pretty much covers the major events of the day. We pretty much fell asleep on the train ride home.
Check out our photo gallery. for a bunch more pics.