I’m not going to lose sleep over it, but this old Fujifilm Instax print was a strange thing to find at a midtown bus stop. Wedged into one of the panels that contain bus route maps and schedules, this photo shows a woman in a bathing suit standing on what the frame shows as a nearly deserted Coney Island. The wristband suggests maybe she was part of a gathering of people on the beach, with it signaling she was an invitee allowed to eat the food or whatnot.
The back of the print reveals it to be a Fujifilm Instax print, with the warning “Don’t put in mouth.”
It is an interesting photo in its way, but why anyone would take the time and trouble to deliberately place it on a bus stop sign is a bit curious. It is undated, and I don’t know the Coney Island landscape well enough to tell if the absence or presence of certain structures offer clues to the photo’s vintage.
Last time I made it to Coney Island was a couple of years ago, when I had not intended to go there but just ended up staying on a D train for the duration. I’d been hunting for PRAY, and maybe I found her, maybe I didn’t. Since then my PRAY hunting skills have refined considerably, and I know exactly where to find her.
I’d like to get back to Coney Island. the Aquarium in particular, but I remain reticent about lengthy subway rides or inhabiting any kind of confined space with other people.
I never made it onto the Wonder Wheel or most of the iconic rides at Coney Island but I once blasted skyward in the old Astro Tower, when it was in an enclosed compartment known as the “bagel in the sky”. Today’s Astro Tower is open air, making it a ride I likely would never want to take. In the scanned photo the Astro Tower is, I believe, right at the center.
In 2002 I shared the Astro Tower ride with just three other people, among them a man feverishly counting a stack of hundred dollar bills. I wouldn’t know where the money came from but he seemed to have no scruples about counting it in a way that anyone could see. If anything criminal was afoot maybe the dude knew the Astro Tower pod to be a safe haven.
I got the kind of photo I guess everyone gets from up there, taken with the old Nikon Coolpix 990, showing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (today officially spelled “Verrazzano-Narrows”) off in the distance:
The found photo scans are the first scans I’ve made with an old Canon Canoscan 9000F that languished in the bedroom for I don’t know how many years. It seems to work as well as ever. The imperfections in the scanned photo are physical scratches, not dust.