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Named after the Dutch translation of the English word ?bunny?, the Coney Island was a rabbit habitat until it was developed as a resort and amusement park. Coney Island is actually a peninsula situated in the southernmost part of Brooklyn, New York. When it opened to the public as a resort and with the construction of the Coney Island Hotel in 1829, the Island became a favorite vacation spot for the rich and famous. Soon after, Brighton, Manhattan Beach and Oriental Hotels added to the glamour of the Island and became a major tourist destination especially when transportation such as the tour railroads and the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad streetcar line became easily available in the area in the 1860s, and when the Iron steamboat company started operating here in 1881. The Coney Island Elephant, a hotel and brothel built in the shape of an elephant, welcomed immigrants of New York before they see the Statue of Liberty and greeted visitors of Coney Island from 1885 to 1896. Small commercial establishments also began to mushroom in the Island including the Nathan's Famous original hotdog stand that opened in 1916 and held an annual hotdog eating contest every Fourth of July.

Aside from being a well appreciated resort, the Coney Island was developed to become an amusement zone and between 1880 and World War II it was the largest in the United States. The first carousel at Coney Island was built in 1876 by a Danish woodcarver Charles I. D. Looff. Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park were the three competing major amusement parks while many independent amusements were also enjoying the hype. However, from 1962 to 2008, Astroland became the prominent. Dreamland and Luna Park were revived in 2009 and 2010 respectively and dethroned the Astroland. Other attractions include the Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and the Eldorado arcade with bumper car ride. Rides are scattered all over the Coney Island and are operated independently of various companies. Three of these rides are protected as designated NYC landmarks and listed in the National Register of Historic Places: the Wonder Wheel (a Ferris Wheel built in 1918 and opened in 1920), the Cyclone roller coaster, built in 1927, and is one of the country's oldest operating wooden coasters and the Parachute Jump (the first ride of its kind) introduced as the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Today the Coney Island still maintains a vast sandy beach ranging from West 37th Street at Seagate through the Coney Island and Brighton Beach to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach. Tourists can also enjoy the three mile Riegelmann boardwalk where the yearly "Cosme 5K Charity Run/Walk", supported by the "Coney Island Sports Foundation", is held every last Sunday of June. The New York Aquarium is also a must-see. Despite the massive land that Coney Island is, The beach here is groomed and replenished on a regular basis by the city and is still a place where one can relax and enjoy the sun.
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