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Coney Island

I’ve really missed doing the TWM blog, but my money is disappearing at a much slower rate since I’ve put it on hold. And I’ve also had a lot more time to look for work and develop job leads. Plus I’ve also been taking online classes and tutorials to develop skills to help get me work in other fields of the industry I work in, since the jobs for things I do appear to be shrinking. Oh, and I’ve also had about 17,967 beers since we’ve last gotten together!

People kept commenting on my hold post and I was really touched by everyone’s nice wishes and good luck comments and felt bad I wasn’t putting anything new up there for all of you. So I’ve decided that for the time being, I’m going to put up one post a week, on Monday. That’ll give new content to check out once a week and it’ll give me something to do to break up the job hunt for a little bit of the week. And so here we go...off to Coney Island!

Shawn Chittle is this week's special guest star on TWM. We had a couple pre-Cony Island beers at my place and then...

We make the descent into the hot, muggy, buggy bowels of the NYC subway system.

And, through the magic of the internet, you're spared a sweltering five minute wait for the Q train and a 45 minute ride and right now the train is approaching Coney Island.

And here we are, let's go check it out.

As you can see, there's a big crowd here today.

And here we are on the boardwalk.

Well this is a little sad, this used to be Cha Cha's bar, but they got chased out and it's been replaced with this makeshift Italian Ice stand. Let's just move along and pretend we didn't see this.

This is a new store, the Brooklyn Beach shop, we looked in, saw that they were selling t-shirts for twenty bucks and quickly left in search of a drink.

And here's where that much-needed drink can be had, Ruby's bar. I don't care much for the new sign, but it was one of the concessions they had to make to get their eight year lease, so I guess I can deal with it, if they haven't changed it too much inside.

At least they've kept their old hand painted signs in front of the bar on the boardwalk.

And, happily, inside it looks pretty much the same. Ruby's is a great place for people watching.

I noticed Mike, the third generation owner of Ruby's working outside and said hello and congratulated him on the lease.

Mike pointed out that the bar has been revamped and is made out of wood taken from the boardwalk.

The tables in the back room are also made of wood salvaged from the boardwalk and there's also some of it on the walls and ceiling. All in all there's 6000 feet of boardwalk wood in Ruby's. Pretty cool!

Nice to see that the jukebox is still here and packed with great soul music.

And I'm happy to report that Harpo is still behind the bar.

I had to get an order of fried clams, especially when the woman working the stand is this pretty! Great smile!

Here's a shot from our view at the table.

And part of the old sign hangs on the wall inside. They had to take down all the vintage photos in here to paint the walls, but they're slowly putting them back up, which is good news.

And here's a shot for Al Rizo, Miami Beach never looked so good!

After a few beers, we decided to wander around a bit.

Yikes, I get dizzy just looking at rides like this one!

Nice to see that Paul's Daughter survived the cut on the boardwalk, but it's a too bad that they painted over all the hand-painted signage on the place.

At least there's some down below, maybe they'll add some color to the top as the season moves forward.

But the people behind the counter are colorful and friendly and that kind of makes up for it.

Nothing better than a hot dog slathered in mustard at Coney Island in the summer.

Thankfully, the Cyclone remains untouched.

It's the oldest roller coaster in America. I've ridden it once and I still get shivers when I think about it, but at least I did it.

Back to the boardwalk as the sun sets on Coney Island.

I had to get a shot of the Wonder Wheel and here it is.

We decided to have a nightcap at Ruby's and pretty Alexa serves it up.

Cheers from Shawn and I!

Usually I get a hot dog at Nathan's on the way to the subway, but I had already had a corn dog, fried clams, a hot dog and mucho beers, so I just took a photo...

And we went back to the subway, Manhattan bound.

Here's an obligatory window/mirror shot from the subway. Thanks to Shawn for coming along, lots of fun as always!

Further Reading: Amusing the Zillion, Kinetic Carnival and Shawn Chittle.

She's the moon in the mist to me,
She's my Coney Island baby,
She's my Coney Island girl.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!

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Reader Comments (67)

PARTY!....Welcome Back Marty! After seeing the Miami Beach shorts, I have decided to take my talents to South Beach.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

Yay ! ... after seeing the same post everyday for 24 days in a row ... a new one is up !

Terry ... Marty is never going to get that "take my talents to South Beach" comment. Shawn Chittle might ... Marty no .....

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Huzzah! And just in the nick of time. It appears that the CBBM have mutated


July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

I missed you....glad you're back:)

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

@Terry: Party! I figure once a week isn't better than nothing. I couldn't stand looking at that "Holding" post any longer!

@GENE: There'll be a new one every week, once I get a job, I'll go back to the daily. And I think I get Terry's comment.

@randall: Aaaahhhh! Thanks for the CBBM linkage!

@Mike Hunt: Thank you! It's good to be back and I appreciate the kind words!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

If I was doing any girl watching at Ruby's I'd only end up with a punch in the mouth. Oh well, that's life in the Big City or Coney Island, sure do miss the place. And it's great that you're back, at least once a week is better then nothing. It's like coming back home, isn't it?

Welcome back.
While the "ride the Cyclone" may seem touristy to some, I highly recommend it. In fact I'm going to repeat that with an exclamation point. I highly recommend riding the Cyclone at least once in your life!
Also: Miami Beach, who knew it was on the southern bend of the Amazon. Ergo, geography never looked so good.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

great to see you back and with a classic coney island post, no less! glad to see ruby's is still in business. the new sign sucks, but nice to see the bar is relatively the same! welcome back kotter!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D.

Ruby’s has food? :) Where you guys able to check out the Spook-A-Rama?

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

Great post! Glad you are writing at least 1x a week!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I haven't read your posts in quite awhile and almost shat my pants when I saw the photo of you in an apple shirt at the top. What the hell happened to Marty...he looks so thin he must be dying of some horrible uncurable disease. Then I saw a photo of you below and rechecked the top photo....Shawn Chittle. Phew Marty is at the same weight!!!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarra-Barra-Barra

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: You do have to be discreet out there, I've seen many punchups happen at Ruby's! And, yes, it is like coming home, really missed doing these!

@csp: I agree with you on the Cyclone, I did it once, but will never do it again! And Miami Beach is looking mighty fine this time of year!

@Bobby D: They had to make some changes at Ruby's and the new sign sucks, but thankfully it still feels the same there!

@Duncester: Ha ha ha! I didn't see the Spook-A-Rama, maybe next time.

@Dan: Thanks, I figure once a week is better than nothing and it'll keep the blog alive.

@Barra-Barra-Barra: Ha ha ha! The weight remains the same, good to hear from you!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I Looked Here Earlier & there was still the holding, & I Looked Now & WOW, I'm Totally Lost For Words.
Looks Great & Keep Hitting That Pavement You Will Find a Job or Something to Blog About.
My First Mushroom experience was at Coney Island & will Never Forget it, That was a Great Summer Night.
Do they still have the Hell Hole Ride? To Bad You Miss The Mermaid Parade, you should check it out one year, it's sometimes gets very crazy.
Cheers & It's Great To See Your Back !!!
Good Luck With The Job Hunting !!!!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

That photo of Nathan's with all that neon lit up made me want to go up there,,,,like quickly. Cyclone I love, the Wonder Wheel I don't care for too much, don't like heights. "Shoot the Freak" is that still there? Girl with Miami Beach hot pants,,,,you are right, this place down here never looked that good.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Great to see you back Marty.Looking forward to next Monday now.Happy Fourth of July when it comes!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Simpson

Great to see you back, Marty! Some great
Photos of the cyclone and Miami beach!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClacky

Let the fun resume!

Hurray for Coney Island and Ruby's! The bar looks beautiful and it looks like the same fun crowd is still there. I'm sad Paul's Daughter had to paint over their fantastic signs, but I'm glad they're still alive and the happy statues still stand on the roof.

The Cyclone turned 85 this weekend, so you should have taken a birthday ride!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoggla

@JHwang: That had to be wild doing mushrooms at Coney Island, I don't know if I could handle that these days! I didn't see the Hell Hole ride, but I'll look for it next time. Cheers!

@Al: I couldn't do the Wonder Wheel either, I did the Cyclone, but once was enough! Sadly, Shoot the Freak is gone, all the new stuff they've put up kind of sucks, so I just tried to ignore it. I love that corner with Nathan's on it too! And I'm glad you liked our little slice of Miami at Coney Island! As soon as I saw that I thought of you!

@Alan Simpson: Thanks, great to hear from you and everyone!

@Clacky: It's good to be back and great to hear from you, mate! Thanks for chiming in!

@Goggla: Ruby's hasn't changed much at all and it was good to see the same crowd in there. I don't like the new sign, but it's a small price to pay to have it remain open, sure beats the sports bar they wanted to put in there! I'm glad Paul's Daughter left the statues too, maybe they'll put up new signage as the season moves on. I rode the Cyclone once and that was enough!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great first post back Marty! Nothing is more summer than Coney Island and your pics were great!

Looking forward to next Monday (when has anyone ever said that before!)

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Nice post. Glad to see you back if only once a week. With the Coney Island post it feels like Summer might kick into gear here at the edge of the continent. As for the Miami Beach shot; well played, sir.

nice feed but where are all the girls in bikinis? ;) cheers

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjason

Glad to see you back! I'm doing a Josephine Baker-esque Banana Dance around the light pole to send good joo joo your way job search-wise.

I hate to see the changes at Coney ... but I know that there will be even more before all is said and done :(

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterroadsidewonders

Looks pretty crowded. Did any one scuff your shoes on the board walk?

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl Shapeton

Loved the pictures! Thank You for a great post!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterK9RADIOTIKI

@Peter: Thanks, first trip out there of the season! I'm glad Ruby's is open and they have an eight year lease! We need to hit that beer garden in Hoboken sometime soon!

@it almost always rains: Thanks, it's good to be back! Here's hoping your summer has kicked in and cheers to you and the Miami woman!

@jason: I pressed my luck with the Miami babe and decided that was enough. It can get rough at Ruby's sometimes, especially if you take a photo of somebody's girlfriend or wife! Cheers!

@roadsidewonders: Thanks for the good luck dance, hope it brings some my way! I hear you about the changes, but there's still some good stuff out there that makes the trip worthwhile.

@Al Shapeton: No scuffing on this trip, but if I ever see this fellow who goes by the name of George Voorhees on the boardwalk, I'll scuff his shoes for sure!

@K9RADIOTIKI: Thanks, glad you liked them and thanks again for the Retweets on Twitter!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

I will always associate the Wonder Wheel with; "Oh Waaaaariors...", and I can never look at a picture of the Cyclone and not wonder if The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms isn't around someplace contemplating some mischief. WELCOME BACK MARTY!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Great to have you back, even if only on a limited basis. And that photo of Nathan's is really wonderful.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBabyDave

Welcome back and best wishes on the job search.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

@Jaws: I agree with both associations! Thanks and good to hear from you! A new post will be up next Monday!

@BabyDave: Thanks, and I was pleased with the Nathan's photo too. Sometimes I get lucky!

@Lisa: Thanks so much, I appreciate the nice wishes!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Welcome Back Marty, Great post today, Coney Island is always a lot of fun.
Have you ever been to Govenor's Island? The Ferry is free & they have an old Civil War prison that's haunted. You can rent a bike & see the tiny Island. We would all like to see you riding around the Island with a can of beer.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdanny the freelancer

Marty: glad you're back. LOVED the Tom Waits video. Love the parachute jump. You took some great shots. Thank you for sharing and for showing the rest of us that there is another world out there.

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy

BEEYOOOTUHFULLL post M.......but wotsup with all the excitement about mushroom soup in Miami Beach? I don't get it :+)))
And that pic of you and S.....on the one hand pretty nice shot......but on the other I think I see a couple of guys who are DARING your readership to have as much fun as you're having......well if there's one thing I ain't NEVER done, it's have TOO much fun........so BRING IT ON SUCKAS!!! (and PLEASE take Shawn's girlfriend with you next time......he's kinda ok lookin', but she.......ahhhhh, she.....she's VA-VA-VOOM!!!)

Glad to see you are still alive and kickin'.....and good on'ya for updatin' the skillset.....keep a smile on the dial....see 'ya!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrBOP

@danny the freelancer: Thanks, good to hear from you! I'll definitely try to get to Govenor's Island this summer, thanks for the tip!

@Dorothy: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post and the video. That video is one of my favorites on YouTube!

@Dr. BOP: Regarding the mushroom soup and Miami Beach, methinks you've been there and done that! I agree with you on your fun philosophy and thanks for chiming in, as always!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great shots, especially the first Coney one (like an old postcard) & the night shots. That place is so photogenic it's unreal.
Welcome back & continued good luck with the search!

July 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

@onemorefoldedsunset: Thanks! glad you liked that first shot and thanks for the good wishes!

July 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Kiss my ass Brenda Ann Spencer!
I like Mondays!
Sorry we keep missing Daddio.
Let's try and tag this week.

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

I came back because I really like the pics !!!
I've been on The Cyclone many times. When i ride it I always would wait until I can sit in front seat & always lift my arms up. I lifted out of my seat all the time & one time the people behind me grab my shirt because I almost left the front seat & would of made it to second row of seats behind me, Oh that was Fun !!!!! People don't like the front seat, but it's the last seat that you feel the most since I did ride that to, but didn't lift my arms since if I did I would be Fucked..
They said before I left New York that they where going to install some sort of lights on the old parachute jump ride, but your photo is far away from it & there is allot of sun, so please take a night shot closer when you do this again for Me. Thanks
Cheers, don't study to hard & don't forget to drink Beers After !!!!

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

I have never been to Coney Island...it looks interesting. I am happy to see they have a lot of options for food and beverage there. I have a friend who has read quite a bit of history about Coney Island and all of the crazy (and dangerous) rides they used to have there.

Great Job Marty!

Best of luck to you in the job search. If I can be of any assistance at all please let me know. I would be honored to provide a personal reference for you.

Oh by the way we had that dreaded no-notice three day inspection finally last week. It feels great to have it over with and I am happy to report that we passed with flying colors.

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

@"Boris": Ha ha ha! Nice Boomtown Rats reference, Daddio! And yes, let's try and yak this week!

@JHwang: Glad you like the photos! I love taking pictures out at Coney Island. I sat in the middle of the Cyclone the time I rode it and about had a nervous breakdown! I'll get a shot of the parachute ride at night next time!

@Tiki Bar Susie: You should try to get to Coney Island some time, next time you come to New York, I'll go out there with you! Thanks for the good wishes on the job front, I'm lucky I have some savings, because there's not a lot of jobs out there right now. Congratulations on the three day inspection, really happy to hear you passed with flying colors!

July 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Came across this by accident today while doing some bar research:

June 1998

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Damn uneditable posts !


July 23–30, 1998

20 questions
Marty Wombacher

interview by Neil Gladstone

Marty Wombacher has a love/hate relationship with magazines. After creating a hometown version of People magazine, People of Peoria (Illinois), he moved to New York five years ago to try his hand at the big time. After several rocky interviews and rejections, Wombacher decided to start his own zine, Fishwrap, and slam all of the moronic magazines out there. Luckily, he has a lot of material to work with. Fishwrap is filled with sophomoric snips at kiss-ass profiles, bottom-line-minded publishers and record review blather. It's only published twice a year because Wombacher needs to save up to pay for the 3,500 copies printed on glossy stock. He works nights in a film service bureau to pay for it. Wombacher, 40, was on the phone from his apartment/office in New York City.

What magazines have you interviewed with?

I was really excited when I interviewed at People. I went there with my portfolio filled with this wacky-ass stuff from People of Peoria. I remember the editor from People having a horrified look on his face, as if he was thinking, "What's wrong with you?" One story I did was about this homeless guy from Peoria who lives off of roadkill. We had pictures of this guy gnawing on a cat's paw. The editor said, "Why would you want to write about a guy like this?" He said there weren't any openings at the time, but maybe I should try over at Entertainment Weekly. I talked with two editors over there and they asked me what I thought of their magazine. I said I liked some of it, but it's overloaded with reviews and I hate those stories about the 100 Top Albums of All Time and the 50 Most Powerful Players in Hollywood. I said I'd like to see a story about the 50 Lowest People in Entertainment, featuring things like The Worst Standup Comic. I would rather read about a struggling artist than reading about Mel Gibson every week. Their jaws dropped. One of my problems is that I'll tell interviewers how much I hate what they're doing.

Are you sorry you were so honest?

At the time I was because I knew my savings would run out. But those rejections inspired Fishwrap. When the Entertainment Weekly thing didn't happen I went out and got a copy of the magazine, went to Strawberry Fields and read it. Because I'd never really read an Entertainment Weekly, just glanced through it. That week the cover story was on Jason Patric and it was really bad. The lead was something like, "I'm looking at Jason Patric's blue eyes and they match the sky." Then in the middle of it there was the line, "I'm sitting poolside with Jason Patric, his aqua eyes match the water now." And I'm reading this shit thinking, "These people wouldn't give me a chance?" Then I called an old friend and asked if she'd be interested in working on a zine making fun of all of the people who wouldn't hire me. That's how it started. Now I shudder to think what would have happened if People had hired me. I might have turned into the kind of scumball I hate.

When you started Fishwrap, were you hoping that editors from the magazine would see it and give you a job?

At the time I still wanted a job with Rolling Stone or some place like it. About two years ago, I sent an early issue of it to Sid Holt who was the managing editor of Rolling Stone at the time and he wrote me note back saying that he "liked/loathed" Fishwrap. He invited me to have lunch and he asked me what I thought of Rolling Stone. I said, "God, I can't stand what it's become." Around that time they had Mick Jagger on the cover and I was making fun of that. I said, "If you people are trying to get young people to buy your magazine, you think plastering Mick Jagger on the cover is going to do it?" So that situation went south.

What was Sid Holt's response?

He kind of agreed. He said sometimes the editor's hands are tied because Jann Wenner wants to do something. I do respect what Jann Wenner originally created, but I don't respect what it's become. Back in the '70s they occasionally had unknown people on the cover. I guess you can't stay that way and hit the numbers that they do.

There seems to be a part of you that's infatuated with Jann Wenner.

There is. He did what I'm trying to do. It's really only him and Hugh Hefner that started with a brand new idea and pulled it off. They both did it without the help of anybody. Those guys are kind of like my heroes.

What other magazines piss you off?

In Style I can't stand. It's just filled with celebrities and their stuff. They had a cover on Kelsey Grammer around the time that he had to go to court because he supposedly had sex with a 14-year-old. The guy's been busted for coke and drunk driving, married a stripper. This In Style piece was all about where his wedding was going to be and his car and it never mentioned anything else. That kind of stuff is just sickening.

What's in the next issue?

It's due out in August and I make fun of Steven Brill's new magazine Content, which is kind of like a serious version of what I'm doing with Fishwrap. He says he's going to be the watchdog of the media. He takes it a little too seriously. Plus, he wrote this 20-page cover story all about Clinton's "Pressgate" and it came out that the story is filled with errors and misquotes. Brill didn't use a tape recorder when he was talking to people. Some people he talked to actually taped the conversations and they could prove he had misquoted them. He just took notes, he didn't tape. I would think if I were going to do a story like that I'd have the tape going. To me it just seems that there are so many nitwits out there in places of power. It just boils down to numbers, as long as you're selling well, don't do anything to upset the apple cart. Everything's so safe these days.

Do people criticize Fishwrap as a sour grapes venture?

A lot of it is. Sometimes I liken it to a little kid having a tantrum.

Fishwrap costs $4 an issue. Write to: 2130 Broadway, #915, New York, NY 10023.

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: Thanks for finding that! I can't believe that was 14 years ago! As I always say, fun flies when you're having time!

July 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Marty, great to see a new post. The place I work does a yearly outing to Coney Island. We get some dogs at Nathan's and chase them with many beers at Ruby's, followed by a Cyclones game. Some of the more brave, hit Ruby's after the game and do some shots followed by a nighttime ride on the Cyclone. I missed it this year because of the birth of my baby but I plan to bring the family out there perhaps on Labor Day weekend.

P.S.- Keeping my fingers crossed for you on the job front.

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Hi Marty, gald to see you're back once a week, now I can look forward to Mondays!

There was an article in the NY Times the other day about the recycling of the Coney Island Boardwalk, interesting story about how Ruby's got ahold of the boards:


As an old kid from Brooklyn who used to ride his bike to Coney Island just about every summer day back in the early 60's, I should let you know that THIS is the correct "Coney Island Baby".:


Good luck with the job search, hang in there!

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen K. in NJ

Hiya Marty!

Good news you are back man! Every day I keep checking your blog! Evert post is great thanks!

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuben Dutch

Cool video & interesting from "Ken K. in NJ" !

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Cool video & interesting article from "Ken K. in NJ" !

Damn heat & un-editable posts !!!! UFB to me !

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@Jason: Thanks and congratulations again on your beautiful baby daughter! That sounds like quite an outing, sorry you missed it. Maybe I'll meet you out there on Labor Day!

@Ken K. in NJ: Thanks for those links! I didn't catch that Times article and it was cool to read the quotes from Mike! And I loved that video, good to hear from you and thanks again for the linkage! Mucho appreciated!

@Ruben Dutch: Thanks, it was killing me not doing it, so I figured once a week was the antidote! Thanks for chiming in, my friend!


July 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

It was a wonderful, bittersweet trip. The new rides and stuff don't look very Coney Island. The new shops are squeaky clean. Almost like K-Mart.

Ruby's does look really good considering all they had to do to keep it open. Seeing the boardwalk inside is so magical.

A wonderful day it was, thanks to Marty - who officially can lap me 2:1 on beers, and I was drinking the light stuff!

P.S. Anderson Cooper is gay. I am not. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Chittle

@Shawn: Thanks for coming along and being a great TWM guest star as always! Tons of fun and nice to see Miami Beach in person!

July 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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