After the Wonder Wheel we took a walk on the boardwalk and out onto the pier for the view.
The now defunct parachute ride blooms like a leftover steel flower blossom at the foot of the pier.
And the amusement parks make a strange juxtaposition to the high-rise apartments in the background.
It’s very sad that as of yesterday, Astroland will no longer exist as it has been sold. This however does not appear to include the sale of the famous roller coaster, The Cyclone, which was made a landmark in 1988, or the Wonder Wheel, but still it’s just another part of the past that seems to have no place anymore in our ever changing American society.
Our next stop had to be The Cyclone.
Let it be said that I am deathly afraid of roller coasters (and most other amusement park rides, other than the somewhat tame ferris wheel variety). I think it came about from a ride I took on a roller coaster at a local fairground when I was a teenager. For whatever reason, the bar in our car did not lock down and at every twist and turn of the coaster we threatened to pop out of it and it has stuck with me. It was a very scary experience that my brain can’t seem to rid itself of. I knew Rick wanted to ride it, and he knew that I couldn’t ride with him. How I wished it were as easy as not being tall enough to ride!
I stood watching it for awhile as it careened through its course, listening to the the clickety-clack of the wheels over the wooden tracks (which frankly sounded like the whole thing was going to come apart at the very seams) and thought for at least one very brief moment that I might actually be able to step outside of my fear and really do it. Then I regained control of my senses again and thought to myself: no, don’t do this! Rick had no problem going by himself. He knew my fear was real.
(Rick is fourth from the front in the photo just above.)
If want to experience the ride without really being there, follow this link to a youtube movie where someone videoed their front car experience on The Cyclone.
When he got off he told me it was a good thing I didn’t go with him. He said it was the roughest, most jarring ride he’s ever had on a coaster. Now that he’s ridden it once he won’t be going back for seconds.
Here is another great video clip of the Cyclone’s 80th Birthday (which happened last year).
It’s hard to believe that it’s now all come to an end. Soon they will have to remove all the rides and the carnival atmosphere will be no longer. I’m so glad we went to experience it when we did. There are rumors that the developer is going to put their own “bigger and better” amusement rides and such on the same site, but it will never be the same. An era has come to an end.