Coney Island of the Mind

Coney Island, the ex-destination spot in Brooklyn, is on a downswing. It still gets crowds for three annual events: the Mermaid Parade (and its after-party/Ball), the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, and the Village Voice-curated Siren Music Festival. Other than that, it's a shell of its former self, especially since its Astroland amusement park shuttered in early-September.But, there's been some good news today: The New York Post reported this morning that Mayor Bloomberg's office is working on a deal to buy a parcel of land that would block the proposed (and much-maligned) construction of a "Vegas-style entertainment complex."That's a boon to the efforts of the Municipal Arts Society of New York. The Society held a two-day workshop of artists, architects, city planners, and others last week to reimagine the neighborhood and, at least in sketches, revitalize it. Today, the crew of redesigners unveiled the fruits of its labor, titled the ImagineConey project. (See image above for one of the group's renderings.)The effort also includes a call for the public to suggest how best to give the space its groove back. Ideas range from a "muscle beach" patterned on Venice, California, the creation of a National Eating Hall of Fame, and to make Coney Island the entry point for a hole to China.(Hat tip to Gothamist)