Well, it’s official: Astroland has closed, and it isn’t opening up again. Although rumors are flying everywhere (am I the only one who’s heard about most of Astroland’s props being moved to an undisclosed location?), it looks like the truth is both grimmer and more boring: it’s going to become some sort of real estate project. The beach that once served as the common social equalizer, a convenient summer getaway for upper-class and lower-class New York families in ages past — immortalized in the TV show Brooklyn Bridge, and in Neil Simon’s plays, and, sadly mortal outside of those.
But there are still things we can do to help save the island. There is the noble path — the group Save Coney Island has a website, and a place to donate — but, for the rest of us, there’s a much simpler way you can support the preservation of history: you can get drunk.
The venerable Shmaltz Brewing Company — who you might remember as the people who created He’Brew, the kitschy generic beer that actually tastes good — has created Coney Island Lager. The basic lager is a dark, slightly bitter, deep and full-bodied beer that
The originals are doing their job (or they would be, if there’s anything to this “secret location” business), and the He’Brew folks are expanding the line with a new beers: Human Blockhead Tough-As-Nails Strong Lager. There actually is a Human Blockhead, and if any person alive and among us deserves to have a beer named after them, it’s probably the Human Blockhead (whose name, by the way, is Donny Vomit).
If you’re in New York, He’Brew is celebrating tomorrow night with a beer tasting at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn. Out in support will be members of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, including the actual Human Blockhead, Mr. Vomit himself, as well as burlesque dancers. Check it out…but don’t come crying to us when you have to show up for work the next morning with a metal bolt lodged in your head.