July 4 on Coney Island

Nathans Coney Island, Brooklyn

Joey “Jaws” Chestnut set a new record today, eating 69 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes at the annual Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island.

Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I didn’t make it to Coney Island today to watch, but I was there last night, when a swaying tower closed many of the amusement rides for safety concerns. The nearly 50-year-old Astrotower, which once offered commanding views Brooklyn and the Atlantic Ocean, was partially dismantled during the night in the hopes that rides, including the Cyclone, would reopen today.

The newly restored B&B Carousell (yes, the second L is intentional) was also closed late last night, though I don’t think that had anything to do with the Astrotower; I think I was just there too late. I was also looking forward to seeing the lights of the newly blinged-out parachute jump, but the 262-foot tall structure was dark.

The evening, however, was saved by fireworks, which shot off over MCU Park after the Brooklyn Cyclones beat the Staten Island Yankees 2-1. I had a good vantage point across the street from Nathan’s.

Nathan's Famous, Coney Island, Brooklyn Nathan's Famous, Coney Island, Brooklyn

If you missed the fireworks last night, MCU Park and its concessions will open today at 4:30 p.m. The Cyclones are on the road, but the park will offer a good vantage point for tonight’s fireworks at 9 p.m.

I hope to see them from across the Raritan Bay at the end of the fishing pier in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze.

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