Photo Gallery: 40 Years of Coney Island

With the temperatures in New York City set to break a 78-year-old record today, we can think of only one place we’d like to be: Coney Island — preferably with a frozen lemonade in one hand, and a Nathan’s hot dog in the other. Tonight our friends at the New York Public Library, who are evidently mind readers, are hosting an event with photographer Harvey Stein, whose newest book, Coney Island 40 Years, documents the changes in the iconic location over the past few decades in a collection of 214 stunning black/white duotone photographs.

Coney Island 40 Years is about Coney Island before it loses its connection with its past,” Stein explains. “Coney Island is the ultimate melting pot with the old, young, white, Hispanic, black, rich and poor. It’s the poor man’s Riviera, a place where you can be yourself or who you ought to be.” Click through to preview some of our favorites from the series, and find a selection of prints for sale here.

From the book Coney Island 40 Years © Harvey Stein 2011