Sun, surf, suits, and straw hats at Coney in 1925

Nothing says summer in New York like a postcard scene of the sand and surf at Coney Island.

This one dates to 1925. Considering how few bathers are on the sand, plus all of the men in suits strolling along the boardwalk, I’m guessing it’s early in the season. But not too early, since they’re decked out in straw hats.

[MCNY; F2011.33.1080]

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15 Responses to “Sun, surf, suits, and straw hats at Coney in 1925”

  1. Zoé Says:

    Lol… I actually just scanned the image for people having difficulty walking – after injuring their backs from riding the Cyclone. That rollercoaster nearly put me in the hospital. And it’s probably made from the same wood.

    My grandmother used to tell me about their black wool bathing suits in early 1900s Berlin. (The voluminous skirt kind that came to the knee worn w/ tights). And how hot & miserable they were.

    I have a great photo of her later on – c. 1918 – in a long white dress & white shoes on the beach on the North Sea & her fiancé (not my grandfather) in a suit. It’s *stellar*. It makes me long for some sort of sartorial revolution. The rebirth of fedoras & trilbys has been a start – but hasn’t gone far enough…

  2. Helen Says:

    I was born in Manhattan, as were generations of my ancestors. My proper mother advised that white shoes were only worn after Memorial Day, and packed away after Labor Day weekend. This has me conjecturing abut straw boaters in NYC.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I believe straw hats followed the same pattern: from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Amazing that every man wore a hat back then, even at the beach!

  4. Helen Says:

    Yes, I would think that straw boaters followed the same season, except that we wore straw bonnets at Easter.

  5. David H Lippman Says:

    They replaced the Deskey lampposts on the Riegelmann Boardwalk (its official name) with reproduction twin-lamp cast-iron lampposts in the style in the style shown in the postcard.

    Near this is the one-block Highland View Avenue, which is dead flat, lacks addresses, and could only have gained its name as a real estate flimflam or because it FACES the Atlantic Highlands on Staten Island.

    • Zoé Says:

      Highland VIEW 🙂

      • David H Lippman Says:

        Couldn’t remember the name of the street…haven’t been there in decades.

      • Zoé Says:

        I don’t know if that’s the name of the street David. I was making a (failed) joke re. What you wrote about the view & the name.

        Whenever I think of Coney Island (besides having to move the trash before putting a beach towel down & how the water was almost syrupy w/ some kind of pre 1990s environmentalism industrial sludge) I think of how I had to lie on the sand for an hour after riding the (pre-repair) wooden Cyclone after it temporarily destroyed my spine.

        Next week: how I nearly choked to death on coffee on the Staten Island Ferry. (Never drink & laugh in a nautical wind).

      • David H Lippman Says:

        I can’t remember…I’ll look it up later. Busy with tonight’s Yankee game. Sorry.

  6. Tom B Says:

    I went to Coney Island in the summer several years ago. There were hardly anybody on the beach and nobody in the water.
    I thought the straw hats were called ‘skimmers”.

  7. Helen Says:

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