Sea Rabbits and Other Characters of the Coney Island Boardwalk


Brooklyn native Nigel Morris spent a lot of time at Coney Island as a child. In the summer, his parents regularly took him and his two siblings to play on the beach and enjoy the amusement park. They were quintessential outings with one exception: “We were forbidden from the boardwalk,” Morris says. “In the 80s, the boardwalk was crime ridden, for lack of a better term–a lot of crime, a lot of drugs, people were meeting below the boardwalk to do unspeakable things. We couldn’t go near it.” As is often the case when you place a taboo on something, Morris, now 34 and a photographer living in Crown Heights, developed a curiosity about the once off-limits boardwalk, which is evident by his latest project, “Coney Island: Faces of the Boardwalk.”

“I wanted to see if it’d changed,” Morris says. “I heard it’d changed, but I wanted to see for myself.” So he began taking weekly trips to Coney Island over two years ago, digital camera in hand, and spent hours walking up and down it. The result is a collection of candid portraits that capture a side of Coney Island that caught even Morris by surprise. “There’s a lot of different people out there from different backgrounds,” he says. “I was very surprised by how diverse it is. I’ve met doctors, lawyers. I’ve actually met a group of people who still live under the boardwalk.” The stories Morris shared surprised us, too, particularly the one about the doctor and his sea rabbit.

One Response

  1. Olivia Lane -

    WOW! these are amazing photo portraits!  love this!!!! also, i had no idea about coney island being the island of rabbits. you learn something new everyday/


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