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Clive Murphy’s Gangster Cigars for the Dreamland Artist Club, 2005
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Signs of the Times
by Ben Davis


Out at Coney Island, on a weekday afternoon, the August sun devours the streets. It’s like a ghost town, with shambling newspapers and discarded junk food containers instead of tumbleweeds. The weekend crowds have ebbed, leaving its decayed, shipwrecked surfaces exposed to gleam in the heat, its rides sleepwalking on without much purpose. Half the attractions are shuttered.

It’s a tough and quietly dramatic place. If you run a Google news search on Coney Island, the top stories are the bailout of the park’s last, historic carousel, and a fire at the Luna Park housing complex.

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