By Alexia Guzman
My parents decided to bring me to their special place they visited growing up. It was Coney Island. Mom told me that she remembers Grandpa and Grandma bringing her here along with my uncles and they had such a great time. I remember seeing a big ferris wheel from the window of my parent's car as we drove. I started to feel as if I was already on the ride. My stomach had butterflies and my head started to hurt after all that overthinking about the rides. As we walked closer and closer, I could hear the popcorn popping and the smell of pizza and funnel cake was so intoxicating. I could hear the loud screams of people on the roller coaster when it dropped, but I could also hear the laughter of people playing Go Fish. I saw little kids, families, couples, and friends all hanging out together. There were so many rides and I wanted to get on all of them!
As I walked in, I saw the first ride I wanted to get on which was the “Tickler.” I wanted to get on it all by myself but the ride was so big and I could not get on unless there was an adult. Since the cart held five people, I asked my parents, sister, and uncle to get on with me. We sat in a red cart where it spins you around and around while it moves up and down. And it was my first time on the ride and they told me, “Just close your eyes and hold your breath.” So I closed my eyes. I could hear the tracks slowing as we were about to go down. I could hear the rest of my family cheering me on and I squeezed my mom’s hand. I accidentally opened my eyes when it hit the top. I knew I messed up at that point and then it dropped. I felt as if I was about to die. I tried to scream but nothing came out because I was so scared. My heart was beating so fast I couldn’t breathe. It was going so fast and moving up, down, sideways, any way you can possibly think of. The air was pushing my face. I was so scared yet I couldn’t stop laughing. I felt light as a feather as it dropped, but then it felt like a hundred pounds lay on me because of the weight pulling me down. As we slowed down and came to a stop, my hair looked as if it got electrocuted. My legs were shaking and I couldn’t walk properly. I had so much fun, screaming and laughing at the same time. I liked the excitement. And how fast my heartbeat raced. So I went on a couple of more times. I felt more confident every time I went back on. As I was walking away from the ride, I was thinking it really wasn’t that bad.
I went on other rides like Lynn’s Trapeze, the Carousel, and the Hand Glider, but the most memorable moment was when my mom shared her special ride with me, the ferris wheel also known as “The Wonder Wheel.” It was so big and tall that you could see the entire park as you reached the top. I saw the whole beach and the sun was so bright I had to squint to see. It was a little scary because the cart slowly rocked back and forth but the view was worth it. She squeezed my hand when she felt it rock a little more than usual. You could see the neverending shoreline and everyone looked like ants.
We spent the rest of the day getting on rides, eating, and walking the boardwalk. Maybe next time, I can try the iconic roller coaster known as the Cyclone. Its tracks are still made out of wood!
A Day at Coney Island was written in Jacqueline Woodson’s Family and Friends quaranTEEN voices, our virtual writing workshop for teens. Help support the unique voices of our young authors by sharing their stories and making a donation on our website! To receive notices about opportunities for your child, sign up for our youth writing opportunities newsletter.