Brooklyn Paper Radio host Vince DiMiceli insulted guest Dick Zigun when he mistakenly on purpose referred to the legendary Coney Island carny as “barker” — a term frowned upon by those in the trade of locating, and exhuming the money from, one of those people P.T. Barnum famously said were born every 60 seconds.
“You don’t say ‘barker!’ It offends carnies. It’s a ‘talker.’ ” Zigun said when DiMiceli unsuccessfully tried to label the man who has for 40 years been the face of Sodom by the Sea. “A dog barks, or someone who is trying to attract you to a strip show saying ‘Check it out … check it out … check it out.’ ”
Zigun pointed out that what he and his ilk do is more artistic — by using 15 words to describe something that can be described in three, you attract the attention of the passerby and get them interested in seeing the show.
“It’s a flowery appreciation for vocabulary,” he said. “Great wonders and human curiosities! They’re here! They’re real! And they’re alive on the inside!”
Talking or barking aside, Zigun touched on lots of news about Coney Island, including just-announced plans for new log-flume and zip-line rides (“It’s the talk of the amusement industry,” he said); the one-millionth visitor that recently purchased a ticket to Brooklyn’s beloved off-off-Broadway production, the Coney Island Sideshow (“They were from Germany! I could have made that happen, but I didn’t!”); and Council last month signing off on the Reigelmann Boardwalk’s designation as a city landmark. (“Fancy neighborhoods have their landmarks, why can’t we?”).
And that’s not all: last week, officials revisited a scheme that may put the fate of the neighborhood’s Abe Stark Sports Center and its beloved ice rink in the hands of a private developer — a good thing, according to Zigun, who argued the facility has languished in its decades under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
“Maybe it’s time someone else took a shot at it,” he said.
He had plenty more to say, too, so take a listen right now on Brook
For the record, Zigun is a front-car man.
Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live on Tuesday afternoons — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on Brook