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House Under Roller Coaster

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W 15th St & Bowery St Brooklyn NY 11224 USA

Without warning, in the early morning hours of November 17, 2000, New York City bulldozers staged a surprise attack on one of Coney Island’s few remaining monuments, the long-neglected Thunderbolt roller coaster. The old Kensington Hotel, the “House Under the Roller Coaster,” made famous as the home of Alvie Singer in “Annie Hall,” was nestled in its twists and turns. The small hotel was also home to May Timpano and Fred Moran, who owned the Thunderbolt and lived there for more than 40 years, the coaster rattling their living room with every ride. Steve Zeitlin and Dick Zigun were among those who protested and witnessed its tragic demolition. Follow the link to read Steve Zeitlin's essay about that sad moment in the City's history.

Credits: Interview of May Timpano co-produced by Dave Isay, Steve Zeitlin and David Miller for the "American Talkers" series on National Public Radio, 2001. Photo by Hazel Hankin. (4:46)