By: Lindsey Hogan
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, “I love New York on summer afternoons…” and so do we! And just like the timeless story, the real places that set the stage are timeless as well. So grab a flapper dress or a dapper suit and explore the most obscure places surrounding the lavish lives of Jay Gatsby, Nick Caraway, and Daisy and Tom Buchannan through a Great Gatsby road trip!
1. Blackwell’s Island
First stop, Blackwell’s Island (now known as Roosevelt Island) which has been used for many things over the past decades but is most well-known for its vacant penitentiary, insane asylum and small pox hospitals. In The Great Gatsby it’s the island continuously passed over by the characters to get into the city.
2. Coney Island
In the city during the day, take Gatsby’s suggestion to Nick and hop in the car and go to the Coney Island. Even ride the famous Wonder Wheel that has been there since the 1920s! Also be sure to check out the fireworks at night!
3. Corona Park
Stroll through the lush Corona Park. It’s hard to believe it was formerly known as the Valley of Ashes, the desolate dump where Tom Buchannan’s mistress Myrtle lived with her husband George Wilson. It was also the real life home of one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s good friends who had many parallels to Wilson in The Great Gatsby.
4. New Amsterdam Theatre
At night, catch a performance at the New Amsterdam Theatre, where one of Gatsby’s most talked-about guests at one of his soirees was the understudy of the starlet, Gilda Gray. The show his guest was an understudy for? Florenz Ziegfield’s show, Follies.
Coney Island: http://www.beatbrooklyn.com/sideshow/
Corona Park: http://forgotten-ny.com/2008/10/shea-it-aint-so-the-lights-go-out-at-shea-stadium/
New Amsterdam Theater: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:42ndStreetNightscape.jpg