Brooklynology readers will not be fooled by this picture of an ersatz Luna Park culled from my latest holiday snaps. This one is not in Brooklyn, of course, but in Scarborough, an attractive windswept seaside town in North Yorkshire, UK. Our own grand original opened in 1903 and burned down in 1944, but in the interim "Luna Park" became synonymous with "amusement park" across the nation and even further afield. Just as Brooklyn itself has spawned other Brooklyns across the globe, the name Luna Park has become a proxy for places providing imaginative amusement, off-the-wall fun and games, or goods and services that wish to be associated with those notions.
In fact five minutes of Googling will tell you that you could probably span a good deal of the earth eating, lodging and amusing yourself in nothing but Luna Parks. Close at hand we have Grimaldi's Luna Park restaurant in East Syracuse, NY. From there you could head out to the west coast and eat at Luna Parks in Seattle, San Francisco and LA, before taking in a movie created by Luna Park Productions and a party arranged by Luna Park event planners of Austin TX. Then why not book your flight to Europe, for a stay in the Luna Park Hotel, Malgrat de Mar, Spain, or the other one in the Rue Jacquard in Paris--or both? For your journey, pick up a copy of the graphic novel Luna Park by Kevin Baker and Daniel Zazelj. If this is all a bit rich for you, there's always the Luna Park campground in Magdalena NM.
In case you are confused by all these eateries masquerading as amusement parks, let me clarify that there are actually many Luna Parks that really do offer spills and thrills rather than burgers and fries. Aside from the tiny one I stumbled upon in Scarborough, there's one in Milan, another in Melbourne and yet a third in Sydney. But it's a long flight to Australia, so don't forget to take with you Luna Park, the Review of Literary magazines for a bit of edifying airborne reading.
It seems that people want to either take what we have outright (the Dodgers) or replicate it in scads. The fact is, be it through hip hop, hot dogs, roller coasters, teddy bears, arc lights, credit cards, Luna Parks and more, Brooklyn has conquered the world.
Cultural reproduction occurs in many and various ways. When the gates of the first Luna Park fell to a terrible fire in 1944, new Luna Parks rose like phoenixes from the flames spreading bright lights and screams of mock terror wherever they appeared.