My grandfather Matteo Barbaro at Steeplechase Park, Coney Island NY


Joseph A. DePinto
All rights reserved. Photo is copyrighted and cannot be used without permission.

I grew up in Coney Island which is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. During that time, Steeplechase Park was still open and my grandfather operated the Caterpillar ride.


Tilgins. Couple on Caterpillar ride at Coney Island amusement park. Museum of the City of New York.

The caterpillar ride debuted at Steeplechase Park in 1925. The ride featured a canopy that enclosed cars once it reached maximum speed, making it popular with couples. It also contained a large fan that blew air from the seats. Photo and text courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.

My friend Charles Denson is the executive director of the Coney Island History Project (which was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy) and the above photo of my grandfather and the following audio will be a part of the Steeplechase exhibit of the Coney Island History Project which will reopen on March 24th. Please stop by and visit the expanded exhibition center on West 12th Street below the Wonder Wheel at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

The following is a recounting of some very fond memories of Steeplechase Park and Coney Island. Enjoy.

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Dangers of Social Media

Non clinician view: I really don’t give a $hit about Manti Te’o. When (not really a) Dr. Phil is all over it, it’s time to ignore.

Clinician view: This is a direct result of fragile egos testing hopefully real life situations in social media. We are bound to see more of this.

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Snow in Coney Island

My hometown was hit very hard by super storm Sandy. The new blanket of snow adds a quiet beauty.

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Spring Semester Starts 01/14/2013


Winter break is almost over and school starts next week. I’m looking forward to meeting all my new social work students. Get ready for a great semester!

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2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Frances DePinto Speaks Barese

My mother grew up in a large family. Her parents were from Bari, Italy and they spoke an Italian dialect. We’ve always found it amusing. We love you mom and miss you.

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Living Canvas Tattoos


Let me tell you a bit about my friend Mark Walters. He’s the owner of Living Canvas Tattoos in Tempe, Arizona. Many years ago, I was looking to get my first tattoo and I went to a few shops to check out the artists to see if we clicked and for me to be sure that their environments were sterile. I met Mark and was impressed with his commitment to a sterile work environment and his refusal to tattoo anyone under eighteen years old. That was it. It has to be about 15 years or so since we met and seven tattoos later we are good friends. He is currently designing a memorial tattoo for my mom who recently passed away. He did an outstanding World Trade Center tattoo that I wanted right after 9/11 as a tribute to my cousin and a tattoo in memory of my grandfather who worked at Steeplechase Park in Coney Island (see below).


Mark is also an avid practitioner of Jiu Jitsu and he has recently started a clothing line of t-shirts, patches, and hats. I have a few of his shirts and they are awesome.


Be sure to stop by if you’re looking to have some work done by the premier destination shop in the valley, Living Canvas Tattoos. Tell Mark that Joe D sent you.

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