Youngstown Ohio Group Visits Jane’s Carousel or Wonder If They Paid the Two Bucks to Ride

It’s $2 to ride the pretty merry-go-round known as Jane’s Carousel in its new home in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The amusement ride, famously restored by Jane Walentas and encased in a brightly lit glass building, is originally from Youngstown, Ohio. Today, a group of residents from that humble town visited the antique ponies encased in glass and we hope they got free rides! They were led by Joan Yanchick, who DUMBONYC reports was so moved by a CBS Sunday Morning piece on that she rallied 100 neighbors to take a long bus trip to check it out.

This is not the first time Yanchick has come to DUMBO to revisit the carousel of her youth. The Youngstown folks visited in 2008 as well.

DUMBONYC: The current building doesn’t allow for regular rides due to space restrictions. But the Youngstown residents were given a ride on the carousel and were overcome with pure joy and nostalgia back in time when the carousel was in their ‘backyard’. That’s something we don’t see too often in NYC. Jane’s hope is to give the kids in NYC the carousel in their own ‘backyard’, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, with the same look of pure joy someday. Unrelated to the visit, The Jane’s Carousel’s new website was just launched at


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  • Happyfair

    The cost of the Carousel in Dumbo is the same as not only Central Park and Prospect Park…I don’t know about other parents but this Carousel is much more appealing in the sense that it has scenic views and a nice staff. Both the other Carousels are housed in Pavilions that seem so sad…$2.00 is the new quarter. Why have we New Yorkers become so cynical??? A beautiful view, a classic organ, and happy kids, I will pay $2.00 for that!

  • gc

    $2.00 may be your new quarter but for a large % of the population they’re after inflation income has not appreciated significantly in the past 20 years. Fifty cents for kids and two bucks for adults seems right to me.

  • my2cents

    You guys are all nuts! 50 cents a ride?? are you joking? This isn’t 1964. 2 dollars a ride is probably still going to have the carousel operating at a loss given the cost of the facility the staff, and its maintenance. Given that the “lower income folks” you all seem so concerned about have no qualms about a 12 dollar movie and 14 dollars of popcorn and candy at the Court Street cinema, I find this overblown concern for the “poor people who can’t ride” argument smacks of condescension.
    Furthermore I wouldn’t be surprised if there would be certain hours when rides are free for kids….just like museums have free nights.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @my2cents is “condescension” what you always accuse people of when they elicit concern for the less fortunate?

    The carousel’s upkeep is free for thirty years! It doesn’t have to pay for anything! So why are we trying to make a buck off of children in a public park?

    You make an accusation as if to say: “Ha! Those welfare mothers could afford to have their children ride the carousel if she hadn’t bought them all those high top sneakers and cell phones!”

    Allow me to inform you, my2cents, that the face of poverty is far less benign than you suggest. Very few poor people enact the negative stereotype you have been saddled with.

    Do you think the underprivileged people in the neighborhood are ALL out at the movies? They’re not- because they can’t afford it. Some of them may go once or twice a year as a special treat. Are you suggesting that their children should also pay through the nose for a ride on a wooden horsie that doesn’t cost a cent for the next thirty years?

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Master of Middagh,

    Have you yourself ever been poor? If so, you would know that keeping a roof over one’s head and food on the table becomes an obsession.
    Every waking moment is spent thinking about how to provide for your children. Just taking care of their basic needs is overwhelming.
    Take it from one who knows!

  • Master Of Middagh

    @Willow St. Neighbor- Yes, I know about all that. What’s your point? Poor families don’t go to the park anymore? That can’t be true- I’ve seen them there. My family was poor on both sides. but they still went to church and the park and the library.

  • Y
  • Gerry

    i would not call Brooklyn Bridge Park a neighborhood park and i would not call DUMBO and NOT Dumbo a neighborhood this has become a tourist destination and the $2 is reasonable.

    As for poor kids lets get some funding from Brooklyn corporations like Pfizer, National Grid, Verizon, and unions like the UFT for grants so the kids in the Farrugut Houses and others may ride the carousel often enough – I bet Jane Wallentas has made a provision for the poor.

    FYI Jane has a heat of gold she is a gift to humanity yes its true y’all must stop being suspect of this wonderful woman.


    Where in Ohio do you get that lovely 18-foot sign saying thank you to Jane? I bet that cost a pretty penny.
    Oh, wait a minute; you get it in Brooklyn? I think I am beginning to see what this is really all about.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @Gerry- I don’t see how you can not call it a neighborhood park or DUMBO not a neighborhood. You suggest that the park is little more than a money-making tourist attraction. On what grounds do you base this opinion?

    A large segment of the surrounding communities put a lot of input into this park- what did they bother for then? I have a hard time believing that out-of-towners were the primary concern. Although tourists may come to the park, the majority of people you see there are local families. NOBODY is saying- “Let’s go to NY! We’ll see all the sights! Empire State Building, Lincoln Center and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge Park.”

    Also, I would prefer not to rely on the good graces of corporate interests to insure that the needs of the neighborhood are met. It’s OUR responsibility to look after park spaces and we ALL get to have a say if we handle matters in the public sphere. Let’s not abrogate our civic duties to companies who have no personal stake in the quality of our lives.

  • nabeguy

    MOM, Dumbo is a Two Trees/Walentas development, a la Zeckendorf. Don’t ever confuse it with anything “public”.If you’re going to go all class-warfare over this, then consider the carousel as noblesse oblige. As far as Jane is concerned, we can all eat cake.But it’s going to cost you $2.00.

  • Elmer Fudd

    The carousel is for Jane, not the public.

  • Andrew Porter

    The carousel in Prospect Park also charges $2, but you can get a book of 5 tickets for $9. More info here:

  • Doug Biviano

    @epc’s: “One thing I noticed with the removal of the green space is that as far as I know there are no spaces now in BBP with a flat green space”

    So right you are! And how sad it is. Beautiful carousel, but wrong place to plop it. That’s pretty clear now, but history. Oh do I miss the almost infinite amount of grass for downtown Brooklyn, the great trees and the once glorious willowy view of the BBP from the north. The former space was an inviting space you could comfortably spend the entire day with your children — and we did! This is no longer true.

    @M o M: this is not a neighborhood park. It’s mostly a place you move through as a tourist and – with the endless stream of strangers – worry as a parent. A neighborhood park would have a couple of softball/little league diamonds for the kids for sure. This park will have a few rectangular fields where baseball for the kids will mean chaos just like Cadmen Plaza. Most of this park is passive landscaping not meant to be tread.

  • Master Of Middagh

    @nabeguy- What I was describing was the difference between public and private ownership. That’s not “class warfare.” Rich people are also members of the public as much as the poor. Please don’t write things like that- people will think you’re a hard line right-winger who gets his talking points from Fox News and can’t be bothered to think for himself.

    From what I’m reading here, I’m a little confused about the park. Is it or is it not located on public property? Can Two Trees kick me out of there arbitrarily? It was my impression that it was public property. If not, my mistake- you can go ahead and charge whatever you like to ride the carousel on YOUR land. I’ve got no say in that (and having no say is one of the problems with private or corporate ownership).

    But if it IS public land, then it IS a public, neighborhood park, There are parents with their kids all over the place, regardless of whether or not a proper baseball diamond is present- I mean, c’mon! It’s a waterfront park. You wanna go fishing for foul balls in the drink? And there are families who have moved into the DUMBO area- it is no longer empty warehouses and artist’s lofts.

  • sonny

    Jane’s Carousel is beautiful and reminds my of my childhood growing up in Binghamton, NY, the “carousel capital of the world.” We had several free carousels in town, including one in the park across the street from my house. So many summers were spent hanging out at the park and riding the carousel all day until dinner time. It was nowhere near as grand as Jane’s, but a treasure for us. And the cost of entry – nothing but a small piece of litter to help clean up the park. We would search the park for candy wrappers, cigarette butts, whatever we could find, and run to stand in line for each spin on the carousel. Memories…I hope the young kids in our neighborhood take the same enjoyment from this carousel and treasure the memories, and that it doesn’t become just a tourist trap. I guess $2 isn’t so bad these days…

  • Gerry

    Brooklyn Bridge Park is not a neighborhood park and DUMBO aint no neighborhood.

    DUMBO has a long way to go before it becomes a neighborhood if anything it feels like a part of Brooklyn Heights.

    And @ Nabeguy its DUMBO and NOT “Dumbo” we agree it is a Walentas/Zeckendorf development lots of cool lofts I feel these are urban versions of Toll Brothers McMansions from some suburb and we can eat Janes $2 cake she gave the tourists a carousel that she worked very hard on.

    The park is full of strangers a parent must be on their tip-toes at all times here it is a stressful place to bring children.

  • AmyinBH

    Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
    Carousel ride is $2.
    Subway or bus fare $2.25.

  • Master Of Middagh

    “Brooklyn Bridge Park is not a neighborhood park and DUMBO aint no neighborhood.”- What I think you mean to say is that they ARE, but just not in YOUR eyes. I’m having trouble understanding the grounds for your opinion on this. Is it because, as you point out, that the living spaces in the area were mostly created by a developer you don’t like and they are populated by “strangers” you don’t respect because they buy condos? Because not liking the people doesn’t make where they live NOT a neighborhood. You’re gonna have to explain why they’re not a neighborhood a little more specifically if you want me to buy into that.

    And even if DUMBO is not a neighborhood is your eyes, Brooklyn Heights certainly is and that park is adjacent to us as well. So that would STILL make it a neighborhood park.

  • Master Of Middagh

    By the way, I’m no fan of those development people either. I totally believe they set that fire on that property that was blamed on the homeless guy, if anyone remembers that story from several years back.

    But that DUMBO area has had schools and shops for some time (they’ve even got a chocolate factory!)- what more could it need to be called a “neighborhood”?

  • bornhere

    More or less, I think that DUMBO is to Brooklyn what Cancun is to Mexico: an artificially evolved location that has, in many respects, diminished the long-standing magnificence around it.

    DUMBO has schools??

  • Master Of Middagh

    @bornhere- sure they do. I’ve seen at least one elementary school letting out there on the waterfront and its been there for some time. I think I understand your analogy- that, if it is a neighborhood, it’s a new and somewhat artificially created one that has yet to develop a strong heart of its own.

    My view is that we should encourage the growth of this heart, regardless of how we may feel about the architects of this development. I DO miss the “Bar Between The Bridges” though- they used to let me play the jukebox for free…

  • Gerry

    @ Master and Born here.

    I think that Two Trees gave up on the offer to have a middle school installed in a store front at 1 Main Street the NYC DOE would not acccept the challanges involved.

    DUMBO has no car wash or drugstore is there a Rite Aid down there? How about a coffee shop like our Teresas on Montague Street? How about an Aquatics Center or a Health Club? Is there a bank in DUMBO we have lots of them on Montague Street.

    DUMBO has a great 24 hour market in the very early morning hours I leave the heights via Pearl Street I double park on Front Street and go in for another cup of coffee -it cheap just 90 cents.

  • Master Of Middagh

    They’ve got a Peas & Pickles. A bigger one than ours, actually. And I’m pretty sure they’ve got a bank down there too. But no “aquatics center”, whatever that is- but I don’t think snorkleing facilities are as essential to a neighborhood as other folks, I suppose.

  • David on Middagh

    When NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell out of the sky last weekend and did not put a hole in Jane’s Carousel, a little part of me died.

  • Gerry

    @ Master on M – an Aquatics Center is a swimming pool like Aspahlt Green at 96st & East End Ave in Manhattan in downtown Brooklyn there is no aquatic center no decent pool to swim in.

    How can you not know what an Aquatic Center is?

    Its a good thing that being dumb is not illegal Master. “But no aquatics center – whatever that is?” Really master, I swear some people are so dumb.

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  • Master Of Middagh

    @Gerry- The spam postings brought my attention back to this thread/ Although “Aquatics Center” is a really dumb name for a pool for people who want to pretend that they’re classy, I actually DID know what the term meant. It was a satirical J-O-K-E poking fun at people like you. You know- idiots who think they’re posh and don’t even know a joke at their expense when they see it. :)