Talk about going out for a spin. There are a handful of Go Kart tracks left in the city offering some throwback summer fun. Our Roger Clark gets behind the wheel — to check one of them out on Staten Island.
"It's just a fun place to be," said David Galst, Managing Director of New York Carousel. "Even though we are in the middle of the city, it seems like we are a world away."
The Staten Island Fun Park is one of a handful of places in the five boroughs to take a go-kart for a spin. The entertainment complex which also features batting cages, and mini golf, has been renovated by the local company New York Carousel — under the watchful eye of amusement veteran Mark Blumenthal, who may look familiar from his days at Rockaway Playland and Coney Island's Astroland — he is a go kart fan too.
"It's gasoline engines," said Mark Blumenthal, manager of Staten Island Fun Park. "People are driving the cars themselves. A lot of people are driving for the first time ever. Young people who have never been behind the wheel. So that's exciting."
The best part about this place if you live on Staten Island is you don't have to get on your real car and pay the tolls to go ride go-karts.
Of course, the most important part about running a go-kart operation is keeping the karts running. Broken down karts means no fun.
"A lot of these karts when we came in we put new engines in them," said Blumenthal. "And that solves many of the problems. And it's just general maintenance. Keeping on top of it. And just looking, watching, keeping things safe."
And once you are rolling. Maybe fantasize about winning the Daytona 500, albeit at a slower speed. In the go-kart business, you need gas. And cooperation from Mother Nature.
"We are open from March until the end of October into November if the weather is nice," said Galst. But it's all about the weather."
If you want to give these go karts a go, head to SIFunPark.com to find out more.