Not only is Lola Star a heroic activist who successfully SAVED Coney Island (from being turned into condos), she is also a passionate VEGAN and a member of our meetup group!!! Her story is so compelling that a documentary movie was made about it in 2013, and we are going to see it.
I know Lola as a wonderfully sweet and extraordinarily talented artist and clothing designer. For years I have been one of her many customers at her Lola Star Boutique, right on the Coney Island Boardwalk. One day I happened to find out she was a vegan, so I told her about our meetup group. She joined and has been a regular member!
But I didn't realize until recently what a hero she was. I was looking at her web site and then googled her and read some online news accounts of her heroic -- and very successful -- struggle as a community activist who literally did save Coney Island!
Here is what happened. The integrity of the historic Amusement District in Coney Island was being threatened by a real estate developer who bought the land and planned to build luxury condos. Lola believed this would destroy Coney Island. Her role as a community activist began when she objected to a Confidentiality Clause that the developer demanded that all of their Coney Island tenants sign. She strongly objected to the developer's attempt to silence the business community by preventing their tenants from speaking about the redevelopment of Coney Island. She was evicted from her store because she refused to sign this agreement.
After her eviction, she was determined to make something positive out of the heart breaking loss of her boutique, so she created the Save Coney Island Organization. Her goal was to create an organization which would spread information about the redevelopment, give people the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions and ideas about Coney Island, and to organize events which would publicly express these convictions. Lola organized a "No Condos in Coney" demonstration at New York's City Hall. This demonstration created an extraordinarily colorful spectacle which succeeded in preventing the developers from building these luxury condos in the Amusement District. It also resulted in her getting her boutique on the Coney Island boardwalk back.
Here is the synopsis of the movie from the official movie website (http://dreamsforsalethemovie.com):
"Coney Island, the once magnificent "Playground of the World" has survived many battles, but now faces its greatest enemy: corporate greed. Center stage in the passionate struggle to protect the amusement park from an unscrupulous developer and a group of misguided politicians is Dianna Carlin (Lola Star), owner of the celebrated Lola Star Boutique, and newly turned political activist. This modern day David and Goliath tale chronicles the courage and determination of a community to preserve the spirit and authenticity of a legendary American Icon and an entire way of life in the face of “Big Money” and ruthless real estate development."
Watch the great trailer for this amazing movie: http://vimeo.com/67427702
Here is the link to purchase tickets:
Tickets are $12.00 ($11.00 plus $1.00 online ticket fee). Please purchase your ticket in advance before they sell out.
Lola will be speaking at a Q&A session after the movie at the theater. And, after the movie for those who wish to, we will go out drinking with Lola. (Venue to be determined. We will tell you where it is at the movie.)
Where To Meet: We'll be meeting at 4:30pm directly in front of the Quad Cinema. I will be holding a "MEETUP" sign. At 4:45pm we'll all go into the theater and get seats together for the 5:00pm screening. Be sure to meet us at the theater. At that time we will tell you the location of the venue where we will go out drinking with Lola after the movie (venue to be determined).
This group is so fortunate to have heroic members like Lola Star in our membership. I know we have other heroic members as well. How wonderful that one member has been recognized with a documentary movie about her heroic work! Join us as we watch this compelling film, and afterwards come hang out with our fellow meetup member Lola Star!!