The subway ride out to the boardwalk takes between 35-45 minutes, depending. This is when I jot down notes (like this), and think about what I might look for, how I might approach the day differently than the 50 other days I was there. 

From the start, I gave myself just a few rules, but they get pretty restrictive very fast. Don’t shoot anything specifically created to draw attention to itself - by that I mean the rides, the games, the food spots, the signage. There are a thousand people every day covering that stuff; they don’t need me. Second rule: stick to the boardwalk. So, every shot must be taken from the vantage point of the main stretch of the Coney Island boardwalk, roughly a mile long before you start getting into Brighton Beach. So me, standing on the boardwalk, pointing the camera somewhere. My primary focus, at least up to now, has been the old-fashioned benches that line the boardwalk facing the sea, of which there are roughly 120 from one end to the other. A lot of great portraits can present themselves on an 8-foot bench occupied by any number of random strangers, but even so, and even with all those benches, after 50 or so interesting compositions, it does get a little harder to be surprised. So I’m also constantly looking around, for anything that strikes me as interesting. 
I only ventured off the boardwalk and onto the beach once, when it was a shitty mid-week day - cloudy, chilly, few people - and actually, the change of vantage point was a breath of fresh air. While the boardwalk is a very public space, the beach, at least on this day, was a much more private affair.