Brighton Beach / Coney Island area in NY
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Jan 20, 2013 8:34 AM Last Post By: LongIslandBob
Dec 8, 2012 11:31 AM
Brighton Beach / Coney Island area in NYI'm going to be in NYC in January. (Yes, I know it will be cold.)
The culture of the Brighton Beach / Coney Island area has always fascinated me, from "Brighton Beach Memoirs" to more contemporary immigration from the former USSR. (I remember seeing a lot of signs in Russian when I was last there in the 1990s, which was really interesting.)
Any suggestions on places I could visit (museums, budget restaurants, etc.) to experience a little bit of that world?
Dec 8, 2012 11:56 AM
1On a touristy note, the nearby aquarium is worthwhile, but strangely involves a lot of out door walking. Coney Island has not been a world class amusement park in many decades.
Closer to your quesion:
The Russians Ukrainians etc. there are pretty much ubiquitous. The youth have been largely Americanized so meeting them is like meeting anyone else, although I don't think it will provide the experience you are looking for. Most of the older set are just hard working people who keep to themselves and i'm not sure how to experience that culture (which i assume is what you are looking for.)
There is a very substantial underworld presence there (it no longer dominates the area, but it's still said to be omnipresent), and i'm sure if you've got some street smarts you can get ingratiated into their world, but I don't want the liability of making any recommendations on how to go about doing that.
Edited by: LongIslandBob
Dec 8, 2012 12:56 PM
2#1: Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.
I suspected that was going to be the case. I'll just bundle up well and take a long walk through the area. For a non-New-Yorker, that's a lot of fun in itself.
If it were an area I knew better and I were going to spend some time there, I might actually consider looking in to the possibilities you mention in your last paragraph. But since I'm from the southern US (and have the look and accent) and am only going to be in NYC for a week, I think I'll take a pass.
Any thoughts on the Tenement Museum in Lower Manhattan? Different area, but still seems relevant to the Eastern European immigration cultural experience. It gets positive reviews.
Dec 8, 2012 1:49 PM
Dec 8, 2012 7:40 PM
4I've never been there, but friends have enjoyed Tatiana, a restaurant that apparently has a big, elaborate Russian floor show. I'm not sure how authentic it really is -- there's also a location in Miami, apparently -- but then, I don't think Brighton Beach is too saturated with tourists, so my guess is they have a significant Russian clientele. Might be worthwhile -- or you might want to look around for the kind of place where you'll have to ask for an English menu.
Dec 9, 2012 12:21 AM
Dec 9, 2012 1:16 AM
Dec 9, 2012 2:03 AM
Dec 9, 2012 8:34 AM
8You might want to call the museum itself to be sure it is back to full operation since Superstorm Sandy before going though their website seems to suggest all is well at the moment. Here it is if you wanted to take a look at what the site offers:
Dec 13, 2012 10:35 AM
Dec 13, 2012 12:23 PM
10Please note that Coney Island area was hit hard during Sandy and much of it might still be in recovery. If you're going, wear clothes to work in and if you see someone who needs a hand, lend it. That would be a more valuable use of your time.
If you're going to the LES Tenement Museum, also visit the Eldridge Street Synogogue and then take a trip down to the Battery to the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Dec 13, 2012 2:05 PM
11Yes, Coney Island was hit kinda hard. the damage is not nearly as widespread as it was in Breezy Point, Staten Island or parts of NJ, but a flood is a flood and for the isolated unlucky individual, it will be many years before life returns to normal. I'm guessing Brighton Beach is the same
In nearby Breezy Point it's just plain horrifying.
Dec 13, 2012 3:03 PM
12If you have a general interest in Eastern European immigration, you might check out Greenpoint in Brooklyn which has a large Polish population.
I'm of the minority that thinks the tenement museum is highly overrated, and the tour I was on had nothing in particular to do with immigrants from E. Europe.
Dec 18, 2012 3:59 PM
Dec 18, 2012 5:02 PM
14hey via, I don't know it this matches your timeline but i came across this and thought I'd pass it on
Sunday, January 27, 2013 1:30PM
Central Library, Dweck Center
Shtemler is one of the veterans of the contemporary Russian literature. His first works appeared in literary magazines in 1960s, but his became a household name in the 80s' when he published a string of novels: Train, The Archives, Taxi Park and Department Store. To write these novels, Shtemler became in turn a cab driver, a train conductor, an archivist and a salesperson. His latest novel deals with issues of immigration. To register, please visit brownpapertickets.com and enter the keyword Brooklyn Public Library. Limit 3 per person.
I've never been to the Brooklyn Public Library, I simply assumed it existed, but it suddenly occurs to me you might be able to contact someone there who could give you good advice about how to appreciate Russian-related culture in the area.
I'd start by asking for contact info for the person who arranged Shtemler's lecture.
Shtemler probably lives in the area (the Brooklyn public library does not sound like an org. that has the budget to bring in people form far away.
According to his wikipedia page
"Shtemler is an active campaigner for the protection of Russian historical heritage."
Edited by: LongIslandBob
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