Introduction

An hour by subway from midtown Manhattan, Coney Island was once New York's most popular beachside amusement area. After decades in the doldrums, revitalization has brought the summertime crowds back for hot dogs, roller coasters, minor-league baseball games and strolls down the boardwalk. Directly to the east along the boardwalk is Brighton Beach, dubbed 'Little Odessa' for its large population of Ukrainian and Russian families. Running under the elevated subway tracks, its bustling main street, Brighton Beach Ave, is lined with Slavic shops, restaurants and cafes.