Since I’m actually headed out of town this week, I decided to stay a little closer to home for this week’s installment of Tourist Tuesday.
So, we live between the neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. I love our neighborhood. It’s relatively quiet… I mean, as quiet as a New York City neighborhood gets. Our apartment is within walking distance of two train stations, the beach, grocery stores, and restaurants.
Once characterized by the New York Times as the “grumpy neighbor” of Coney Island, Brighton Beach is a small mostly Russian neighborhood (it’s also known as “Little Odessa,”) though the demographics have shifted some in recent years, with more immigrants settling from the Middle East and Asian countries.
Until 1868 the area was mostly farmland, but William A Engeman purchasable 39 lots and converted the area into a resort. By 1919 the demographics of the area had shifted such, that most in the neighborhood were first or second-generation Jewish Americans; this number only grew from the influx of Holocaust survivors that settled in the area.
In the 1980’s a new influx of immigrants began to arrive from Russia, transforming the neighborhood from a primarily Jewish neighborhood to a Russian neighborhood.
As for my visit to Brighton Beach, the beach itself is pretty quiet in the wintertime, but the scenery is no less captivating. The beach is a great place to go to escape the overcrowded city streets.