Brighton Beach, Brooklyn : NYC Tourist Guide

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, in NYC, New York, USA

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Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York City

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Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach is a community on Coney Island in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City.

It is bounded by Coney Island at Ocean Parkway to the west, affluent, but non-gated Manhattan Beach at Corbin Place to the east, Gravesend at Neptune Avenue to the north (at the Belt Parkway), and the Atlantic Ocean to the south (at the Riegelmann Boardwalk/beachfront).

Brighton Beach was developed by William A. Engeman as a beach resort in 1868 , and was named in 1878 by Henry C. Murphy and a group of businessmen in an 1878 contest ; the winning name evoked the resort of Brighton, England. The centerpiece of the resort was the large Hotel Brighton (or Brighton Beach Hotel), placed on the beach at what is now the foot of Coney Island Avenue and accessed by the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railway, later known as the BMT Brighton Line, which opened on July 2, 1878. The village was annexed into the 31st Ward of the City of Brooklyn in 1894.

Brighton Beach was re-developed as a fairly dense residential community with the final rebuilding of the Brighton Beach railway into a modern rapid transit line of the New York City Subway system c. 1920. The area has a large community of Jewish (and non-Jewish) immigrants who left what was the Soviet Union in the 1980s and 1990s. However, living in the Soviet Union has made them, in many ways, culturally distinct from the Jewish immigrants that moved to the neighborhood decades earlier from Tsarist Russia. The recent influx of Soviet culture has resulted in recent émigrés being more culturally similar to Russians and Ukrainians than to the earlier Jewish immigrants. Some of the newer Jewish emigres are married to Russian or Ukrainian Christians, and non-Jewish surnames abound.Brighton Beach was dubbed "Little Odessa" by the local populace long ago, due to many of its residents having come from Odessa. It is or was reportedly the home of the Russian Mafia in the United States. In 2006, Alec Brook-Krasny was elected for the 46th District of theNew York State Assembly, the first elected Soviet-born Jewish politician from Brighton Beach.

Brighton Beach is also home to many other ethnic groups, such as immigrants from Pakistan. On Brighton 7th Street and Neptune Avenue, there is a mosque where Muslims (mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh) pray. There is another mosque located between Brighton 8th Street and Banner Avenue near "the junkyard". There are numerous Polish and Georgian residents, but relatively few Italian-Americans or African-Americans remaining. There are also some Korean markets, but for the most part their owners do not reside in the neighborhood. Notable past residents include talk-show host Larry King and current General Bancorp President Adnan Mohammad.

Brighton Beach is replete with restaurants, food stores, cafes, boutiques, banks, etc. The neighborhood, with an estimated population of 350,000 (mostly from Russia and Ukraine), has a distinctively ethnic feel - akin to Manhattan's Chinatown. The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city's beaches (the street runs parallel to the Coney Island beach area and the Boardwalk) and the fact that the street is located right under the Brighton Beach Avenue subway station, makes it a popular summer weekend destination for thousands of New York City residents.

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