My Brighton Beach

Brooklyn Neighborhood Doesn't Deserve Russian Disdain

Fur in Spring: Russian women lounge on Brighton Beach’s boardwalk.
Ari Jankelowitz
Fur in Spring: Russian women lounge on Brighton Beach’s boardwalk.

By Samantha Shokin

Published April 22, 2014, issue of April 25, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Even so, the heart of Brighton Beach remains ethnically homogenous, and will for a long time to come. The area is too far from the city to attract the type of urban gentrification that swept over Williamsburg and Greenpoint, and its residents prefer to keep it that way. And though I’m happy to no longer call Brighton home, every once in awhile, on warm nights when I know the air on the beach is pleasant, when I get an oddly specific craving for Plombir ice cream, or miss the sounds of old ladies gossiping about torrid affairs in their native Russian, I’ll stop by for a visit. I’ll visit, and remember exactly why Brighton is so unique in the first place: not because it is wholly Russian or Soviet or American, but because it is all those things, and none of those things, all at once.

Samantha Shokin is an essayist living in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, the Village Voice and Tablet. Find her on Twitter @SamShokin, and on samshokin.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.