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Brighton Beach is a
neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar ...
in the southern portion of the
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
borough A borough is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for ...
of
Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the te ...

Brooklyn
, within the greater
Coney Island Coney Island is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomic ...
area along the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
coastline. Brighton Beach is bounded by Coney Island proper at Ocean Parkway to the west,
Manhattan BeachManhattan Beach may refer to: Places In the United States: * Manhattan Beach, California * Manhattan Beach (Denver), Colorado, first amusement park built west of the Mississippi River (1881) that burnt down in 1908 and was rebuilt as Luna Park * Man ...
at Corbin Place to the east,
Sheepshead Bay Sheepshead, Sheephead, or Sheep's Head, may refer to: Fish * ''Archosargus probatocephalus'', a medium-sized saltwater fish of the Atlantic Ocean * Freshwater drum, ''Aplodinotus grunniens'', a medium-sized freshwater fish of North and Central Am ...
at the
Belt Parkway The Belt Parkway is the name given to a series of connected limited-access highway A limited-access road, known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway, expressway, and partial controlled access highway ...
to the north, and the to the south along the beach and
boardwalk A boardwalk (alternatively board walk, boarded path, or promenade An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Na ...
. It is known for its high population of Russian-speaking immigrants, and as a summer destination for New York City residents due to its beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and its proximity to the amusement parks in Coney Island. Brighton Beach is part of Brooklyn Community District 13, and its primary
ZIP Code#REDIRECT ZIP Code A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Introduced in 1963, the basic format consisted of five digits. In 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it included the five digits of the ZIP ...
is 11235. It is patrolled by the 60th Precinct of the
New York City Police Department The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the ...
. Politically, Brighton Beach is represented by the
New York City Council The New York City Council is the lawmaking Lawmaking is the process of crafting legislation. In its purest sense, it is the basis of governance. This form of law making is also applied in India. It is a process which works in India on the bas ...

New York City Council
's 48th District.


History


Early development

Brighton Beach is included in an area from Sheepshead Bay to Sea Gate that was purchased from the Native Americans in 1645 for a gun, a blanket and a kettle. Brighton Beach was located on sandy terrain, and before development in the 1860s, had mostly farms. The area was part of the "Middle Division" of the town of
Gravesend Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, situated 21 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross (central London) on the Bank (geography), south bank of the River Thames and opposite Tilbury in Essex. Located in the diocese of Ro ...
, which was the sole English settlement out of the original six towns in . By the mid-18th century, thirty-nine lots in the division had been distributed to the descendants of English colonists. In 1868, William A. Engeman built a resort in the area. The resort was given the name "Brighton Beach" in 1878 by Henry C. Murphy and a group of businessmen, who chose to name as an allusion to the English resort town of
Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd ...

Brighton
. With the help of Gravesend's surveyor William Stillwell, Engeman acquired all 39 lots for the relatively low cost of $20,000. This hotel, with rooms for up to 5,000 people nightly and meals for up to 20,000 people daily, was close to the then-rundown western Coney Island, so it was mostly the upper middle class that went to this hotel. The , double-decker Brighton Beach Bathing Pavilion was also built nearby and opened in 1878, with the capacity for 1,200 bathers. "Hotel Brighton", also known as the "Brighton Beach Hotel", was situated on the beach at what is now the foot of
Coney Island Avenue Coney Island Avenue is a roadway in the New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', ...
. The
Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railway The BMT Brighton Line, also known as the Brighton Beach Line, is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn Rapid transit in Germany consists of four U-Bahn systems ...
, the predecessor to the
New York City Subway The New York City Subway is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn Rapid transit in Germany consists of four U-Bahn systems and fourteen S-Bahn systems. The U- ...

New York City Subway
's present-day Brighton Line, opened on July 2, 1878, and provided access to the hotel. Adjacent to the hotel, Engeman built the
Brighton Beach Race Course The Brighton Beach Race Course was an United States, American Thoroughbred horse racing facility in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York (state), New York, opened on June 28, 1879 by the Brighton Beach Racing Association. Headed by real estate develop ...
for
thoroughbred The Thoroughbred is a horse breed A horse breed is a selectively bred population of domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over ...

thoroughbred
horse racing Horse racing is an equestrian The word equestrian is a reference to Equestrianism, horseback riding, derived from Latin ' and ', "horse". Horseback riding (or Riding in British English) Notable examples of this are: *List of equestrian spo ...

horse racing
. In December 1887, an extremely high tide washed over the area, creating a new, temporary connection between Sheepshead Bay and the ocean. Wrote the ''
Brooklyn Daily Eagle :''This article covers both the historical newspaper (1841–1955, 1960–1963), as well as an unrelated new Brooklyn Daily Eagle starting 1996 published currently'' The ''Brooklyn Eagle'', originally joint name ''The Brooklyn Eagle'' and ''Kings ...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
'': "Unless ngemanis very lucky the next races on the Brighton Beach track will be conducted by the white crested horses of
Neptune Neptune is the eighth and farthest-known Solar planet from the Sun. In the Solar System, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter, the third-most-massive planet, and the densest giant planet. It is 17 times the mass of Earth, slightly mo ...
." After that extremely high tide, and a decade of
beach erosion Coastal erosion is the loss or displacement of land, or the long-term removal of sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering and erosion, and is subsequently sediment transport, tra ...
, the Brighton Beach Hotel, by then owned by the Railway, faced the possibility of being "undermined and carried away." A plan termed "highly ingenious and novel" was initiated by the superintendent of the Railway, J.L. Morrow, and its Secretary, E.L. Langford, to elevate and move the building as a whole, 495 feet further inland. This was accomplished by lifting the estimated 5000 ton, building, using 13 hydraulic jacks, after which 24 lines of railroad track – a mile and a half length in total – were laid under it, and 112 railroad "platform cars" (flat cars) pulled by six steam
locomotive A locomotive or engine is a rail transport Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made ...

locomotive
s were used to pull the hotel away from the sea. This careful engineering (by B.C. Miller) made the move successful; it began on April 2, 1888, and continued for the next nine days, and was the largest building move of the 19th century.
Anton Seidl Anton Seidl (7 May 185028 March 1898) was a famous HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian a ...

Anton Seidl
and the
Metropolitan Opera The Metropolitan Opera (commonly known as the Met) is an American opera company based in New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, ent ...

Metropolitan Opera
brought their popular interpretations of
Wagner Wilhelm Richard Wagner ( ; ; 22 May 181313 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemic Polemic () is contentious rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or ...

Wagner
to the Brighton Beach Music Hall, where
John Philip Sousa John Philip Sousa (; November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era Romanticism (also known as the Romantic era) was an artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual movement that ...

John Philip Sousa
was in residence, and the New Brighton Theater was a hotspot for vaudeville. Visitors for tea at Reisenweber's Brighton Beach Casino would be served by Japanese waitresses in full costume. At an enormous private club, the Brighton Beach Baths, members could swim, access a private beach, and play
handball Handball (also known as team handball, European handball or Olympic handball) is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each (six outcourt players and a Handball goalkeeper, goalkeeper) pass a ball using their hands with the aim of th ...
, mah-jongg, and cards. The village, along with the rest of Gravesend, was annexed into the 31st Ward of the
City of Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. It is the most populous Administrative divisions of New York (state)#County, county in the stat ...
in 1894.


Early 20th century

In 1905, Brighton Beach Park opened its own area of amusements, calling it Brighton Pike. Brighton Pike offered a boardwalk, games, live entertainment (including the Miller Brothers’ wild-west show: '' 101 Ranch''), and a huge steel roller coaster. The park was shut down in 1919 after it burned down. The actual beach remained popular, though. Brighton Beach was re-developed as a fairly dense residential community with the final rebuilding of the Brighton Beach railway to
rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn Rapid transit in Germany consists of four U-Bahn systems and fourteen S-Bahn systems. The U-Bahn or Untergrundbahn (''underground railway'') ...
standards, becoming the
Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation The Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) was an urban transit holding company A holding company is a company whose primary business is holding a controlling interest in the securities of other companies. A holding company usua ...
(BMT)'s Brighton Line, which opened (the line is now served by the
New York City Subway The New York City Subway is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn Rapid transit in Germany consists of four U-Bahn systems and fourteen S-Bahn systems. The U- ...

New York City Subway
's ). The subway line within the neighborhood is above ground on an elevated structure. The opening of the BMT Brighton Line had conflicting consequences: although it made Brighton Beach viable as a year-round community, it was now much more feasible for visitors to return home in the evening rather than spend the night. This led to the closure of the Brighton Beach Hotel in 1924. The years just before and following the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
brought with them a neighborhood consisting mostly of first- and second-generation Jewish-Americans and, later,
Holocaust The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural syst ...

Holocaust
concentration camp Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in war War is an intense armed conflict between state ...
survivors. Of the estimated 55,000 Holocaust survivors living in New York City as of 2011, most live in Brighton Beach. To meet the bursting cultural demands, the New Brighton Theater converted itself to the States' first Yiddish theater in 1919.


Late 20th century and Soviet immigration

After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the quality of life in Brighton Beach decreased significantly as the poverty rate and the ratio of older residents to younger residents increased. Due to the 1970s fiscal crisis, government workers and the middle class had moved to suburban areas, while people subdivided houses into single room occupancy residences for the poor, the elderly, and the mentally ill. Brighton Beach suffered from arson as much as it did from constant drug trades. During the summer, however, people from all around the city went to Brighton Beach's beach next to the Atlantic Ocean. In the mid-1970s, Brighton Beach became a popular place to settle for Soviet immigrants, mostly
Ashkenazi Jews Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in ...
from
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...
. So many Soviet Jews immigrated to Brighton Beach that the area became known as "Little
Odessa Odessa (russian: Оде́сса ) or Odesa ( uk, Оде́са ) is the third most populous List of cities in Ukraine, city and List of hromadas of Ukraine, municipality in Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transport hub located in th ...

Odessa
" (after the Ukrainian city on the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
). The collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent significant changes in the social and economic circumstances of post-Soviet states led thousands of former Soviet citizens to immigrate to the United States. Many more Soviet and post-Soviet immigrants, who primarily spoke
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (), Russian language term for all citizens and people ...
, chose Brighton Beach as a place to settle. There was also an influx of immigrants from the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
, mostly from countries such as
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
and
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan ( az, Azərbaycan Respublikası ), is a country in the Transcaucasia, Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is boun ...

Azerbaijan
. A large number of Russian immigrant firms, shops, restaurants, clubs, offices, banks, schools, and children's play centers opened in the area. The value of real estate in Brighton Beach started to rise again, even though drugs remained a social issue in the area through the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, a high-income ocean-front condominium complex, the "Oceana", was constructed. This address has become the destination of wealthy businessmen, entertainers, and senior officials from the former Soviet Union, and with their purchase of units at the Oceana, area housing prices have risen. Since the early 2010s, a significant number of
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
n immigrants have also chosen Brighton Beach as a place to settle.


Culture

The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city's beaches, Brighton Beach Avenue runs parallel to the
Coney Island Coney Island is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomic ...
beach and boardwalk, and that the neighborhood is directly served by a subway station makes it a popular summer weekend destination for New York City residents. File:Брайтон-Бич Магазины...Магазины....JPG, Russian stores in Brighton Beach File:Backgammon Players, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn 2012.jpg, Backgammon players at Second Street Park in 2012 File:Brighton beach elevated subway line over a street.jpg, A Russian-language bookstore under the New York City Subway tracks on
Coney Island Avenue Coney Island Avenue is a roadway in the New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', ...
in Brighton Beach File:Crowded Brighton Beach on a summer afternoon IMG 1756.JPG, Crowded Brighton Beach on a summer afternoon File:Brighton Beach water sports IMG 1749.JPG, Water sports on Brighton Beach
File:Brighton Oceana Cooperative.jpg, The Oceana luxury condominiums on Brighton Beach, built in the early 2000s File:Brighton1415.jpg, Juxtaposition of apartments and private homes File:Brighton15thStreet.jpg, Brighton 15th Street


Russian-speaking culture

As apartment buildings started to be built in large numbers in the 1930s, many of those who moved into the neighborhood were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, often by way of the Lower East Side. They came from many countries, but also set the stage for a later wave of Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union that started in the 1970s, when Brighton Beach became known as "Little Odessa," and "Little Russia". An annual festival, the Brighton Jubilee, celebrates the area's Russian-speaking heritage. The area has also been called "the land of
pelmeni Pelmeni (russian: пельмeни — plural, ; pelmen, russian: пельмень, link=no — singular, ) are dumplings of Russian cuisine that consist of a filling wrapped in thin, unleavened dough. The debate about the exact place of origin ...

pelmeni
,
matryoshka Matryoshka dolls ( rus, матрёшка, p=mɐˈtrʲɵʂkə, a=Ru-матрёшка.ogg; also known as babushka dolls, stacking dolls, nesting dolls, Russian tea dolls, or Russian dolls) are a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one ...

matryoshka
s,
tracksuit A tracksuit is an article of clothing consisting of two parts: trousers and a jacket usually with front zipper. It was originally intended for use in sports, mainly for athletes to wear over competition clothing (such as running shirt and shorts ...
s, and...
vodka Vodka ( pl, wódka , russian: водка , sv, vodka ) is a clear distilled alcoholic beverage. Different varieties originated in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is div ...

vodka
" due to its large population of Soviet immigrants. In 2006, Alec Brook-Krasny was elected for the 46th District of the
New York State Assembly The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature and the New York State Senate being the upper house. There are 150 seats in the Assembly. Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits in the United St ...

New York State Assembly
, which includes Brighton Beach, becoming the country's first elected
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sove ...
-born politician.


Demographics

Based on data from the
2010 United States Census The United States Census of 2010 was the twenty-third United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in ...
, the population of Brighton Beach was 35,547, an increase of 303 (0.9%) from the 35,244 counted in
2000 2000 was designated as the International Year for the Culture of Peace and the World Mathematics, Mathematical Year. Popular culture holds the year 2000 as the first year of the 21st century and the 3rd millennium due to a tendency of group ...
. Covering an area of , the neighborhood had a population density of .Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010
Population Division -
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 69.7% (24,774)
White White is the lightest color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Unite ...
, 1.0% (352)
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being t ...
, 0.2% (61)
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
, 12.9% (4,580)
Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
, 0.0% (10)
Pacific Islander Pacific Islanders, Pacificer, Pasifika, or Pasefika, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of island An island (or isle) ...
, 0.4% (139) from
other races Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon novel), a 1971 horror novel by Tom Tryon * The Other (short story ...
, and 1.2% (442) from two or more races.
Hispanic The term ''Hispanic'' ( es, hispano) refers to people, cultures Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and ...
or
Latino Latino or Latinos most often refers to: * Latino (demonym), a term used in the United States for people with cultural ties to Latin America * Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States * The people or cultures of Latin America; ** Latin A ...
of any race were 14.6% (5,189) of the population.Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010
Population Division -
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
, Brighton Beach had a middle-class, mostly Jewish, older population. 27% of Brighton Beach was of age 62 or older, while the national average of persons aged 62 or older was 13.9%. Since the 1990s, however, the neighborhood's ethnic demographics have been changing, with a large influx of mainly Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, such as
Uzbeks The Uzbeks ( uz, , , , ) are a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish langua ...
. In subsequent years, the proportion of whites leveled out, the proportion of the black population decreased significantly, and the proportion of the Asian population increased to 14% as of 2014. , increasing numbers of Muslim
Central Asians Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet rep ...
were moving into Brighton Beach, and based on the historic Soviet influence over these area, these immigrants also speak Russian. According to the United States Census report of 2010, Brighton Beach and Coney Island, combined, had 111,063 residents as of 2009. In that year, the median age of residents of Brooklyn was 34.2 and in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
as a whole, it was 36.0 years, while in the combined Brighton Beach and Coney Island area it was 47.9 years. hence, the area is distinguished by a higher median age of its population. As DiNapoli and Bleiwas note in a city report, "the number of residents aged 65 years and older in his arearose by 4.1 percent, so that senior citizens accounted for more than one-quarter of the area’s population" at that date. According to the census, the population density in Brighton Beach, per se (52,109 people per square mile), was almost twice the average population density of New York City (27,012 people per square mile), though the average household size was 2.1 people, lower than the city average of 2.6 people. The average income of households in the area was $36,574, while the average income in the whole city was $55,217, according to the 2010 census. In Brighton Beach, 21% of the population lives below the
poverty line The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, w ...
, compared to only 15.4% citywide. Most of the population of Brighton Beach are immigrants. Less than a quarter (23.3%) of Brighton Beach residents were born in the United States, and nearly three-quarters were born abroad (72.9%). Because of this, English language proficiency in Brighton Beach is lower than the city average. More than a third (36.1%) of the population of Brighton Beach does not speak or understand English, while citywide, only one in fourteen people (7.2%) cannot speak or understand English.


Theater

The Brighton Ballet Theater, established in 1987, is one of the most famous Russian ballet schools in the United States. More than 3,000 children have trained in ballet, modern and character dances, and folk dances here.See: * * * * A Russian-speaking theater near the waterfront, , formally the Millennium Theater built in 1934 as the Oceana movie theater, features performances by actors from the U.S., Russia, and other countries.


Police and crime

Brighton Beach is patrolled by the
NYPD The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement File:CBP female officers going aboard a ship.jpg, upU.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarding a ship ' ...
's 60th Precinct, located at 2950 West Eighth Street. The 60th Precinct ranked 34th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. Between 1993 and 2010, major crimes decreased by 72%, including a 76% decrease in robberies, 71% decrease in felony assaults, and 67% decrease in shootings. The 60th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 84.6% between 1990 and 2017. The precinct reported 0 murders, 20 rapes, 1138 robberies, 232 felony assaults, 89 burglaries, 422 grand larcenies, and 46 grand larcenies auto in 2017. Brighton Beach is considered a hot spot for the Russian Bratva, though public perception has been that organized crime "has largely gone away." In the 1970s, the most notorious leg of the mafia was the
Potato Bag GangThe Potato Bag Gang, a manifestation of the Odessa mafia, was a gang of con artists from Odessa uk, одесит, одеситкаrussian: одессит, одесситка , postal_code_type = Postal codes , postal_code ...
, which served as a robbery gang for larger Russian crime syndicates in New York City.
Marat Balagula Marat Yakovlevich Balagula (russian: Мара́т Я́ковлевич Балагула; 8 September 1943 – 19 December 2019) was a Russian-American former gas station owner and associate of the Lucchese crime family and Colombo crime family. ...
was a crime boss from Brighton Beach who denies having any connection to the
American Mafia The American Mafia, commonly referred to in North America as the Italian-American Mafia, the Mafia, or the Mob, is a highly organized Italian-American Italian Americans ( it, italoamericani or ''italo-americani'', ) are Americans America ...
or the Russian-speaking Mafia. The major Russian criminal element in Brighton Beach was the international Russian mafia group, known as vor v zakone or "vory," and the first vory crime boss in Brighton Beach was
Evsei Agron Evsei Borisovich Agron ( rus, Евсей Борисович Агрон, r=Yevsei Borisovich Agron; 25 January 1932 – 4 May 1985) was boss of New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New ...
, who controlled the area's crime during the 1970s and 1980s until his death in 1985. After the
fall of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal political, ...
in the 1990s, many ethnic Russian criminals illegally entered the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, coming especially to Brighton Beach. The infamous vor
Vyacheslav Ivankov Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov (russian: Вячесла́в Кири́ллович Иванько́в) (January 2, 1940 – October 9, 2009) was a notorious Russian mafia boss and thief in law who was believed to have connections with Russian stat ...
, who dominated the Brighton Beach underworld until his arrest in 1995, arrived during this wave.


Fire safety

The
New York City Fire Department The New York City Fire Department, officially the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), is an American department of the government of New York City A government is the system or group of people governing an organized com ...
(FDNY) operates the Engine Co. 246/Ladder Co. 169
firehouse __NOTOC__ A fire station (also called a fire house, fire hall, firemen's hall, or engine house) is a structure or other area for storing firefighting Firefighting is the act of attempting to prevent the spread of and extinguish significant ...

firehouse
at 2732 East 11th Street.


Post office and ZIP Code

Brighton Beach's
ZIP Code#REDIRECT ZIP Code A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). Introduced in 1963, the basic format consisted of five digits. In 1983, an extended ZIP+4 code was introduced; it included the five digits of the ZIP ...
is 11235. The
United States Postal Service The United States Postal Service (USPS; also known as the Post Office, U.S. Mail, or Postal Service) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a te ...
operates the Brighton Station post office at 3157 Coney Island Avenue.


Parks

There are several public parks in Brighton Beach, operated by the
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, also called the Parks Department or NYC Parks, is the department of the government of New York City A government is the system or group of people governing an organized communi ...
: * The Coney Island Boardwalk and Beach run along the coastline south of Brighton Beach. * Brighton Beach Playground, located on the Boardwalk at Brighton 2nd Street and Brightwater Court, was built in 1950 and renovated in the late 1990s. * Asser Levy Park located near the Boardwalk between Surf Avenue and Sea Breeze Avenue. * Century Playground, located on the site of former summer bungalows near PS 370, was built in the late 1960s and renovated in 2012. * Grady Playground, located on an irregular area between Shore Parkway, Brighton 3rd Street, and Brighton 4th Street. It contains baseball fields, basketball courts, handball courts, playgrounds, and water spray showers. * A traffic island at Brighton 14th Street, Corbin Place, and Ocean View Avenue was dedicated as Babi Yar Triangle in 1981, in honor of the victims of the
Babi Yar Babi Yar ( uk, Бабин Яр, ''Babyn Yar'' or ''Babin Yar''; russian: Бабий Яр, ''Babiy Yar'') is a ravine A ravine is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary ...
massacre, and renovated in 1988.


Transportation

The
New York City Subway The New York City Subway is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn Rapid transit in Germany consists of four U-Bahn systems and fourteen S-Bahn systems. The U- ...

New York City Subway
serves the neighborhood at the
Brighton Beach Brighton Beach is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone ...
() and Ocean Parkway () stations. Both are located on the elevated Brighton Line structure over Brighton Beach Avenue. Buses serving Brighton Beach include the .


Education


Schools

Brighton Beach is served by the
New York City Department of Education The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is the department of the government of New York City A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Ar ...
. Primary and middle schools within Brighton Beach include P.S. 225 The Eileen E. Zaglin School for grades K-8, and P.S. 253 the Ezra Jack Keats International School. In 1983, the Community School District 21 operated PS 225, PS 253, and Junior High School 302. During that year, over 62% of its students read at or above their grade level, far above the national average. PS 100, The Coney Island School for grades K-5 and 303 Herbert S. Eisenberg are both located nearby in Coney Island. William E. Grady CTE High School, a
vocational school A vocational school is a type of educational institution, which, depending on the country, may refer to either secondary Secondary is an adjective meaning "second" or "second hand". It may refer to: * Secondary (chemistry), term used in org ...
, is located in Brighton Beach. Abraham Lincoln High School, an academic high school, is in Coney Island. In 1983 Lincoln was the zoned academic high school of Brighton Beach. Other nearby high schools include the Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies and The Leon M. Goldstein High School for the Sciences.


Library

The
Brooklyn Public Library The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is the public library system of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is the sixteenth largest public library system in the United States by holding and the seventh by number of visitors. Like the two Brookl ...

Brooklyn Public Library
's Brighton Beach branch is located at 16 Brighton First Road, near Brighton Beach Avenue. The branch contains a large collection of media in Russian. The branch opened in December 1949, but due to high patronage, moved to its current location in 1964. The branch was renovated in the early 1990s.


In popular culture

The neighborhood has been mentioned or appears many times in popular culture: * Films: ** Brighton Beach is featured in the Russian spy-comedy film ''
Weather Is Good on Deribasovskaya, It Rains Again on Brighton Beach Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the planet's atmosp ...
'' (1992). ** The film '' Little Odessa'' (1994) is set in Brighton Beach. ** In the film ''
Maximum Risk ''Maximum Risk'' is a 1996 American action film, action thriller film directed by Hong Kong director Ringo Lam in his American directorial debut, and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Natasha Henstridge. The film was released in the United State ...
'' (1996), starring
Jean-Claude Van Damme Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (, ; born 18 October 1960), known professionally as Jean-Claude Van Damme (, ), is a Belgian actor, martial artist, filmmaker, and fight choreographer. Born and raised in Brussels, Belgium, at the ag ...
, the main character faces off against the Russian Mob in Brighton Beach. ** The film ''
Requiem for a Dream ''Requiem for a Dream'' is a 2000 American psychological drama In literature, psychological fiction (also psychological realism) is a narrative genre that emphasizes interior characterization Characterization or characterisation is the repres ...
'' (2000) is largely set in Brighton Beach. ** In the film '' Two Lovers'' (2008), the action takes place in Brighton Beach. ** Brighton Beach is featured in the 2005 drama ''
Lord of War ''Lord of War'' is a 2005 American crime drama film written, produced, and directed by Andrew Niccol, and co-produced by and starring Nicolas Cage. The film was released in the United States on September 16, 2005, to positive reviews and grosse ...
'' starring
Nicolas Cage Nicolas Kim Coppola (born January 7, 1964), known professionally as Nicolas Cage, is an American actor and filmmaker. Born into the Coppola family, Cage is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award The Academy A ...
, where the protagonist and his family immigrated to from Ukraine in order to escape the Soviet Union. * Literature: ** In Robin Cook (novelist), Robin Cook's novel ''Vector (novel), Vector'' (2000), disillusioned former Russian biochemical worker Yuri Davydov develops weapons-grade anthrax in the basement of his Brighton Beach home. **Hubert Selby's novel ''Requiem for a Dream (novel), Requiem for a Dream'' is set in Brighton Beach during the 1970s. **"B for Brighton Beach" Mikhail Salita **"Princess of Brighton" (Russian edition) Mikhail Salita * Plays: **Neil Simon's play ''Brighton Beach Memoirs'' (1983), which won two Tony awards in 1983, as well as its Brighton Beach Memoirs (film), 1986 film adaptation, are both set against the backdrop of Brighton Beach during the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, in 1937. * Television: ** A Lifetime reality TV show called ''Russian Dolls (U.S. TV series), Russian Dolls'', documenting the lives of young Russian-Americans and a group of Brighton Beach housewives spending time in a popular Russian nightclub, Rasputin Restaurant, premiered August 11, 2011. * Video Games: ** A fictionalized version of Brighton Beach, known as Hove Beach, is a neighborhood in the 2008 video game ''Grand Theft Auto IV''.


Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Brighton Beach include: *
Marat Balagula Marat Yakovlevich Balagula (russian: Мара́т Я́ковлевич Балагула; 8 September 1943 – 19 December 2019) was a Russian-American former gas station owner and associate of the Lucchese crime family and Colombo crime family. ...
(1943-2019), neighborhood mob boss during the 1980s * Herbert Berman (1933–2014), politician who served on the
New York City Council The New York City Council is the lawmaking Lawmaking is the process of crafting legislation. In its purest sense, it is the basis of governance. This form of law making is also applied in India. It is a process which works in India on the bas ...

New York City Council
. * Gail Brodsky (born 1991), professional tennis player * Adele Cohen (born 1942), member of the
New York State Assembly The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature and the New York State Senate being the upper house. There are 150 seats in the Assembly. Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits in the United St ...

New York State Assembly
, representing the 46th district, from to 1998 to 2006 * Eddie Daniels (born 1941), clarinettist and saxophonist * Neil Diamond (born 1941), songwriter, musician artist grew up in Brighton Beach * Jane Freilicher (1924–2014), representational painter of urban and country scenes * Howard Greenfield (1936–1986), songwriter * Alfred Harvey (1913–1994), founder of Harvey Comics * David Hollander (rabbi), David B. Hollander (1913–2009), longest active pulpit rabbi in America *
Vyacheslav Ivankov Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov (russian: Вячесла́в Кири́ллович Иванько́в) (January 2, 1940 – October 9, 2009) was a notorious Russian mafia boss and thief in law who was believed to have connections with Russian stat ...
(1940–2009), alleged crime boss * Jack Kirby (1917–1994), comic book artist, co-creator of Captain America during the early 1940s and the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and The Incredible Hulk, Incredible Hulk in the 1960s * Sergei Kobozev (1964–1995), Russian boxer * Arthur Miller (1915–2005), writer * Lea Bayers Rapp (born 1946), author, journalist, playwright * Vladimir Reznikov, Russian-American hitman, murdered outside of the infamous Odessa Restaurant in 1986. * Lynn Ross (stage name), dancer in the original 1957 Broadway production of ''West Side Story (musical), West Side Story'' * Gene Russianoff, chief spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, a public transport advocacy group that focuses primarily on subway and bus services run by New York City Transit. * Neil Sedaka (born 1939), songwriter * Seymour Siwoff (1920–2019, president and chief executive of the Elias Sports Bureau for seven decades * Boris Thomashefsky (1866–1939), Ukrainian-born Jewish singer and actor who became one of the biggest stars in Yiddish theatre. * Willi Tokarev (1934–2019), Russian-American singer and songwriter * The Tokens, vocal group formed in 1955 at Abraham Lincoln High School * Jerry Wurf, (1919–1981) labor leader and president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) from 1964 to 1981.William Serrin, Serrin, William
"A Leader For The Little Guy"
''The New York Times'', September 12, 1982. Accessed September 3, 2019. "Jerry Wurf was one of the most remarkable union men of this century. Born in New York City in 1919 to immigrant parents from Austria and Hungary, he was stricken with polio when he was 4 years old, spent much of his youth in a wheelchair and always walked with a limp. The family settled in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn where the bookish boy came into early contact with the politically militant left-wing groups of the Depression Era, including the Young People's Socialist League, in which he was active before the war."


See also

* Jackson–Vanik amendment * Russian diaspora


References


Further reading


Coney Island History: The Rise and Fall of Engeman's Brighton Beach Resort
at Heart of Coney Island * *


External links

* *
Live camera in Brighton Beach
{{Authority control Brighton Beach, Beaches of Brooklyn Central Asian American culture in New York (state) Jewish communities in the United States Neighborhoods in Brooklyn Populated coastal places in New York (state) Populated places established in 1868 Russian communities in the United States Russian-American culture in New York City Russian-Jewish culture in New York City Ukrainian communities in the United States Ukrainian-Jewish culture in New York City Uzbekistani-American culture