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Friday, December 11, 2009

Brighton Beach -- Little Russia by the sea

"Bored To Death" was a new comedy series aired on HBO this past September. The first season has already ended, but you should be able to watch it on HBO on demand.

The show was about a 30 years old Brooklyn writer, Jonathan Ames,  who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective as he struggles to write his second novel. The show told stories about his life and the cases he took on.

One of the elements that I enjoyed about the show was that the stage was mostly set in Brooklyn. In one of the episodes, the story took him to the biggest Russian community in New York City, Brighton Beach.

Again, I was intrigued after watching the show and decided to check out Brighton Beach at some point.
On a warm November Saturday during my mother-in-law's visit, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to drive out to Brighton Beach.

Though just a short drive or subway ride away from Manhattan, Brighton Beach felt like a different world.  People looked different, dressed different, and spoke in a foreign language that I did not understand. The elevated train track was the only reminder that I was still in New York City.

Brighton Beach Avenue is like Canal street in Chinatown.
It's where all the shops, crowds, and traffics are. 

From Brighton Beach Avenue, it is a five minutes walk through some apartment complexes to the beach.

It was a warm November day, and we had a nice stroll down the boardwalk watching the sunset.
Some people were out jogging, bicycling, or walking their dogs.
Many old people bundled up and sat by the apartment complexes chatting with their friends and neighbors.

The beach was low-key, calm, clean, and relaxed when we visited.
I wondered if it gets as insane as it's neighbor beach, Coney Island, in the summer time.

On our way back, I checked out two Russian supermarkets on Brighton Beach Avenue.
The first one was M & I International Food at 615 Brighton Beach Avenue. 

The second one was Brighton Bazaar at 1007 Brighton Beach Avenue.
All the food looked fascinating even though I had no clue what most of them were.  

We bought some smoked mackerel home.

We also bought two expensive cakes.
 The bottom two on this picture, the orange cream & chocolate cream cakes.
They were rich, decadent, and super delicious!

I heard that Russian sweet whipped butter was tasty & creamy, and decided to try one.
The butter was made in PA, but I like it a lot and have been using it for breakfast in the  morning.

The whole Brighton Beach experience was very enjoyable and surprisingly fun.
It was a quick getaway without having to leave New York.
I definitely want to come back here again and try some Russian food next time.

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