For other uses see Brighton Beach (disambiguation).
Brighton Beach is bounded by Coney Island at Ocean Parkway to the west, affluent 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). It is patrolled by the NYPD's 60th Precinct.
Brighton Beach, like all of New York City, is served by the New York City Department of Education. Affluent Manhattan Beach, New York is zoned to PS 225 The Eileen E. Zaglin School for grades K-8, as well as PS 100 The Coney Island School located on Brighton Beach and West 3rd for grades K-5 and P.S. 253 The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities.
Nearby high schools include:
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 1950s brought with it a neighborhood consisting mostly of second generation Americans, born of concentration camp survivors who had lost their husbands, wives and some of their children. Everywhere were the signs of the refugees who had fled, with numbers on their forearms, making their home in a small and welcoming area near Coney Island. That generation brought forth a well educated and industrious group of baby boomers, born into freedom and knowing of oppression and extreme antisemitism only from their parents' memories. These were the years filled with the odd and quirky stores that so embellished the little neighborhood seaside resort.
There was, for example, the "Forty Thieves" store, so dubbed because the owners were not quite honest. Other notable locations included Mrs. Stahl's, a knish establishment acclaimed as having the best kasha and cherry cheese knishes, as well as Diamond's, a small clothing store owned by Neil Diamond's parents. Other notable restaurants were Irving's Deli and the New Deal Chinese restaurant. The summer would bring with it a host of travelling subway riders, determined to find the best treats that Brighton Beach could provide on their way to the Coney Island beaches.
Today, the area has a large community of Jewish immigrants who left the Former Soviet Union between 1970 and the present day. However, living in the Soviet Union during its last decades made them, in many ways, culturally distinct from the Jewish immigrants that moved to the neighborhood decades earlier. 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. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many non-Jewish immigrants, like Georgians, also settled in Brighton Beach and the surrounding neighborhoods, taking advantage of the already established Russian-speaking community.
Brighton Beach was dubbed "Little Odessa" by the local populace long ago, due to many of its residents having come from Odessa, a city of Ukraine. In 2006, Alec Brook-Krasny was elected for the 46th District of the New York State Assembly, the first elected Soviet-born Jewish politician from Brighton Beach.
Brighton Beach is home to many other ethnic groups. On Brighton 7th Street and Neptune Avenue, there is a mosque where Muslims (mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh) pray, and another between Brighton 8th Street and Banner Avenue known as Al-Arqam. Nearby areas are sometimes called "Pakistani Brighton". There are numerous Polish, Russian, Turkish 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., located primarily along Brighton Beach Avenue and its cross streets. The neighborhood has a distinctively ethnic feel - akin to Manhattan's Chinatown. The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city's beaches (Brighton Beach Avenue runs parallel to the Coney Island beach area and the Boardwalk) and the fact that the neighborhood is directly served by the Brighton Beach Avenue subway station, makes it a popular summer weekend destination for thousands of New York City residents.
Major roadways in Brighton Beach are the Belt Parkway, Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway.
The Brighton Beach and Ocean Parkway stations of the New York City Subway serve the neighborhood. Both stations are located on an elevated structure over Brighton Beach Avenue. Trains are the Q for local service and the B for weekday express service. If the first phase of the Second Avenue subway is completed, the Q train service will be extended up the east side of Manhattan.