For those of you who may not know, Brighton Beach is on the opposite end of the boardwalk from Coney Island. It is about a half mile walk and the New York Aquarium is right in the middle. The New York Aquarium is where The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I met up with our friends Kathy and Frank. We got off the subway one stop before Coney Island and walked across a pedestrian walkway to the boardwalk. Great view of the iconic Cyclone, still one of the best bang-for-the-buck will this thing last through my ride thrills in any amusement park.
Luckily The Cyclone has been landmarked so it will survive whatever makeover the rest of Coney Island may undergo. I sure wish they would landmark Ruby's Bar And Grill.
Brighton Beach is also known as Little Odessa because of the large number of people living there that came from Odessa, a major seaport on the Black Sea in the south of Ukraine. Strangely enough, the name Brighton Beach was chosen because the area was going to resemble Brighton, a popular town in England known for its seafront bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades.
If you ever get to New York, Brighton Beach is definitly one of those "must see" places. It is a close as you will ever get to visiting any of what was once the Soviet Union without actually going there. You will hear more Russian spoken on the streets than English.
Our initial reason for heading there this time was a street fair. For some reason I kind of thought a street fair in Brighton Beach would have a bit of an ethnic flavor, but I was mistaken. Like so many street fairs in New York now, they are all pretty generic. Same food, same merchandise, no longer much that is unique. Oh, except for the Atlantic Antic Street Fair, that is my favorite.
Same Old, Same Old
Well one thing they had, a booth where you could buy those ShamWows that you see advertised on television all the time. Interestingly, I had just bought some the other day and Frank was excited to have a chance to buy one as well. Must be a guy thing.
Wow, My ShamWow
I hope he didn't get an imitation, Vince warns you about them.
We didn't nibble at the street fair but headed to one of the several restaurants right on the boardwalk. I have eaten at all of them over the years and they are all good. We decided on Tatiana today, for no particular reason.
Tatiana On The Sea
When the weather is nice, as it was on this day, there is no better place to sit and have a beer or two and some really excellent food. We weren't particularly hungry so we shared some mussels, two styles, and some little cheese filled perogis that were more like ravioli.
Mussels With Ginger And Who Knows What
These were just delicious, and the sauce was great for sopping up with the heavy bread that came with it. Everything here is really good, but if I was in the mood for more food their fish dishes are excellent. Some of the best you will find anywhere. Interesting plates of cold dishes as well and of course borscht that is dynamite. A Russian friend of mine raves about the potatoes and mushrooms, and they have three different versions of this dish.
And, of course, big bottles of ice-cold Russian beer. In this case a Baltika No. 3.
A Cold One Is Better Than A Cold War
My friends Kathy and Frank shared my opinons all the way.
Oh, and did I mention that the view of the beach is fantastic. I decided to take an "artistic" picture that got both me and the beach reflected in a window in the back wall of the restaurant.
Just Too Cool
And The Mysterious Chinese Woman managed to get a picture of me getting a picture of me.
The Shooter Gets Shot
During our stay both The Mysterious Chinese Woman and Kathy visited the ladies room and they both, independendly said it must be seen to be believed. I am not sure what that meant because they wouldn't tell me. The men's room wasn't anything special so I was a bit disappointed by that. There was a neat statue on the way though.
Must Have Been A Hell Of A Party
Tatina also has a nightclub and if you haven't been to a Russian nightclub you don't know what you are missing. More food and vodka than you can imagine. The last time I went the action didn't get started until about 10:00 PM and we didn't roll out of there until daylight was breaking. Think a better than average Las Vegas lounge show and you will have an idea of what the entertainment is like.
Of course there is also free entertainment on the beach.
Is He Holding A "Tight-Rope-Walking For Dummies" Book?
I am certainly going to try to get here again while the weather is still nice and I will post more about the food they have. It will have to be later in the day though when I have more of an appetite, and thirst.
After we ate we did a little grocery shopping, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.