Before Memorial Day, the beaches are still possible. I hadn’t been to Brighton Beach before, so grabbed the opportunity to check out the densely-Russian-populated neighborhood in Brooklyn.
We stopped at La Brioche, which would seem to be French, but was full of interesting pastries of Eastern Europe origin. I got a cheese filled thing and a pistachio cookie. Very tasty and definitely worth the stop. Once my handful of pastries was weighed, I owed a dollar. Now that’s a bargain.
After a walk on the Boardwalk, we stopped at Tatiana’s to eat. It’s right there, which is what makes it worth it, as I found the food too salty. Never one to ignore kitsch, I just had to show you this gal pointing to the Tatiana’s restroom. So chic.
We poked in a few stores, and there was kitsch galore. Lots of nesting dolls, although even I couldn’t resist this one, with its bottle of vodka hidden inside, for $7. Now what do I do with that vodka?
I also thought this chess set was funny. Hand painted in Russia, it features the U.S. presidents on one side (see if you can identify them all) and the Russian presidents on the other. A perfect Cold War emblem, bringing back all those memories of the Spassky-Fischer matches.
The walk from Brighton to Coney on the boardwalk only takes 10 to 15 minutes, and although the day was gray, the temperature was perfect. I enjoyed the stretch between the two hubs, where things were a bit quieter.
A quick stop to the New York Aquarium was in order. A lot of it was under construction, but I still was mesmerized by the fish, got a jolt of energy from the joy the children took from the place, and laughed at the sheer cuteness of the otters.
I’ve decided Coney is wonderful anytime. I’ve captured it before mid-winter when it was empty and a bit eerie, in a compelling way.
Today, I just enjoyed people, kite, and mango watching.
I watched this woman make her mango flowers for quite awhile. She sold them just about as fast as she could make them, but for one moment, she had a small collection. You can see how she displays them on her cart.
She was lovely about allowing me to film her carving the fruit. She is a sculptor, for sure!
A day at the beach is a timeless thing in many ways. It makes my heart happy.