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Trip List by on_the_Bummel

Brighton Beach Day Trip

Aug 12, 2007  New Yorker Exploring New York''s Changing/Changed Areas
0.0 of 5 stars based on 0 votes

Some tips, logistical oand other, for a visit.

  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Families with small children, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Parking in Brighton Beach

    There is a Municipal Lot at Brighton 2nd St at the Boardwalk, just south of Brighton Beach Avenue at $1.50/hr in 10 minute increments with a five hour limit. The fees run till midnight daily but with Sundays free. Caution: a big part of the Municipal lot is restricted to permit holders so be sure to park in sections where signs clearly show hourly rates. Therefore what may seem like a bunch of open parking spots may actually be off limits.

    Buy a parking ticket from one of the many machines and place it on the driver's side of the dashboard. The ticket machines take quarters, dollar coins, and major credit cards.

    As you might expect, there may be a some times when spaces are hard to come by. Sundays are free at the meters all over the neighborhood, too, which may ease the strain.

  • 2. Eating at Brighton Beach

    One of the reasons to visit Brighton Beach is to experience the Russian ex-pat culture and food is one aspect of it. Alas, the quality varies especially if one is not a Russian speaker and able to navigate the menus. You may or may not get much help from the servers.

    There are a group of restaurants on the Boardwalk between Brighton 4th and Brighton 6th streets with outside dining that gives a wonderful view to people watch and enjoy the sea breezes. That's the only reason to patronize them. I wouldn't recommend the Cafe Volna (Brighton 4th St) primarily because of the awful service. The food may hit the mark at the Volna (as in cold dishes and salads) and vary on the prepared dishes. The adjacent competition may be better.

    Expect to pay at least $25-40/pp before tax & tip and watch out for the hidden service charge tucked in on the check. Ask if it's there and reduce your tip accordingly.

    As a less expensive dining option, try the large deli/market/cafe M&I International at 249 Brighton Beach Ave. Upstairs is a cafeteria to dine in as well as a fancy pastry bakery. Plenty of cooked foods, salads, baked goods, and a huge variety of sausages at the ground floor stalls to take out and eat on a bench at the Boardwalk a block away. In the back of M&I's ground floor are lots of prepared foods of all kinds. M&I is very big so look it over before you make your selections.

    There may be some language issues if you don't speak Russian but keep trying till you get what you want.

  • 3. Service for the Tourist in Brighton Beach: Welcome Back to the Soviet Era

    Service all over BB sometimes seems like a holdover from the Soviet era--rude, indifferent, unhelpful, and sometime hostile. This is not universal but it is hit or miss and hits too many times. If it doesn't get too much in your way, you may later laugh it off as part of the ambiance. Remember, in general what you want may be available at a competitor so vote with your wallet and your feet.