Sunday

Coney Island and Brighton Beach

video

How much further to Coney Island? It took an hour to reach Stillwell, the last stop on the D line from Midtown Manhattan but when I exited, I found myself directly in front of Coney Island's Nathan's Famous hot dog shop. The order lines are ridiculously long but, I had to have a dog with onions and sauerkraut, fries and a coke. Then, a stroll down the boardwalk on the beach showed tons of people frolicking in the sand and sea. It was GREAT!
Then, you find yourself at what's left of Astroland, where there are many kiddie rides and kiosks where you can win a “big ass prize” or "shoot the freak". Also remaining is the ferris wheel and the famous Cyclone. America's best old wooden roller coaster that still brings thrills. An hour into my fun it began to rain; so, I sought shelter at Ruby's Bar and Grill on the boardwalk, where the beer was cold and I was entertained by the jutbox and a dancing gypsy woman serenading a ray of sunlight. It worked, the rain stopped!
Afterwards, a ten minute walk down the boardwalk and I arrived at Brighton Beach, a Russian neighborhood known as Little Odessa. This place is like traveling back to 1986. Briefs style swimsuits on volleyball playing men, Russian rap, and “fancy” restaurants that cover their tables and chairs in white linens and colorful bows. Tatiana, the well known Russian restaurant on the boardwalk was my restaurant of choice, we drank wodka and tried the bland borsch, but never got to have dinner since words were exchanged with the arrogant, dismissive, eye rolling waiter, that when asked what he recommended answered, “order what you know, this is not a Russian restaurant” and “I don't see very well, I couldn't tell you what they are having at the next table” and shushed us when the conversation got heated. I wasn't surprised, I've been to Russia. Nevertheless, it was a great day!

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