Brighton Beach Part Two

In my previous Brighton Beach post I talked about our Russian lunch at Tatiana and shared the sunny beach snaps. Here’s how we continued our “Little Odessa” adventure by going deep into the crowded, noisy and bazaarlike Brighton Beach Avenue.

В продолжение предыдущей записи про русский район Брайтон Бич хочется просто поделиться фотографиями из жизни Brighton Beach Avenue – главной торговой и коммерческой улицы, пролегающей под эстакадой метро. Там есть всё: пирожки с малиной и маком, дублёнки и шубы, буфетчицы в кружевных фартуках и головных уборах, Комсомольская Правда и Аргументы и Факты, гжель и хохлома, птичье молоко и шашлыки… и всё это в Нью-Йорке! Фотографии лучше меня всё расскажут: // Brighton Beach Station

Newspapers, signs, books, labels, ads – everything was in Russian or at some stage of transliteration.

Brighton Beach newspapersBrighton Beach Kalinka Gifts

We went to a few souvenir shops, including the famous (for the area) “Saint-Petersburg book store,” where we browsed through rows of Khokhloma, Gzhel and Zhostovo kitchen beauties, and got a good dose of folk nostalgia.

Brighton AptekaBrighton Beach MosvideofilmBrighton Beach Pies

I loved this lady selling Russian pies on the street. She was so nice, cheerful and just overall beaming with warmth, not to mention the pies were excellent!  We picked up some poppyseed rolls for the trip home and split an egg and green onion pirozhok that the lady heated up for us. Check out my green onion and egg pirozhki recipe to see what they look like and why Ben loves them so much.

Brighton Beach Russian pies
Brighton Beach Russian grocery store

For me, food is one of the best kinds of souvenirs, and we saved the best for the last: a big grocery store!  It had any kind of food or drink I could possibly miss, as well as some that I’ve never even seen. We came home with salted herring, “Alyonka” chocolate, dulce de leche cakes, farmers’ cheese, lingonberry & wild strawberry juice, and more. This final stop and the sunny beach really made the trip worthwhile!

Every time I cook and eat something from our trip down to Brighton Beach, I catch myself remembering it as “when we last went to Russia,” but I have to stop myself and realize that it was actually just an hour’s ride away!  This past week, some of our herring went into “Seledka pod shuboi” salad and some was eaten as a side to mashed potatoes with dill.  A couple of weeks ago, we used our farmers’ cheese in “syrniki”, and I experimented with using dried cranberries in them instead of raisins, and loved it!

Brighton Beach Russian cakesBrighton Beach AvenueBrighton Beach street shop

I don’t know when we’ll be back to Brighton Beach again.  Even though it’s not as far as Russia, it’s still pretty far from our house and there is so much more we need to explore in New York.  I also want to research other Russian grocery stores in the city and maybe online shops, too (I’ll make sure to post about it.)  One thing I know for sure: when we do visit again, we’ll go to more cafes, eat more pirozhki and buy more “souvenirs” to prepare at home!