Brighton Beach (27 pics)
Brighton Beach was dubbed "Little Odessa" by the local populace long ago, due to many of its residents having come from Odessa, a city of Ukraine. In 2006, Alec Brook-Krasny was elected for the 46th District of the New York State Assembly, the first elected Soviet-born Jewish politician from Brighton Beach.
Brighton Beach is home to many other ethnic groups. On Brighton 7th Street and Neptune Avenue, there is a mosque where Muslims (mostly from Pakistan and Bangladesh) pray, and another between Brighton 8th Street and Banner Avenue known as Al-Arqam. Nearby areas are sometimes called "Pakistani Brighton". There are numerous Polish, Russian, Armenian, Turkish and Georgian residents, but relatively few Italian-Americans or African-Americans remaining. There are also some Korean markets, but for the most part their owners do not reside in the neighborhood. Notable past residents include talk-show host Larry King and current General Bancorp President Adnan Mohammad.
Brighton Beach is replete with restaurants, food stores, cafes, boutiques, banks, etc., located primarily along Brighton Beach Avenue and its cross streets. The neighborhood has a distinctively ethnic feel, akin to Manhattan's Chinatown. The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city's beaches (Brighton Beach Avenue runs parallel to the Coney Island beach area and the Boardwalk) and the fact that the neighborhood is directly served by the Brighton Beach Avenue subway station, makes it a popular summer weekend destination for thousands of New York City residents.