Brighton Beach Memoirs A Little Bit of Borscht & Blinis in Brooklyn

 You’ll find knishes, borscht, blinis, loads of shops, bakeries, fruits and  vegetables, black market caviar and of course, vodka, along Brighton Beach  Avenue, the neighborhood’s main artery that caters to a thriving Russian community. Day trippers from the  five boroughs also make the trek (especially during the summer months) to this  Brooklyn neighborhood along the Atlantic Ocean and nearby Coney Island’s amusement park.  

 Brighton Beach is bounded by Coney Island at Ocean Parkway to the west,  Manhattan Beach at Corbin Place to the east, Gravesend at the Belt Parkway to  the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.  

 Early History

 Brighton Beach was founded by real estate developer William A. Engeman and named  by Henry C. Murphy along with a group of entrepreneurs in an 1878 contest. The name was chosen because it evoked the memories of the English resort  Brighton.  

 The center of Brighton Beach was Hotel Brighton, located at what now is the foot  of Coney Island Avenue that was owned by Engeman. The hotel was popular with  Manhattanites because it was easily reached from New York City via the Brooklyn  Flatbush and Coney Island Railway, and distant enough to suggest a vacation.  

 The following year, The Brighton Beach Race Course opened next to the hotel and  was headed by Engeman and the Brighton Beach Racing Association. The one-mile  track was a smash hit with wealthy New Yorkers. A few of the track’s major events were the Brighton Derby for three-year olds and the Brighton  Handicap that was open to older horses.  


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