Southern Brooklyn

Brighton Beach: Come For The Sun, Flee From The Speedos


Brighton Beach’s Bureau of Tourism* recently commissioned its award-winning marketing team to create a documentary on the wonders that are Brighton Beach.  Experience the beach, the sun, the ill fitting speedos, and the worldly shopping choices of “Little Russia by the Sea.”

Don’t take our word for it, here is what the video’s creator has to say:

This is the Brighton Beach neighborhood, one block from the beach, its not that beautiful, but its pretty beautiful, its not Manhattan, but 6 months out of the year, these people are leaving in a very nice little paradise.

That’s right, it sure ain’t Manhattan. Just watch out for the Mexican gangs.

* There is no such thing as the Brighton Beach Bureau of Tourism.

Comment policy


  1. Isn’t it amazing what welfare and social security does…..”leaving in a paradise” at our expense…..America….what a great country…..furs and food stamps……Amazing…..

  2. Ignorant comment.  First of all, “social security” is something you get when you retire (meaning you worked and paid taxes).  Your ignorance is shown by lack of such knowledge, so you probably meant SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Now, if you look at statistics, “Russian speaking” immigrants comprise a tiny fraction of welfare recipients.  Stop by the W22 HRA office and you will see what “cultures” are really there.  
    There are welfare/SSI Russian speaking recipients (as there are from any culture), but the majority of Russian speaking community are well educated career oriented individuals who just happen to earn on average higher wages then local “non Russian” residences.  
    Personally, I do not appreciate being generalized to any group as I’m proudly Russian and pay about 40K a year in TAXES, which is about average NY income.  So my “input” into this country’s financial future is much greater then of an average “American”. Especially ignorant as you are…

  3. The video is of bad quality and very unprofessional.  Even an amateur can take a less shaky video with less blurry and overexposed images.  

  4. Which part of Social Security provides one with furs and which one provides a paradise?

    – Federal Old-Age (Retirement), Survivors, and Disability Insurance
    – Unemployment benefits
    – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    – Health Insurance for Aged and Disabled (Medicare)
    – Grants to States for Medical Assistance Programs (Medicaid)
    – State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
    – Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    On a second thought, I know who can help you qualify for SSI:
    1. See one of the recently mentioned here Mexican gangs;
    2. Yell something like “hijos de puta!” at them;
    3. Have them cut off both of your legs (one is not enough);
    4. Apply for disability through the Social Security Administration;
    5. Hire an attorney and go to court for several years;
    6. Profit!


    OMG – Speedo’s for fat men and plus size bikinis should be outlawed.  People who wear these types of bathing suits should be arrested, or at least presented with full length mirrors.  A perfectly good video was ruined with ugly!

  6. “Brighton Beach’s Bureau of Tourism* recently commissioned its award-winning marketing team to create a documentary on the wonders that are Brighton Beach”.
    Who are you kidding? Really…take this offline.

  7. Well, Mr. Inchdick, then it must be the same tiny fraction I see in stop N shop every single day, 10 in line, and I am the only one speaking English or paying with cash. The rest are stuffing 3 shopping carts and paying with WIC checks and EBT cards, while texting on $500 Iphones, and loading those government paid groceries into a fully loaded 2012 Lexus SUV. BTW every single one speaks nothing but Russian. 

  8. Wow!  90% of Stop and Shop shoppers are using WIC and/or EBT, every single day!!!

    Might be worth mentioning that 42% of all statistics are pulled out of one’s ass…  Care to submit a video, or some photos, perhaps?

  9. Additionally, these Russians and many other non americans are receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits without having to ever pay into the system. People like you (so you say) and I pay. 

  10. How?!  Please enlighten us on the procedure to get Social Security (not SSI) without years of paying Social Security taxes.  I would sure like to get on the gravy train!

  11. I think its nice that this guy came to Brighton Beach with his girlfriend and filmed a memory.  I wish he would have kept the camera more steady and didn’t move that camera so fast.  Leave the Speedo for the younger guys although he was im pretty good shape.  Hey I award the effort

  12. That’s not how taxes work. We have a progressive tax so you pay the rate up until a certain amount, and then the next rate on the next amount.

    e.g. for 150k for married filing jointly (and not counting tax credits for dependents and all that other fun stuff):

    which is


    which is


    19.8% effective tax rate, not 28%.

  13. You are correct.  My bad.  I have amended my original reply, but the point remains valid – just with a slightly higher income amount.

  14. Could be much worse – the super-sized…er…”women” could’ve been wearing the Speedos.

    Now THAT would have certainly made for an interesting “Russian Dolls” episode!

  15. Go into Netcost. You refuse to believe it because it doesn’t fit your preset opinion. Just go into Netcost. I didn’t believe it myself till my mom dragged me in, then I began shopping for fruit on Brighton. I have nothing against the Russians. Heck, they saved the neighborhood. But what you see is what you see.

        You’ll call my statement anecdotal. I call yours anti-confirmation bias. If you saw 100 in a row pay with the food card, you still wouldn’t believe it.

        As Adlai Stevenson said “here are the conclusions on which I base my facts”.

  16. I think the video is kind of condescending and not flattering of Brighton Beach at all. Why focus on a man wearing a Speedo who is a bit out of shape, for so long. How about showing the very many beautiful young ladies? Or even the men? Heck, never mind young, there’s loads of Russians older than me in fantastic shape, mean and ladies.

       How about showing  the freaking lady who must be 70 years old, who is daily doing crunches by hanging herself over a bench?

       He didn’t show how beautiful  the beach and boardwalk scenery really is. Guess he didn’t want to.

       And the article comment about “watching out for Mexican gangs” can be done without. Buddy, watch out for the millions of pickpockets in Manhattan. How’s that. I’m just being fair.

  17. In other countries, I guess it’s not frowned upon. Guess our way is not the only way. Personally, I’d like to see a nude beach somewhere in Coney Island, then have Sheepshead Bites announce “A Day Without Clothes” (food included)

  18. As Professor  Marcello Truzzi said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”

    The original poster claimed that 9 out of every 10 S&S shoppers is a Russian paying with a WIC or EBT.  This claim needs rather substantial proof.

    I don’t have either WIC or EBT, so I shop at Cherry Hill and Trader Joe’s (in Queens).  I have not seen even one WIC or EBT payer in either place (Russian or otherwise).  So yes, I see what I see.

  19. Oh, I was correcting you to reinforce your point, not undermine it. I don’t think people realize how much money you have to earn to even pay 40k and the demographics for SHB and the surrounding areas, excluding maybe some well off residents of Manhattan Beach, certainly don’t earn that much.

  20. Why did you even put it in. I walk on Brighton Beach every day-work there. What Russian only Russian signes? What kind of language, different people: immigrant and fruit stands.
    It is not about Beighton, It is about bad taste. Look for better stories, please

  21. Lev please explain something to me. If an elderly person moves here from outside America what happens to the monies in taxes they paid to the homeland for most of their lives? 
    Not to sound like a put down in any way, it is what it is. But I think the homeland somehow should have to cover at least part of the health costs that are accrued as one grows older. Maybe I am not understanding this process and missing a fact or two. “Sometimes” I do that. LOL

  22. When an elderly person moves here from another country, like my in-laws did a few years ago, they go directly on Medicaid and get all the healthcare they will ever need. The doctors they go to will trip over themselves ordering tests and sending black cars to pick them up so they don’t miss their appointments. They will even call the night before to make sure they come in. Since my in-laws don’t pay a cent they don’t question anything.  They contribute nothing. There is no cost on their part. My sister’s husband is now unemployed and has been scrambling for the last year to find something full time. He has no health insurance. 

  23. I was hoping I missed something. Thanks for the explanation, doesn’t make me happy but helps me figure how we got where we are. The homeland should have to forfeit any monies accrued during a persons life time.

  24. Only if the person in question is here legally, such as a refugee.  Most of the Jews from the former Soviet Union (myself included) came here having a “refugee” status.  It (understandably) provides for certain, but not all, benefits – no Social Security, for example; and Medicaid/”food stamps”/TANF criteria still apply (such as family size and income).

    I sense some unresolved family issues in your post…

  25. My understanding is that, similar to U.S. expat laws, if a person retains the citizenship, he or she is still entitled to a pension (as an example).
    The same way, if you move to France but retain U.S. citizenship, you are entitled to Social Security that you have earned.
    However, income from foreign pensions/other benefits is still income and has to be declared in U.S. for tax and Social Security purposes.

  26. One more thing: most of the immigration policy towards Eastern Europe/Soviet Union was created by the God of the Republican Party in the 1980s…
    Why do you hate President Ronald Reagan?

  27. All I know is that the cold war should not have ended…so these refugees would have not become leaches on the working society……

  28. Thanks for misspelling my nick… shows your maturity and give you a lot of “merit”.  I shop in Stop&Shop frequently and I do not see 9 Russian Speaking people out of 10 as you imply.  Actually, majority of consumers in S&S are English speaking, so your statement is faulty from the start.  Now, if you were talking about NetCost for example, then yes, most people there pay with EBT cards.  However, this doesn’t statistically mean that all Russians are with EBT.  It just means that category of people who have EBT, prefer these type of stores (and mostly the people are older generation).  If you want the real demographic, please do go to W22 street HRA office and see who is there inline to get EBT card.  And then judge for yourself.  
    Now, for those who are debating 40K in taxes, correction, last year I paid 38,734$ in taxes to be exact (also don’t forget that tax is paid on investments, realestate, etc… not only your “wages”).

  29. Yes, elderly come here and since can’t work go on Medicaid.  You are correct.  But don’t forget, they are usually “allowed” to come here with family members who are a “younger” generation and who do work and pay taxes, such it is still more beneficial in long term to bring in “younger” smart generation who are willing to work and who will aim to educate their kids and for them to work.  
    Now, as for Medicaid, the entire system is screwed up.  I feel horrible for people who work their entire life here and then end up paying for Medicare and all the extra insurance they have to purchase (I know I will be one of them).  However, % wise, Russian community is a tiny fraction of medicaid recipients.  Again, just go to HRA office and you will see for yourself who is really getting the majority of Medicaid benefits, its those families with 10 kids from 10 different fathers and no job.

  30. Actually, it is the other way around: U.S. policies during Cold War brought them here in the first place!

    “Another inspiration for their conservatism, scholars and political professionals say, is the legacy of President Ronald Reagan.
    Kalman Yeger, a campaign manager for Lewis A. Fidler, a city councilman and Mr. Storobin’s Democratic opponent in the State Senate race, said many Soviet immigrants never lost their gratitude to Reagan for his role in the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union. His 1987 exhortation to Mikhail Gorbachev that he tear down the Berlin Wall still flutters hearts in Brighton Beach.
    “The Republican Party was the party that brought them out of despair,” Mr. Yeger said.”

    So thank Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party for me, would you?

  31. You are so correct.  The sad part is that many people do not understand the difference between various programs and just generalize everything.  And as for getting Disability, it is nearly impossible (unless you start saying you are “mentally disabled”).  

  32. You heard all those stories about “hot Brazilian women”?  Well, few years ago we were at various beaches in Brazil and MOST are “NOT MODELS” and you see size 20 in bikini and topless 🙁  But, they feel confident and comfortable.  Don’t like, don’t look and go somewhere else.  Actually my husband was very disappointed and I was as well as we were looking forward to some Brazilian “model types”

  33. Wow. Unresolved family issues? Really? My in laws are here from Colombia (legally). You can’t see the inequity in providing medical care for people who have contributed nothing to the system? How can you defend that and not get riled up about the whole thing. Yes, the young family member who made the petition to bring over their elderly parents may work and pay taxes but that is for their own retirement. The last time I checked your SSI and medicare taxes were non transferable. A millionaire could bring their grandparents over and they would go on Medicaid. No questions asked. There is no cost sharing. 

  34. Yes, I do think that if the person is here legally, he or she is, at the very least, entitled NOT TO DIE. That’s not too much to ask for the #1 best country in the world, is it?
    Such people do NOT get Social Security, and they can only get SSI is they are disabled (you can get SSI too; please see my advice elsewhere in this thread).
    Write to your Congressperson/Senator in order to effect changes in the immigration policy, such as “family reunification” policies. I am certain your spouse will appreciate your efforts.

  35. In my case, the government of the USSR (after my parents paid a lifetime of taxes).

    In U.S., you, too, can easily get free government paid education:
    1. Enlist in U.S. Army, Navy, etc.;
    2. Fulfill a full contract term (usually includes a couple of tours in Afghanistan or other hellhole of our government’s choosing);
    3. Do not get blown up by an IED;
    4. Get $30,000 for education;
    5. Profit!

  36. Which Native American tribe do you belong to?  Because if “none” – you are “non-American”.  I am reporting you to the HUAC immediately.

  37. Go stand in line in Stop N Shop, then walk to the parking lot and find out for yourself. Not 90% of Stop N Shoppers….90% of the Russians at stop n shop I see in there on line. You sound like one of them though.

  38. Judging by how you defend these people, chances are you already are on the gravy train. Maybe I should move on to the next scam. Russians being given a check to hold “English assimilation” classes through the gov’t. No show job for helping Sputniks with english, which they do not do of course, and people sign off on it so they get paid. Or the fact that Russian false insurance claims in Sheepshead Bay and Brighton has gotten EVERYONE blacklisted on the area from being written a policy, while my rates skyrocketed. If you want proof and facts, go into the Allstate office and ask for yourself. Like always , it is me paying the bill.  Do you want to keep going? 

  39. Da!  I sure sound like one of them, especially on my “$500 Iphone”!  Forget Stop and Shop, I just bought a “fully loaded 2012 Lexus SUV” entirely with food stamps!!!

  40. Judging by how well you seem to know these things, I say you might be the one who is doing all that.
    So by all means, keep going!  I might learn a thing or two.

  41. Chris, I shop at S&S two or three times a week and Russians are only a tiny portion of all customers, so it is no easy to get statistics you give us, unless you stand there for several hours or work there. From my experience mostly seniors or families with little children are paying with EBT cards, regardless of ethnicity.

  42. INCHDIK: What’s ignorant is your statement that S.S. “is something you get when you retire (meaning you worked and paid taxes).” Wrong. A child of 15 can receive benefits. Just one scenario in a plethora of scenarios. But I forgive YOUR ignorance. After all, you’re Russian. Same way I can’t blame a horse for defecating on the street. *** Your quotes around ‘culture’ in your statement “…see what “cultures” are really there.” What do you mean by that? And don’t be shy, my Constitution guarantees your freedom of speech (you’re welcome). *** Big-time pass on this one for arguments sake, but when the “well educated career oriented individuals who just happen to earn on average higher wages then local “non Russian”” drive up in their luxury cars, furs, gaudy jewelry and wads of cash, why is it they prefer to pay with their welfare cards? Better yet, why do they have one in the first place? *** 40K in taxes, and? You make it sound like you’re doing us all a favor. You’re not, it’s the law. Unless you’re GE, Bill Gates paid his taxes. And? I paid my taxes. Big deal. My barista paid her taxes. Whoopee-freakin’-do. You paid your taxes. SO WHAT? *** So you’re “proudly Russian”? Not that proud I guess, you’re in my country. Not that I count you as one of us, but at least try to blow smoke up our keesters by saying “Russian-American” (watch, now every Red will add this from now on) and “my” vs. ”this country’s”. *** Some may wonder WHY I would be biased towards a people who gave us Communism? Who sought to enslave Europe along side Hitler? A people who have a c’est la vie attitude towards oppression in their own homeland and abroad? A people who prefer to fly the Hammer & Sickle (not even their new flag) instead of Old Glory? A people whose DNA is to scam the system, the government, or be looked upon as a “patsy”? Should I continue?

  43. TMAN2A: I go twice a month, maybe. But it seems like it’s “Russian Appreciation Day” every time I go. I’ve tried different days of the week, and except for the staff and a few Americans, it’s like ‘Red Dawn’ in there. I am starting to see a very odd pattern in these posts. In the heavy Russian neighborhoods, we see the Russians. But the Russians seem to be invisible to each other, hm? OH! And most of the Russians pay with their welfare cards.

  44. LEVP: There ARE “Americans” and “Non-Americans”. Let’s put it this way. The Yankees have Derek Jeter, a TRUE Yankee, and just because you might wear the same pinstripes, it doesn’t make you a Yankee. (Speaking of baseball, what’s going on? Lets GO YANKS!)

  45. LEVP: Of course we provided asylum to all those who fled communism. DUH! It was done before, during and after Reagan. But the notion that only one party defeated communism is quite laughable. Before Reagan, it was a Democrat (Kennedy) who stood before the berlin wall against Soviet oppression. After him, both Democrats and Republicans. You and these uneducated Russians have to learn that it was The United States that “…brought them out of despair,” not a Democrat or a Republican. By the way, we don’t want your “thanks”. Yes, In the defense of freedom we sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot. Brighton Beach is proof of that.

  46. Just admit defeat and we can move on….you have been taken to the cleaners by about 10 different posters on this topic. 

  47. Hey, I actually agree with that! Now tell that to the rest of Russian-speaking population here. I want to see this article in NY Times: “Former Soviet Immigrants Shifting Votes To Democrats”…

  48. LEVP: What I meant about “Non-” and  “True” Americans — and it’s my fault for using an American sport in my analogy — is that just because you might have citizenship, it doesn’t make you an American. Just someone with legal status scamming the system. *** I’m pretty sure the indigenous people of this hemisphere would agree that they all had their own “True” identities, none which included the word “American”. *** And there is another segment of our population who are also non-immigrants. Africans who were brought here as slaves. You can make a distinction between the two, yes? ‘Cause there IS a difference.

  49. LEVP: Oh boy, where do I start? First, stop with the Wikipedia thing. Jeez, are you a lazy 6th grader? I’m sure we all know Wikipedia is an “encyclopedia” created and maintained by the general public. You or I could theoretically go in there and create a page full of falsehoods. Find a more CREDIBLE, non-comedic source to back up your statements. Second, the one thing you chose to defend was Hitler & Stalin? What’s even more pathetic is that you’re WRONG. As a “philosopher”, you should know there’s a difference between “sought to enslave…” vs. “fought to enslave…”. I used the word “sought” in my sentence. The Russians did seek to enslave Europe. Stalin, along with his partner-in-crime Hitler, singed a non-aggression pact that also contained a little-tiny blurb on WHO gets WHAT country. It wasn’t until Hitler attacked the Russians, thus making the treaty null-and-void, that the Soviets — by big-time default — became a WWII “ally”:

  50. I suppose that you are unaware the Wikipedia entries have been monitored in recent years by numerous individuals who have impressive qualifications to do so in the areas they make factual corrections in. They do so because they recognize that Wikipedia has become a source of information for many people, and collective misinformation is damaging to society.

    If you haven’t looked at Wikipedia lately, do so. It’s still a work in progress, but far better than it was when it started.

  51. Let’s see, now that Federal Government has officially recognized the current legitimacy of my tribe (Most of us are mixed-blood) I should ask all of you to get off my land. We never gave the English and Dutch settlers the rights to resell the lands we leased to them.

  52. LEVP: Oh my! So you’re saying the Nazi/Russian non-aggression pact — with it’s secret agreement on who gets what — is a figment of my imagination? I even gave you one of those little-dinky links you’re so fond of. Well, it is a historical FACT. Truth hurts uh?

  53. LEVP: Here we go — Hitler betrays Stalin, attacks Russia. The Allies come in from the West, Russia from the East. The Russians take Berlin. There’s even a very famous photo of the Hammer & Sickle being raised over the Reichstag. All FACTS. Now here’s the part where I’ll type slower as not to confuse you. Take a deep breath, focus: Is the Nazi/Russian non-aggression pact — with it’s secret agreement — a lie I made up or a historical fact?

  54. First, DFTT.

    Secondly, it was actually the efforts of Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) in the 80s that lead to immigration reform that allowed Soviet Jewery to be granted asylum in larger numbers as refugees in the US.
    Every Russian* and Russian Jew who came to this country and has grown up to be successful members of the community such as teachers, lawyers, and doctors or has enjoyed even a modicum of freedom owe a debt of gratitude to Frank Lautenberg.

    *Russian meaning the former Soviet Republics.

  55. My post was at least a little bit sarcastic. I agree that if not completely bipartisan, there was no opposition from Democrats (that I know about) to Reagan’s efforts, because no politician wanted to be seen as sympathizing to Soviets. I do wish, though, that the people who Sen. Lautenberg helped would give some respect back in the form of votes…

  56. Dude, you really don’t know when to stay down when knocked out, do you? Even your comrade Inchick shut up because he got creamed in this debate. Just stop it. You lost handily. 

  57. LISANNE: I LOOOOVE the message behind your words, but I’m afraid time and history have been cruel to us. Lets make sure we are never forgotten.

    Seetizen Trublood

  58. LEVP: First of, DUUUUH! That’s what I’ve been saying! Second, WOW! You’ve just created a whole new level of stupidity. I think we should call it “LEVPidity”, as in “I can’t believe his levpidity.” It actually has a nice ring to it. I included your post for all to see just in case it “disappears” or gets “edited”.

    LEVP WROTE: “Dude, that secret agreement (in 1939) was BEFORE Germany invaded Soviet Union in 1941, at which point it became null and void.
    Another “F” for you, this time for high school World History.”

    OK. I say the Russian N.A.P is a FACT and provide you with a link. You come back with I’m a ‘revisionist’. I then state it’s a FACT. You come back with ‘Oh yea, who got to Berlin first?’ I then ask point blank, is it fact or fiction? And your big ‘gotcha’ reply is ‘Russia DID want to divvy up Europe, but only before Hitler attacked us — so HA!” Not sure where you got your…oh crap, I just noticed your Wikipedia link. Just answered my own question. *** We can take it if you would’ve said ‘Yea, we did want parts of Europe’. It’s the ignorance, denial of FACTS, lack of reading comprehension and your BS that we can’t stomach.

  59. You don’t understand the concept of chronology, and you accusing me of ignorance and denial of facts?

    In general, though, my problem with your post is not your claim that Soviet Union had expansionist policies (who hasn’t?). My problem is your claim that Soviet Union was “alongside Hitler”.

  60. Sorry for the late reply. I got my work. I’m sure you have your Medical offices.

    A: Link is for?
    B: You ARE ignorant. DO NOT accept facts, and at this point, quite deluuuuuusional.
    C: So in your own little world, you call brutal Soviet oppression as “expansionist policies”? Truth hurts that much you have to gloss it over?
    D: “(who hasn’t?)”? The ‘ole “everyone else is doing it, why can’t we?” excuse. OK. In one of my other posts, I mentioned the Russians “…c’est la vie attitude towards oppression”. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case. Oh, and as for who hasn’t? And I am going out on a limb here, but I don’t recall Canada invading another country for more land. The Dominican Republic? Tibet? Switzerland? I’ll look into it.
    E: As for the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact: Not only did Stalin conspire ALONGSIDE HITLER to ‘look the other way’ when the Germans invaded Poland. But ALONGSIDE HITLER, agreed to divide Poland and other European countries as part of its — as you coldly put it — “expansionist policies”. But Hitler being Hitler, attacks the Soviets. Rendering the treaty null and void. Thus Stalin had no choice but to fight Hitler ALONGSIDE the Allies during WWII. This statement is not a “claim”. It’s an undisputable FACT.
    F: Please see B.

  61. A revelation you still refuse to embrace.

    Now stay on topic .
    Don’t deflect.

    My “claim”, the G.S.N.A.P., that the Russians ALONGSIDE Adolf Hitler agreed to invade and divvy up European lands before they became WWII enemies. Is that FACT or fiction?


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