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Coney Island and Brighton Beach [split from Rao's thread]

c oliver Jan 25, 2014 09:43 AM

Well, we did go to Coney Island ONCE for a Nathan's hotdog. From the UWS, it must be THE longest trip in Manhattan :)

  1. Ziggy41 Jan 28, 2014 06:22 PM

    Brighton Beach changed dramatically over the years. Its so much more than Russian food nowadays... Uzbek, Uyghur, Georgian, Uzbek/Korean, Georgian/Korean. Ok, I made the last one up but you know what I mean.

    Here's a Brighton primer I wrote for some Australian tourists... http://wp.me/p2zSmJ-VX

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ziggy41
      c oliver Jan 28, 2014 06:24 PM

      I wish you and others would elaborate on this. Please :)

      1. re: Ziggy41
        foodiemom10583 Jan 28, 2014 06:29 PM

        "Georgian/Korean. Ok, I made the last one up but you know what I mean."

        You mean you've never had chop chae-kapuli or kababi bim bap? :p

      2. b
        BuildingMyBento Jan 28, 2014 01:59 PM

        I'd go (back) to Brighton Beach for the Georgian restaurant(s) and Russian supermarkets. I don't know much about Russian desserts, so Güllüoglu has been a good sub.

        1. Rmis32 Jan 28, 2014 01:47 PM

          1. Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano - "Every self-respecting pizza-loving New Yorker should visit the Coney Island original at least once in his lifetime." NY Mag

          2.The annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade - Sea creatures both mythological and biological promenade along Surf Avenue.

          'nuff said

          1. Motosport Jan 27, 2014 08:54 AM

            I dated a woman who lived in Tottenville Staten Island. Now that was a long trip!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Motosport
              Cheese Boy Jan 27, 2014 02:49 PM

              A long distance relationship ...
              yet both of you are in the same city. LOL.
              At some point did she become "geographically undesirable" for you ??

              1. re: Cheese Boy
                Bob Martinez Jan 28, 2014 07:54 AM

                When I lived in the Bronx I dated a woman in Staten Island. It was 30 miles door to door by car. By public transport the trip took 2 and a half hours.

                It's a big city.

                1. re: Cheese Boy
                  Motosport Jan 28, 2014 11:03 AM

                  "Memories, light the borders of my mind......."

              2. Cheese Boy Jan 26, 2014 10:53 PM

                That's a relatively new train station over there, btw. The old one was far less attractive, AND it was way more of a climb. Does anybody remember that huge ramp that was there inside the station? It was there to accomodate the big crowds Coney Island always drew.

                A train ride to Coney is a 2 hour ordeal for me.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cheese Boy
                  c oliver Jan 26, 2014 11:22 PM

                  Where do you live? As I wrote, it was interminably long.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    Cheese Boy Jan 27, 2014 12:18 AM

                    The only borough on the mainland.
                    When I go to Brighton it's almost just as long a trek too.

                    1. re: Cheese Boy
                      c oliver Jan 27, 2014 08:21 AM

                      Ah. If I lived in the Bronx I'd find little reason to leave :)

                2. s
                  Skippy1414 Jan 25, 2014 10:53 PM

                  Did that too with visiting relatives. I warned them. They didn't listen. They learned.

                  22 Replies
                  1. re: Skippy1414
                    coll Jan 26, 2014 02:20 AM

                    It's a nice subway ride to Coney Island from Manhattan on the El, plus so much to do besides Nathans once you get there; you really should make it a full day. That said, Nathans is always on our agenda, usually last stop before home.

                    1. re: coll
                      Motosport Jan 26, 2014 04:45 AM

                      ..............and a Nathan's hot dog on the boardwalk beats dinner at Rao's hands down.

                      1. re: Motosport
                        Sluggo1407 Jan 27, 2014 09:09 AM

                        You must be very easy to please. I'll rake Rao's any day.

                        1. re: Sluggo1407
                          c oliver Jan 27, 2014 09:21 AM

                          Wow! Someone who's eaten there. Cool.

                          1. re: Sluggo1407
                            Motosport Jan 27, 2014 09:44 AM

                            What does it mean to "rake" Rao's?? Is that the secret to getting a table?

                            1. re: Motosport
                              Sluggo1407 Jan 29, 2014 08:07 AM

                              Mmm. Hmm. Why don't you try it?

                        2. re: coll
                          Bob Martinez Jan 26, 2014 08:47 AM

                          Not in January though.

                          I love Coney Island but some people here recommend it reflexively regardless of the time of year.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez
                            MVNYC Jan 26, 2014 08:53 AM

                            I grew up in NYC and my parents never took me there. When I got old enough to go on my own I figured out why. Is recommend Brighton Beach for Russian food but Coney Island is a dump.

                            1. re: MVNYC
                              c oliver Jan 26, 2014 08:56 AM

                              And I'll quickly say that the crowd at Nathan's was a mess. And I had words with a teen who was trying to stake out our table even though a pregnant woman with a toddler was waiting patiently. Yeah, maybe a nice day on Brighton Beach with some good Russian food.

                              1. re: MVNYC
                                coll Jan 26, 2014 09:54 AM

                                You haven't been there in the last couple of years then. Big changes for the better. Not that I'm trying to add to the crowds or anything.

                                1. re: coll
                                  MVNYC Jan 26, 2014 10:19 AM

                                  The funny thing is I've been to Brighton Beach many time in my life and finally only went to Coney Island in the summer of 2012. If this is improved it really must have been a shithole.

                                  1. re: MVNYC
                                    coll Jan 26, 2014 10:53 AM

                                    Yeah it was scary, but fun.

                                    1. re: MVNYC
                                      foodwhisperer Jan 26, 2014 11:33 AM

                                      Coney Island has improved 10000000%. I guess you have never been to East New York, Brownsville, South Bronx. That's how it used to be

                                      1. re: foodwhisperer
                                        debinqueens Jan 26, 2014 11:43 AM

                                        i've been to all of those places over the course of my 30-plus years in new york.

                                        i don't ever recall tens of thousands of people heading to east new york on a sunny june day to enjoy hanging out, playing arcade games, enjoying cheap eats and the like.

                                        i guess i just never found anything to be afraid of over the course of a couple of hundred visits to Coney Island, none of which resulted in death or dismemberment -- well, other than a few clams here and there.

                                        1. re: debinqueens
                                          MVNYC Jan 26, 2014 12:09 PM

                                          I didn't mean to imply it was a dump as in dangerous. I meant its a dirty neighborhood filled with cheesy stores and non chowish food options. Brighton beach is much better in my opinion.

                                          1. re: MVNYC
                                            debinqueens Jan 26, 2014 12:15 PM

                                            as far as dining options, i would agree completely. brighton beach has more than its share of cheesy stores, but the delis and such are top notch.

                                            1. re: debinqueens
                                              MVNYC Jan 26, 2014 12:20 PM

                                              I guess I never really got the appeal of a trashy American beach vibe. The Brighton beach Russian cheesiness appeals to me a bit more. And the beach is a bit cleaner

                                          2. re: debinqueens
                                            coll Jan 26, 2014 12:28 PM

                                            The Cyclone is the scariest thing to me.

                                  2. re: Bob Martinez
                                    c oliver Jan 26, 2014 08:53 AM

                                    I still say starting at CPW and 101st was the most painful trip ever :) With all the glory of the whole NYC area, I just can't imagine going more than once. Although Brighton Beach holds an attraction. So much city, so little time.

                                    1. re: Bob Martinez
                                      coll Jan 26, 2014 09:54 AM

                                      It's the beach so I would think warm weather time is implied?

                                      1. re: coll
                                        debinqueens Jan 26, 2014 11:25 AM

                                        i'd say it's taken a significant change for the worse over the past couple of years.

                                        maybe my fear threshold is not the same as some of my fellow posters here, but i've been going to coney island on a regular basis for 30 years and never once felt threatened, scared, nervous or anything else like that.

                                        back in the '80s and '90s, you could buy homemade pasteles, esquites and other snacks from folks wandering the boardwalk (and dollar budweisers from guys with coolers on wheels to wash them down). the clam shacks were in full gear and there were no shiny happy chain stores in the way.

                                        maybe i'm being snippy, but i don't see any reason to spend an hour traveling from manhattan to disembark a train and walk into the middle of another manhattan, only with sand.

                                        1. re: debinqueens
                                          ratgirlagogo Jan 29, 2014 09:40 PM

                                          Agreed. I've been going to Coney Island (and lived there apartment sitting here and there) for 30-plus years and while some things like Luna Park are nice additions to the neighborhood, much has devolved. The Mermaid Parade in June that has been one of the ornaments of NYC since 1981 has become a (shockingly, given the kind of parade it is) much more user-unfriendly experience in the last five years - seemingly there are Powers among the NYC Powers That Be that would prefer to raze the whole area and start over.

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