I love a trip to the seaside, so when I discovered Coney Island and Brighton Beach in New York, I knew we had to go. I was promised a fairground, hotdogs and some Russians, which sounded too good to miss!
Coney Island is world famous for its amusement parks. The area’s popularity peaked between 1880 and the end of WWII, after which it began to fall into decline. This culminated in the closure of the last major park in 1964. Regeneration attempts began in the 2000s as part of the New York City 2012 Olympic bid.
We spent most of our time wandering around the boardwalk, eating hotdogs from Nathan’s, and watching a film being made.
You can walk along the peninsula to Brighton Beach. This area is popular with Russian speaking immigrants, which you won’t be able to miss when you see the billboards in Cyrillic script. There’s less of a resort feel here, but the area is still popular with New Yorkers at the weekend. Despite the lack of tourist attractions, you can still enjoy the beach, and the added bonus of Eastern Europeans power walking in their tracksuits.
I’ve discovered that Brighton Beach features in Grand Theft Auto IV, but is called Hove Beach in a nod to my home town of Brighton and Hove. Obviously I think this is brilliant, but it wasn’t really like home. Where were the pebbles? Where were the hippies?
Overall, I thought this was a brilliant day out. We had a great walk, enjoyed the sun, and ate some junk food. What could be better?