Anyone who pays attention knew that Luna Park, the amusement park at Coney Island, didn’t open until May 29th. Generally excluded from the category of “attention payers,” I arrived ready to ride the rides and itching for a little artificial adrenaline, and was sorely disappointed to find on May 28th, there would be no teacups for me. Nevertheless, I tried to ferret my way into the private party they were having for local dignitaries and their children (I’m from Walking New York, I said. Press pass? asked the security guard) without success. An F train of my despair rattled above.
But wait! This is New York City after all. There had to be something interesting within ten blocks or less. So I headed onwards and north up the boardwalk towards Brighton Beach.
A quick note about this sleepy little beach community, first of all, it’s not sleepy, second of all it’s known for its Russian population, and third, they have a weird way of naming their streets. Just look at this conundrum:
Brighton Lane 2 and Brighton Path 2? And not only that. There’s also Brighton Walk 2 and Brighton Street 2 and AND Brighton Court 2! How am I supposed to find my way around this place? Not that there was much hope of that in the first place. When in Rome, I decided and walked down one of the Walks.
The thing about Brighton’s Walks is that all in all, they’re really just alleyways and alleyways are something the rest of New York generally lacks. There’s not enough room between buildings most of the time to allow for these little pedestrian only ways, which is a shame since you can get into a lot of good and bad trouble on these little paths. I mean, who hasn’t stolen a kiss from a forbidden love in an alley? Okay, me. But I saw it in a movie. So there.
The other wonderful, if overly-voyeuristic, aspect of Brighton’s byways is they allow for a closer glimpse into the lives of those who live along them.
While surreptitiously snapping photos of other people’s backyards, I notice a special affinity among the residents of Brighton Beach for rose bushes and chain link fences. At least half the houses have one or the other and about a third have both.
As the sun rose higher and the busy bees of summer starting swarming to these lovely blooms, I thought it’d be a good time to head back to Brighton Beach Boulevard where the only hum is that of the cars and elevated train, just the way I like it. Of course, I meandered a little ways getting there and ran into the coolest playground ever at Brighton 3 Street and 4 Road in Brighton Beach,. Stay tuned for pictures and the shakedown in a few days.