A-Z guide to the GRBBC (Gilded Russian Brighton Beach Community)

DBAG DATING GUIDE TO RUSSIAN BRIGHTON BEACH COMMUNITY

In a faraway land, deep down in South Brooklyn, away from the hipsters of Williamsburg and the family haven of Prospect Park, lies a community that many know about, yet few brave out to explore on their own. It is called the Gilded Russian Brighton Beach Community (GRBBC), composed of Russian and Ukrainian immigrants who have taken segregation to a whole new level, creating a micro-universe complete with its own behavioral, sartorial and even jurisdictional codes. Today, we bring to you an A-Z guide that will give you some insight on this immigrant enigma.

B is for Brighton

Brighton Beach, a strip of land underneath the eardrum-shattering Q and B train lines, is a time capsule where nothing, including the people, has changed since the late 80’s. All the signage is Russian, all the food is Ukrainian, and all the accountants are ready to assist you on tax manipulation at a moment’s notice. One block away is an actual beach that transitions from geriatric hotspot to Soviet Muscle Beach come June.

brighton-beach-is-located-in-the-southernmost-part-of-brooklyn-its-one-of-the-last-stops-on-the-q-line-headed-to-coney-island (1)Here it is!

C is for City

“The City” stands for the island of Manhattan, so close, yet so far away. The City is best suited for two activities: buying and returning things at Saks Fifth Avenue and dining at large restaurants in the Meatpacking districts to show off one’s Saks finds, possibly before returning them the next day. The only socially acceptable spots in The City, besides Catch and Provocateur in the Meatpacking District, are Onegin, Mari Vanna and oldie but goodie Cipriani!

C is also for Courting

I have to admit that this is one of the perks, as Russian men love a good chase and won’t hesitate to whip out all the best tricks in the book. Back in the day, when was 21 and of eligible bachelorette stature, I got whisked off to Miami for one day just to have lunch at Carpaccio in Bal Harbour. Today, seven years later, my dad would probably have to show his W4 to get to get me a date. (Since he ain’t no Donald Trump, that wouldn’t fly.)

D is for Dating

The laws of dating abide by a precise mathematical equation. The entire community begins dating each other at age 16. By age 21, everybody has fornicated with one another, and about 50% have become couples. By the age of 24, 50% of the couples have cheated on one another, run each other over with their BMWs, and moved on. The other 50% has gotten engaged with very large engagement rings that give Blood Diamond a new meaning. (See W for Weddings).

J is for J1

J1 stands for the type of visitor visa that Russian students obtain – and overstay – on their quest for the Land of Opportunity. J1s are considered to be a good catch, as they are usually beautiful, obedient, don’t expect much Chanel and don’t mind erectile dysfunction. Russian men, especially of the Eternal Bachelor variety, are always looking for a pretty J1 to swoop up, make over at Saks and teach a bit of English. (The entrepreneur in me is dying to start a matchmaking service!)

J is also for Judaism

Because, technically, most of these people left Ukraine in their 70s and 80s as Jewish refugees. While the majority don’t have a very clear understanding of what the Jewish faith entails, they do use Yom Kippur for cleansing purposes and like to force their kids to marry other confused Jews.

L is for Love

Cartier Love bracelets, that is. The quantity and caliber of these little gold handcuffs represent how much your significant other loves you and how many babies you have pushed out to continue his Jewish family name. That shit doesn’t come off your arm so easily, so you better believe that Love is eternal, or at least come with a giant divorce settlement.

0d0cad40a23712a049ba7fdab78faab2Stack those babies UP!

M is for MatchPoint Gym

Russian men like their cars fancy, their foods rich, their vodka endless and their women about three ribs short. The natural quest to rib removal can be seen at the local gym, MatchPoint. (I think they give J1s a membership at customs.) If you don’t drive an M-Class or and RX Lexus, no parking spot for you! However, you want to pull up in style, you can order a Maserati via the local Showtime Car Service for just $10 extra!

P is for Parties

This is a very important aspect of GRSBB life, because everybody has birthdays and everybody’s wives, ex-wives and lovers have birthdays, and all of their children have birthdays and Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Most of these celebrations take place in the social epicenter of Emmons Avenue at restaurants such as XO, Next Door and Cats Café. While the men gorge on the infinite buffet of cholesterol-spiking foods, the women explore one of three conversation topics: who cheated on who, who is going to jail, and who has gained weight. During smoking breaks, a comparative analysis of everyone’s Chanel purchases of the season is conduced.

S is for Style

Because its so bad, it’s good. Ever wonder why Christian Louboutin made men’s studded velvet slippers, who still buys Hervé Leger now that Kim K is done with it, or why Chanel actually put that hot pink Boy Bag into production? Go to Emmons Avenue on a Saturday night and you will find your answers! The women here shop on Saudi princess budgets without the matching bank accounts… Because when most of your income is off the books, it best be liquidated immediately!

CCL53-01Swag!

V is for Vacation

For the majority of the year, the principal GRSBB vacation destination is Miami, where everybody has apartments in the Sunny Isles area, ten minutes away from Bel Harbor and Carpacio’s. However, in the summers, the community breaks down into micro-clusters of 15 and embark upon grand Euro Tours (because Europe is a place, if you know what I mean), with the prerogative of buying a lot of Hermès,  taking a lot of pictures for social media, and seeing who can rack up the biggest Veuve bill at Nikki Beach in St. Tropez!

W is for Weddings

GRSBB weddings are very festive and usually cost more than most American families spend on their child’s college tuition. (Luckily, many Russians choose to educate themselves at CUNYs, a shining testament to Kingsborough Community College education.) On these special days, the beau monde of Brighton collectively ventures out to venues such as Capitale, Cipriani 42nd street, or anywhere else that will allow them to bring their own liquor, to celebrate the latest set of third cousins tying the knot. If I were into organized crime, I would know exactly when to hit. (Am I full of entrepreneurial ideas or what?)

P.S. I love all of these folks almost as much as they love Cartier. Please don’t stone me with studded Loubs en route to the B train. Спасибо!

The photo for this post was taken from Zimbio.

25 Comments

  • The only thing you forgot to mention are the house rentals in the Poconos (another favorite vacation spot) where most Russians spend New Years, long weekends, etc. On these weekend trips, 4-10 people will split a house and bring copious amounts of alcohol and meat. It’s a lot of fun!

    • You forgot to mention that in the summer, said house is used to put Grandma and Grandpa to good use watching their grand kids. The parents will come up once a week with food and then go back to Brooklyn. Then, once the kids get older, the kid whose parents own the house will bring all his friends there with copious amounts of alcohol and meat. Shashlik and vodka all day 😀

  • You also forgot about yearly visits to either Dominican Republic and/or Mexico. Also medical insurance scandals.

  • And let’s not forget that nobody actually owns a car, leasing is the way to obtain transportation. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but still.

    • That’s cause leasing means upgrading every two years! (ps do you ever notice that some of the engagement rings get miraculously bigger with each the year?)

  • How about T for tutors? Every kid has at least one, for EACH subject. Why? Because much coveted and prepared for Bay Academy doesn’t actually teach, it’s only to show off teen Channel and other fashion obsessions of the next generation in the making.

  • I think this article written by a hater , who don’t see other Russions who work hard don’t wear super expensive stuff but still look good and stylish who as well absolutely love “match point ” and Good Cara and don’t cheat on taxes !!!! Those people exist !!!!! And they also live near or on BRighton ! This article written by someone who doesn’t like his or her own kind !!!! It just sad to understand that we have very talented people among us and they use their talent to badmouth your own kind of people , it’s only Superficial side of Russion Jewish soul ….

    • Ilona, I apologize if this article offended you. Granted, many of these people are excellent, hardworking, honest individuals, which is something I know firsthand. This is simply a satire on a very particular community that points out some of its idiosyncrasies through mass generalizations, which, based on the response, seem to resonate. Please take it with a grain of salt!

  • The picture that is used in the post drew my attention. It is taken from a former show, and one of the women happens to be my friend. She is NOTHING at all if what you described. She is the sweetest, smartest and the most hardworking, motivated women that many people look up to. I think that it is total arrogance to generalize the whole Russian- speaking populstion based on…, what? Chanel bags? Who cares? Cars they drive? Who cares? There is certain tasteless aspect of certain groups in that community but let me ask you this: is it really that important? And what is more important, praising people that were raising the whole generation of amazing Americans with a slight Russian accent (or without) that, by the way every company wants to hire or focusing on some minor attributes? Mind you, most of the people that you so “lovingly” describe came here with 90 freaking dollars in their pockets. I have many friends in Brooklyn and, yes some wear all of the above. So what? Maybe they don’t like what I wear. Funny part is that you are clueless about the basic thing: your stuff is not funny. It is ridiculous but not funny at all. IMO this thing you did just did not work out. Is there any other way to show “love”?

    • Marina,
      I’m sure your friend is the lovely individual that you describe. However, your friend also voluntarily went on a reality TV show about the Russians of Brighton Beach, the imagery of which is now publicly affiliated with this community.
      To address your other point, while I truly respect that many people came here with “90 dollars in their pockets” and managed to make lives for themselves, this does not excuse the fact that they also went on to develop and proliferate a very odd value system that emphasizes material possessions above all else. This article does not highlight their style, as much as it highlights their acute fixation with their style.
      Lastly, this is a satire, the purpose of which is not to show love, but to entertain and to point out certain things that could be improved upon (the word “constructive criticism” comes to mind).
      Thank you!

  • Hello,

    You are really talented. You remind me of myself. I used to do a lot of comedic writing and made the front page of the news for similar satire about classism.

    I would like to meet you. Email me.

  • Your article is one of the most ignorant pieces is of writing I’ve ever read. Pure trash, and borders on racism. Go inside a dark closet and slap yourself in the face.

  • Bravo! Nailed it…..and my guess is, those who are hating the article recognize it’s written about them. I’m a proud Russian American who immigrated with her parents with “$90 in [her] pocket”. But even I recognize truth and humor in this article. I love my people, but it’s those very specific type of people described in the article who drive me to be better than that and not fall victim to that very well known stereotype. Chill people and enjoy a chuckle….sheesh

  • Author, how about deleting this piece of creative garbage and going back to school. Write restaurant reviews.

    Besides a catchy title, article is grossly inaccurate and I not funny.

    I wonder about your reviewers. They all lied to you. Now that’s funny

    • On point! BRAVO! Really cracked me up, funny AF.
      In addition all these immigrants from Brighton/Sheepshead Bay/Staten Island etc are most like from some village in Ukraine.. Not really big cities as Moscow, St Petersburg and lack culture. Once they start earning a decent income they have an insecure and feel the need to show. Will spend even and over max credit card just to buy brand name product- fendi, prada, gucci, louie vuitton, and the clothing wont even match.. Person looks like an idiot, a clown, poor taste look.. Women are also wearing 10k lbs of make up, fake tans, skin turns on a leather face after few years (BARF!) also constantly on fscebook and comparing other peoples lives, possessions and crying to their men, boyfriends, fkbuddies “why cant we do have this? Why cant we do this?” Well grt a job and buy it lol ???

  • I love this. Seems like the people who are offended do not have a sense of humor, or just the exact people you described getting defensive lol! I know many who would find this article very amusing.

  • On point! BRAVO! Really cracked me up, funny AF.
    In addition all these immigrants from Brighton/Sheepshead Bay/Staten Island etc are most like from some village in Ukraine.. Not really big cities as Moscow, St Petersburg and lack culture. Once they start earning a decent income they have an insecure and feel the need to show. Will spend even and over max credit card just to buy brand name product- fendi, prada, gucci, louie vuitton, and the clothing wont even match.. Person looks like an idiot, a clown, poor taste look.. Women are also wearing 10k lbs of make up, fake tans, skin turns on a leather face after few years (BARF!) also constantly on fscebook and comparing other peoples lives, possessions and crying to their men, boyfriends, fkbuddies “why cant we do have this? Why cant we do this?” Well grt a job and buy it lol ???

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