Best Place to See Faces from the '70s and '80s (2010)

Brighton Beach

If you're ever bummed out by the hordes of tourists outside the Stock Exchange or depressed that you can't even light a cigarette in Times Square anymore, try heading out to Brighton Beach. Though Times Square may have become solidly Disneyfied, Brighton still looks like the New York City depicted in Taxi Driver. On the men, you'll find their shirts unbuttoned to their waists, bulging jeans, and pornstaches that would make John Holmes proud; the women are decked out in fake furs, leopard-print skirts with slits up to their waists, and high heels that can easily get caught between the planks of the boardwalk—even in the dead of summer. The ladies are often on the arms of men, who parade them proudly along the promenade. Coming and going from the Russian beachfront restaurants, you won't find any monochromatic, fashionista New Yorkers: Everyone looks like they're in a Kodachrome snapshot. Even the faces look like they're from another time: sunbaked, devoid of "product," containing the wrinkles and lines that life in a tough city gives to people.


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