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    Posted March 10, 2014 by
    Brooklyn, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Little Russia, "Odessa" by the sea..Brighton Beach..

    I spent some time with friends yesterday in Brighton Beach Brooklyn, which is composed largely of Russian mix, and Ukrainian immigrants. It is also called "Little Odessa" named after Odessa a city in the Ukraine. It was the setting for many movies, books and songs including Neil Simon's Broadway play "Brighton Beach memoirs." which chronicles a family living there doing the depression. Most recently it was the setting for Lifetime's reality series, "Russian Dolls" which follows everyday life of eight young Russian women.
    For me it was going back to my Ukrainian roots, a walk down memory lanes and I found many there which I hope to put in a few reports.
    I was struck by the typical Russian opulence, the decadent shops, clothing, foods, furs, chocolates, fancy cakes, jewelry, hair salons, restaurants, etc. in contrast to the folklorish peasant Ukrainian background I grew up in, yet my grandmother owned a grocery store and I thought we were fairly well off. Notice the pickles, tomatoes, cucumber salads and breads in #8 and 9. These were often on our table in Westbury LI, where I grew up and my grandmother who came over from Ukraine had her farm.
    As I wandered the streets, and back alleyways ( in another report hopefully) thinking about my own life, I wondered what the feeling there was about what sometimes seems like never ending clash with Russia and Ukraine. I saw some small churches, art, heard some music and conversations and my overall impression was that there was a feeling of uncertainty that is felt in a lot of immigrant communities. To be continued..
    March 9, 2014.
    Thank you.

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