A walk at the legendary “Little Odessa”
In his series, entitled Little Odessa, photographer Franck Bohbot takes us in the Brighton Beach district, also called “Little Odessa”, located in Brooklyn, in the south of New York.
Dozens of metro stations separate downtown New York and Brighton Beach. One hour – and you find yourself in an area where they speak either Russian or Ukrainian.
Brighton Beach is perhaps the most famous Russian-speaking area in the United States. It is also called “Little Odessa”. According to various estimates, today 50 to 70 thousand Russian-speaking people live here. Everyone here knows each other, like in the village.
The first Russian-speaking wave of emigration brought Jews here in the 1970s. Then, in 1972, the Soviet Union allowed Jews to emigrate to Israel for “family reunification.” The second wave came in the 90s. Many natives of Odessa appeared here. In those days, almost half a million people moved from Ukraine to Brighton Beach. Odessans are accustomed to the sea, and therefore rushed to Brighton, where there is a direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and the promenade for walks.
With his particular look and grain, Franck Bohbot offers a journey in the streets of “Little Odessa” when the sun still enlighten the city, or under the neon lights when the night falls. A poetic walk to discover.