Brighton Beach Bliss:

The World as it Should Be

Beauty and the beast


Marcia Grostein Brighton Beach Bliss: The World as it Should Be

Stands as a testament of harmonious coexistence between diverse populations. Comprised of intimate yet unabashed beachgoer portraits, the series reveals a rare intermingling of races, religions, relationships, and body types that characterizes the ocean-side community of Brighton Beach.

Overlooking You

The unique history of Brighton Beach paved the way for the diversity that Grostein documents within her photographs.
In the mid-1970s, the neighborhood became a popular place for Soviet immigrants to settle, particularly for Russian and Ukrainian Jews.
Since the 1990s, however, the ethnic demographics of Brighton Beach have begun shifting rapidly.
The area, while still home to many Jewish residents, has also become a nexus for Hispanic and Central Asian Muslim immigrants, among others.
Today, roughly seventy-five percent of Brighton Beach’s inhabitants were born in countries other than the United States.

Indian Ceremony

Indian Ceremony


Grostein’s raw shots

taken over the course of eight years – offer viewers a glimpse of these multigenerational migrations, which have merged into a single, uniquely globalized locale. While the beach-goers are immersed in their own activities, they also partake in the broader activity of community-building, simply by way of their proximity to one another.

Vignettes – characterized by mutual respect between the photographer and protagonists – depict interactions that are harmonious, warm, or meditative, with all inhabitants seeking a distinct form of rejuvenation by the sea shore. Adolescents make memories that will last well into adulthood and the aging carry on with habits formed over a lifetime.

While the individual photos stand as strong images of interpersonal respect and self-care, the series as a whole conflates distinct fields of anthropological investigation – asking us to consider how diverse biologies, cultures, and linguistics can together enact a unified present.

Stylish bathing suit


Easter parade

Dozing off

Redeem it all

This place where all forms and genres of cultural manifestations coexist say so much about the progress we made over centuries and presents an impressive opposition to the current political scenario.
— Marcia Grostein

Jewish Baptism

Ukrainian day Celebration

I have my eyes on you


Grostein portrays

this amazingly diverse microcosm with an air of pride and hope. Through her careful documentation of these heartening realities, it is suggested that all inclusive environments have the potential for worldwide replication.

Sikh boy

Everything goes




Picasso of our time


In the Brighton Beach Bliss series

perfection is not defined by a single perfectly proportioned body; rather, Grostein asks us to find beauty that can be found in the human gaze, and in a mutual desire to act together within natural and built environments. The inhabitants of Brighton Beach demonstrate what it means to slough social, political, and cultural stigmas in favor of respect and understanding.

The lady in purple

Happiness is in the air

Tea time

Lunch time

Old fashioned

Leave me Alone

Beautiful face

Overall, Marcia Grostein’s Brighton Beach Bliss series allows for our immersion in an Utopia where multiple faiths, sects, races, and appearances are all welcome.