Diary Peter Pomerantsev

Brighton Beachesque scammery as a history,here is an excerpt from the article that recalls some strange nostalgia  perhaps a collective subconscious type, but nonetheless…

“‘It was a different place then,’ Volodya said. ‘Brighton was ruled by black gangs: they sold drugs on the boardwalk, lived in slum housing. They didn’t want us here. I had to wear a bulletproof vest under my shirt, we all did. You had to keep it on when you went out to restaurants. Imagine going dancing in that.’ Those early years are Little Russia’s foundation myth. ‘We patrolled our stores and restaurants,’ Volodya said. ‘Everyone carried a gun. And they soon learned not to mess with the Russians. They had thought we were soft Jews – they forgot we had all served in the Soviet Army.’ Others tell the story a little differently. The main way they got the older communities out was by buying up the slum housing and raising the rents.
Volodya’s first scam was as a taxi driver picking up visitors from JFK. On the drive into the city he would pretend he was partly blind: could the passenger tell him what was going on down his left flank? He would swerve about the road, making out he could barely drive. The passengers would panic and jump out, leaving him at least part of the agreed money, and much more than he would have got for the small drive he had taken them on. But that was just the start.”

Check out the entire article Brighton Beach Memoirs

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