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Seaside Stories

VI. Grillin’ at the Beach

Most barbecues around Brooklyn take place in inconspicuous backyards, with friends and neighbors keeping to themselves amidst the smoky aroma of grilled meats. In Manhattan Beach, though, crowds come to grill and mingle along the beach, conjuring up huge weekend food fests for everyone around to see, smell, and, if you’re lucky, taste. The picnic tables, only a few feet apart, host diverse parties from all over Brooklyn (and beyond) who come either to celebrate family and friends or to escape them. Here and there one can find noshes particular to a foreign cuisine, but in this beachside melting pot meat on a skewer is a universal treat, especially after it’s been marinated for 24 hours. 

Kirckia celebrates her birthday with grilled corn and pupusas, Honduran snacks perfectly portable for roaming around adoring relatives.

Like many folks here, Zafar, left, is from Uzbekistan. Here he gets the deep purple blood of cow’s liver on his hands as he silently marinates and grills a distance away from his family, though he can’t seem to shake his brother-in-law.

Surrounded by their adoring girlfriends, boys from the Stuyvesant wrestling team take to the sand for practice in between cheeseburgers.

I was initially threatened with death if I divulged the secret ingredient of these grilled Puerto Rican drumsticks. Turns out it was lots of “T.L.C.”

These Uzbeki pals are having a men-only BBQ, leaving their wives at home.

They may drown out the sound of the waves with hip-hop, and overpower the smell of the saltwater with charred meats, but barbecue-goers cannot avoid the pestering seagulls.

These friends from East New York filled the day eating hot dogs, building sandcastles, and creating drama.

These two Uzbek folks are happy to fire up a sixth round on the grill for their family.


Saskia Kahn

SASKIA KAHN is a photographer from the coast of Brooklyn (


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2013

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