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Monday, March 24, 2008

Bay Ridge

Doing a subway research project for a mapping firm in San Francisco finds me in Bay Ridge at 11:00 at night with some excess energy - what better way to exhaust it than to knock off a few more tracts?

There are a lot of churches (including a beautiful Episcopalian one at 99th and Ft. Hamilton Parkway), and a lot of really cheesy clubs in Bay Ridge. One such club advertises "Tila Tequila winner Bobby" appearing. That, and the gorgeous view of the Verrazano, pretty much sums up the neighborhood. It hasn't really progressed that far from its Saturday Night Fever days.

I mostly walk up Third Avenue with a few side street detours. I haven't been to Bay Ridge for a while (I used to schlep down to a great Greek place on 86th and 4th every once in a while), and kind of thought it would have changed more demorgraphically than it has. The neighborhood isn't quite as Arabic (the newer immigrant group in the neighborhood) as I thought it would be, the Irish-Italian, Joey Bagadonuts character strongly remains, much more so than in other Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods. Layout is your typical borough variation of mixed-used avenues, large apartments on the corners, and homes on the side streets. Some side streets, especially west of Third Avenue, feature large detached homes, others more simple rowhouses. I make my way by the out-of-place Bay Ridge towers, under the Robert Moses-built monsterous merger of the Gowanus Expressway and Shore Parkway, and over to the 59th street N stop to head back home.

Neighborhoods: Bay Ridge, Sunset Park. Tracts walked: B162, B54, B56.01, B56.02, B58, B60, B62, B64, B66, B68, B70, B72

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