Wednesday, May 2

Bay Ridge Offers Small-Town Spirit Beneath a Soaring Bridge


Since 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has been the defining feature of the Bay Ridge skyline.
"Once upon a time in the nineteenth century, what we now know as Bay Ridge was something of a resort area. In its pre-Brooklyn days, the village, then known as Yellow Hook (before the yellow fever epidemic wrecked that color’s brand), attracted wealthy industrialists seeking a respite from New York life. You can’t blame them: Even today, there’s something peaceful about Brooklyn’s southwesternmost corner. After you emerge from whatever fresh hell the notoriously unreliable R train just put you through, you’ll notice that the air off the river is fresh. The buildings are low. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, stretching out to Staten Island, soars above the horizon. Today, Bay Ridge is a neighborhood of immigrants. The first to arrive around the turn of the twentieth century were Scandinavians, whose influence can be seen at Leif Ericson Park or during the annual Norwegian Day Parade. After the arrival of the subway in 1916, Italians and Irish families populated the area, followed, in the mid-twentieth century, by Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek immigrants. These days, the neighborhood is also home to Latino and Chinese communities and is renowned as the heart of Arab New York, boasting the largest population of Arabic speakers in the city. Lately, more families have started migrating from elsewhere in Brooklyn, as well. ..."
Voice
W - Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Balady Halal Foods offers shelves stacked high with dates, olive oil, and other Middle Eastern foodstuffs.

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