• Photo: Mary Robnett

Bay Ridge

A large vibrant, diverse, and residential neighborhood hugging the Narrows waterway in southwest Brooklyn, Bay Ridge is the perfect blend of old and new Brooklyn. It’s also a family-oriented area, so much so that in 2013, the New York Daily News called it the best neighborhood for raising children in Brooklyn. Towering at Bay Ridge’s southern end is the photogenic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn with Staten Island, but it's just a part of what makes Bay Ridge architecturally significant: thanks to its bay views, Bay Ridge was one of Brooklyn’s wealthiest areas at the end of the 19th century, evidenced in the mansions dotting the waterfront, as well as the eclectic mix of Victorian, Greek-Revival, and neo-Renaissance architecture scattered throughout the neighborhood. Diversity is a key word in Bay Ridge, not just in terms of architecture: since the Dutch West India Company purchased the land from the Nyack Indians in 1652, the area has been home to many waves of immigrant populations, including Scandinavians, Greeks, Italians, Irish, and, more recently, Middle Eastern communities. Third Avenue, considered “restaurant row,” is an homage to the neighborhood’s diversity with its range of cuisines and mix of casual and upscale dining, while 5th Avenue is home to predominantly Middle Eastern businesses like hookah bars, restaurants, and grocery stores.

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