Friday, August 29, 2008

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Bay Ridge is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bound by 65th Street on the north, Interstate 278 on the east, and the Belt Parkway-Shore Road on the west. The southern border is 101st Street. The portion below 86th Street is a subsection called Fort Hamilton. A small area east of I-278, bounded by 7th Avenue, is also part of Bay Ridge.

(All photos enlarge when clicked on)

In the late nineteenth century, Bay Ridge was one of Brooklyn's most exclusive suburbs and the Shore Road section still contains many homes of the wealthy.

Many of these home are built high on a ridge......

.... as across Shore Road street in front of them is a walkway park, and through that .......

.....are magnificent views of the Narrows, and the Verrazano Narrows bridge that connects Brooklyn to the borough of Staten Island. Here you can see Shore Promenade that circles the perimeter of the Brooklyn coastline in this neighborhood.

A view straight ahead of Staten Island:

To the north lies the Upper New York Bay and the borough of Manhattan, and many of these exclusive homes have this view.

I zoomed in closer with my camera and you can see The Empire State Building in the distance to the right, and the green copper top of The Woolworth Building to the left.

An even closer view of the Empire State Building and a cruise ship that is using the relatively new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

Some more houses along Shore Road.

Driving through this neighborhood we see many homes that look like they could be found in New York City suburbs.

Because property is so expensive in NYC, even in the outer boroughs, it is rare to see ranch style homes like this:

I showed this unusual stone house when I went on A Slice Of Pizza Brooklyn Tour, but since it is in this neighborhood I took a few more close ups.

It looks like it belongs in a J. R. R.Tolkien novel! It's so magical in design!

Bay Ridge is also comprised of many other types of middle class homes once you go a little further away from the shoreline, and homes that are more representative of the types of housing that Brooklyn is comprised of.
Bay Ridge has been known for its large Irish, Italian, Greek and Scandinavian population, but like other areas in South/Southwest Brooklyn, it has recently seen a large influx of Russian immigrants, and a smaller amount of Chinese The neighborhood is home to one of America's oldest Arab communities of Lebanese Christians and in recent decades, Arab Muslims from a large variety of countries have moved to Bay Ridge.
Bay Ridge also has many international restaurants and bars, especially along 3rd and 5th Avenue, its main commercial strips.
Here are some single family houses:

Semi attached single family houses:

Limestone houses attached on both sides, which are usually each two family homes with a rent able basement:

Brownstone houses that are also usually each two family homes that have a rent able basement:

I loved how this owner decorated their steps with flowers.

There are also many, many apartment buildings. Unfortunately many older homes have been torn down over the years and high rise apartments have replaced them. Some of these apartment buildings have privatized and the apartments are sold as "Co-Op" shares, which means it is jointly owned and managed by those who live in it.

A closer view of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.

When it opened in 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the world's longest suspension span. The ends of the bridge are at historic Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, both of which guarded New York Harbor at the Narrows for over a century. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who, in 1524, was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor.

Another view from this area (below) looking north towards Upper New York Bay and the promenade. If you look closely in the distance, you can see a large cargo ship that has just passed the narrows under the bridge and is about to enter the upper bay.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge "monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth's curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter. " source

It now has the eighth longest center span in the world, and is the largest suspension bridge in the United States. Its massive towers can be seen throughout a good part of the New York metropolitan area, including from spots in all five boroughs of New York City.

Presently, the fee to cross the bridge is a one-way toll (paid westbound into Staten Island only) in cash is $10 per car or $4.50 per motorcycle, and unfortunately there are no pedestrian or bicycle access.
I continued along the promenade to the show the views of the bridge from the southern side. The sunsets over the bridge can be spectacular, and someday I hope to share some good photos of them.

Close up of the sea wall beyond the promenade.

The promenade continues southward. This area is well used by families, walkers, bike riders, etc. At one time many recreational kite flyer's used this park until that was prohibited by the city in this area as it caused many traffic jams and accidents on the parkway because drivers were distracted by the kites!

From this spot I zoomed into a view of Lower New York Bay and the peninsula at the end of Coney Island that is called Sea Gate . This is a gated community of many expensive homes.

This shot was zoomed in on a more central view of Coney Island, where you can see on the left the light towers of Keyspan Baseball Park the home of the Met's minor league team The Brooklyn Cyclones, the old landmark parachute jump ride tower, and both private and public housing projects that are located there. On the other side are the Coney Island beaches and the Atlantic Ocean.

I hope you enjoyed seeing another neighborhood of Brooklyn and I hope to be able to visit many more on future blogs.
As you can see there is much variety in Brooklyn, both in housing, neighborhoods and attractions. We are a borough of over two and a half million people, from almost all nations of the world , or as one of the famous highway signs which I have on my sidebar says: "Welcome to Brooklyn: Home To Everyone From Everywhere."


Junie Moon said...

New York ought to hire you to write all their public relations pieces. All your posts give me a whole new way of looking at the city and its various sections. It does indeed feel welcoming.

I love seeing the different houses and their varying architecture. That one house does indeed look like it came from J. R. R.Tolkien's imagination.

Kathy said...

I agree with Junie Pat, your post today was just lovely, we only saw a fraction of New York but I am learning much much more through your eyes (Camera) haha.

Your music is so relaxing too, just what I need after my exhaustive trip and there is still so much more to see, please keep them coming Pat. hugs, Kathy

Linda Lou said...

I lived in Bay Ridge right before I moved to San Diego in 1980, I think it was like 86th street very close to the Verazzano Narrows Bridge, I remember sitting on a bench overlooking the bridge and the water telling myself - I AM MOVING TO CALIFORNIA!! Thanks for the wonderful memories

Judy said...

Wow...what a tour! Have you ever considered doing tours of your city? You could start by taking bloggers around when they come to visit.

Cindy said...

I'm fairly new to your blog, but I had to let you know how much I enjoy your tours of New York. Your photos and subject matter are awesome. I've spent my whole life as a country girl and I love it, but I've always had a desire to visit NYC - it's just so different from my part of the country. Thank you for sharing your city with the rest of us!

Strider said...

I have never been to NYC, but I have an opinion on what it looks like from movies, attitudes, etc. I must say, your pictures and presentations stun me! The city, through your eyes, is nothing what I imagined or expected. Thanks for putting so much effort into your post today.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow, what a fun post! I loved getting to peek at all these fabulous houses and beautiful neighborhoods. Great pictures. The "hobbit house" really made me do a double-take. Thanks! -Julia :-)

Just A Girl said...

HI Pat,
Thanks for the tour! I was looking at the one house and thought, "It looks like a Hobbit house," then say your comment. Wouldn't you love to go inside? What kind of decor do you suppose they have?
The bridges are amazing! I miss living near the sea.
XO Cori

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Another great tour Pat! I love that rock house...such a cool roofline.

Unknown said...

Hello Pat :D
The first picture, house looks like a castle. Thank you for all the houses pictures, so nice to see them...totally different from our side for sure :D I love that bridge and really want to go day :D happy weekend and hugs :D

Lavinia said...

Pat, I think you are a real estate junkie just like me. I can never tire of looking at interesting houses. All of the houses you show in this post are beautiful, even the semi-detached. They all look so wonderfully solid and established. The iron scroll door on one of the last photos is gorgeous. And of course, I always speculate about the interiors.

Beyond the houses, all those vistas and views, water and bridges....there is so much to see in that grand city of yours!

Unknown said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for this post. Like some of your other readers, alot of NYC is nothing like what I pictured.

The 'hobbit house' is so unusual...who would have pictured it in NYC!

I look forward to our next guided tour!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Pat,Those homes are magnificant! Some how I never pictured Brooklyn like that, but then again, Brooklyn's the new Manhattan, right? Wow, you're the best tour guide! I want to come to New York and bribe you to take me all over, and to all the local hangouts.Breakfast, lunch and dinner on me! How bout a tour of Little Italy with all those yummy bakeries and Deli's one day. :D

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a wonderful tour! Thanks. And the "tolkien" house is just magical. How I'd love to decorate that one!

Kathy said...

Have a wonderful weekend Pat, I read the fortune cookie in your last post and it said "Pat has a wonderful new career ahead of her as tour guide for NYC" :o) hugs, Kathy.

Gina said...

There are so many grand homes in the area.. I don't think you can beat the stone house for character! I really love that one :D Have a great weekend! Gx

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos! Thanks for this wonderful virtual tour of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It was fun.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Pat, for another wonderful tour of your part of the world. The photos are fabulous. I love the history you give, also!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

GMG said...

Hi Pat! First of all many thanks for your comment on my post of 08.08.08 at 08h08 at Blogtrotter, now in Kos, Greece! It was great to read you there. Second, sorry for the long delay to come here, but August was a terribly busy month, as everybody else seems to be in vacation…
Anyhow, I found sometime now to land here and enjoy your blog. And this post on Brooklyn is absolutely stunning. I never venture much further than the Promenade, not far from the bridge, but this trip is fabulous!Great treat!
Wish you a great weekend!

Vee said...

Pat, you always provide the most comprehensive tours! You really should get a job as a tour guide... you're such a natural.

Thank you for the photo of the Tolkein-esque home...that one was my absolute favorite. It just makes me wonder what the inside looks like.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Thank you for the lovely tour Pat! I love seeing your city through your eyes!

Judy said...

That was so much fun. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The houses were wonderful. I love the stone house the best. I'd sure like to go in it and walk around wouldn't you? Thank you for a wondeful and very educational time.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Another fabulous Brooklyn tour! Two enthusiastic thumbs up. The "hobbit house" is hysterical...I'm curious what the story is behind it (and if anyone can find that out, it will be you! :-)

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Great pics. I love Brooklyn and Manhattan! We are out on LI but would love to live in the city when the kids are grown.

Barb said...

What a fun tour! I would love to live in that magical looking stone house.

The girls would love that!

Marina Capano said...

New York,New York!!! what a wonderful photos!


garfigirl said...

Thank you for the wonderful photos. Bay Ridge holds a special place in my heart because my grandparents lived there(321 Bay Ridge Ave)for 68 years. It was Grandma and Grandpa's house to my 3sisters and I.My uncles and cousins lived there as well. We spent many Christmas vacations there.As a teenager, I walked the streets from Ridge Ave to Shore Road with my cousin and took in all the fabulous homes. The JRR Tolkein House (also called the Gingerbread House)was a special treat to pass. My Levittown neighbor was the mailman for this neighborhood for many years (he retired in the early 60's). He told a story (tale??) about that house. He said that the owners had a pet gorilla (was that legal?? or was it a large monkey?)who was trained to take the mail from him. One day a sub carrier, new to the route, was startled by the appearance of the animal and froze. The owner saw him and yelled "just give him the mail!". The carrier handed the entire mail bag to the gorilla and fled. I always believed the story as a child, but only began to doubt it years later.Anyway, I cherish the Bay Ridge of my memories. I still have one cousin living on 74th Street near Ridge Ave today and I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend with her last August seeing 69th Street,Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church, and many other places I frequented in those wonderful years. Thanks for another "visit'.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks garfiirl for your comment! It makes me feel good to know that others are enjoying my blog.

Bay Ridge is a lovely area of Brooklyn. Glad this post brought back memories to you!

diane b said...

Fabulous post, helps me get to know NY.