Summertime and the living is easy!
A group of local business owners transformed Third Avenue into a pedestrian playground on July 14 and 21 for the sixth-annual Summer Stroll, where Bay Ridgites flocked to enjoy cultural festivities in the company of their neighbors.
“It’s a great cultural experience for the entire family,” said Brian Chin, who is on the event’s committee. “Providing events like this for those who live in Bay Ridge really brings the community together.”
The 6–10:30 pm street fair, which occupied Third Ave. between 80th and 90th streets on the 14th and stretched from 68th to 80th streets on the 21st, provided activities such as live-music performances, book-signings, games, food stalls, and other experiences for attendees to take part in. The slew of goings-on set it apart from similar events, according to one local who brought his family along.
“There’s not quite as much commotion as with street fairs and not as much smoke,” said Peter Fulton. “It’s more focused on the people and less on selling stuff.”
Other Bay Ridge residents said they came to the stroll, which was organized by the Merchants of Third Avenue, primarily to see the live music performances.
“Honestly, Bay Ridge is under the radar when it comes to live music,” said James Tartamella. “There’s a lot of great bands that come here. Even though they are cover bands, I enjoy them very much!”
The fair has become so popular that merchants on other avenues in the nabe have recognized it as a way to help their streets’ businesses, too, according to Chin.
“Fifth Avenue saw how successful it was and they wanted to have a summer stroll to see how they could help their local businesses,” he said. “They also saw that it’s a nice activity for families in the neighborhood.”
But above all else, the event gave Ridgites who wanted to hang out with their neighbors an opportunity to come together as a community, according to attendees.
“These are people you live with everyday who you might not normally see,” said Andy Issermoyer. “You get to see your neighbors and see who you live among. The spirit of the community and occupying the same space is very nice.”