"Bay Ridge ain't the worst part of Brooklyn. I mean, you know, it ain't like a hellhole or nothing."
Tony Manero - Saturday Night Fever
No, Bay Ridge is not a hellhole - not even close. It's a sort of insulated middle-class community at the bottom left hand side of Brooklyn. Bay Ridge is a quiet place to live, in part because it's transportation challenged. The only subway for Bay Ridge is the R-train. There are also buses - an express bus to Manhattan - and cabs. Lack of transportation keeps it from being a favorite place to live in Brooklyn and therefore less crowded and cleaner.
If you were listening, Bay Ridge had a moment in the spotlight in the movie Saturday Night Fever. Most people who don't live in Brooklyn aren't really aware of the neighborhoods until they attempt to move there. I wasn't living in Brooklyn when I saw the movie and the reference flew right over my head.
The movie was based on a story in New York magazine published in 1976. The article reads like a movie treatment -- same characters, same names, sames action.
The New York magazine article is here: http://nymag.com/nightlife/features/45933/
A lot of what was written in the article has been retracted, but still, it's interesting to read because it is a vignette of a time long gone. For example, they still named the dances in the movie - The Walk, the Hustle, the Bus Stop - all that is gone along with the 2001 Odyssey Club. The house at 221 - 79th St. where Tony Manero lived in the movie is still there, although remodeled. At the opening of the movie, Tony buys a slice from Lenny's Pizza (1969 - 86th Street) and that pizzeria is still thriving. The bridge they fooled around on - and the suicide jump - was the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting Brooklyn and Staten Island.
You can see more about Saturday Night Fever here:
Commissioner Reagan's house in Blue Bloods is on Harbor View Road between 80th and 82nd Street. I guess they might shoot exterior scenes in Bay Ridge, but from what I've seen they stick closer to the Old Navy Yard.
The Italian domination of the neighborhood is gone. Bay Ridge has a large Middle Eastern population now as well as immigrants from Eastern Europe and Asia. The restaurants along 86th Street are now more diverse making Bay Ridge an interesting place to eat out.
A friend of mine moved from the West Village in Manhattan to Bay Ridge. She sold her two-room (three, I guess, counting the bathroom) basement apartment with half-windows covered in bars that gave her a view of people's feet and calves. She bought a three bedroom condo in Bay Ridge with a break-your-heart view of the New York Harbor and the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge and had money left over. One night we were sitting in her living room and a cruise ship passed by, filling the enormous front window. It was amazing.
|Photo by Jim Henderson|
Post by Alana Cash