Generally Speaking: Week of December 13

Happy birthday, Bay Ridge!

This coming Sunday, December 16, Bay Ridge celebrates its 159th birthday! It was back on a Friday evening, December 16, 1853, when a group of prominent citizens and landowners met in the District 2 Yellow Hook schoolhouse then located on Third Avenue near 73rd Street, where they voted to change the name of their community from Yellow Hook — which dated back to when the early Dutch settlers arrived in the 1600s.

Tunis G. Bergen

Due to the prior outbreaks of yellow fever, the villagers no longer wanted to be stigmatized by the disease with a name like Yellow Hook.James Weir

Also voting for the name change was former Brooklyn Mayor Henry Murphy

All three of these famous Bay Ridgeites are permanent residents of Green-Wood Cemetery.

During the sesquicentennial commemoration (2003-2004) of the name change, a special postal cancellation was arranged at the Ovington Station of the post office, a large bronze plaque was dedicated on the facade of the Bay Ridge branch of the public library, 73rd Street and Ridge Boulevard, a time capsule was buried, a party celebration and concert at Fort Hamilton High School were held, and a large mural was painted on the side wall of the Food Town Supermarket, 91st Street and Third Avenue.

The Sesquicentennial Committee remains grateful to Noah Katz and his partners who let the mural remain intact during the major rehabilitation of their food store.


A virtual bouquet of roses to Bina Valenzano and Christine Freglette, the lovely ladies who co-own the Bookmark Book Shoppe at 8415 Third Avenue, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of their thriving business.We stopped by this past Saturday to offer our personal congratulations and to toast them with a glass of bubbly.

We like their credo, Keep it local.You can still buy a copy here of our latest book on the history of Bay Ridge, Bay Ridge, Etc.Peter Scarpa and Jack LaTorre.

During our rounds, we joined the revelers at the Fort Hamilton Army Base for their Christmas tree lighting just inside the 101st Street main gate, and later at the festive children’s holiday party at the post’s fitness center.Helping to provide security and first-aid readiness were members of CERT1NYC.

On Sunday, December 16, the ISO Symphonic Orchestra — which has performed at Carnegie Hall — will present its 17th annual Christmas concert in the Aldo Bruschi school auditorium, St. Patrick’s Church, 97th Street and Fourth Avenue, at 7 p.m. The concert will be conducted by maestro and founder Brian Worsdale. While there is no charge for admission, there will be a free will offering to help support the band.


Fort Hamilton High School holds its annual holiday concerts on Wednesday and Thursday, December 19 and 20, at 7 p.m., in the Lawrence Laurenzano Performing Arts Auditorium,85th Street and Narrows Avenue. Tickets are $10 each.


To reach Ted General via the Internet, his e-mail address is:

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