Bay Ridge ranked top Brooklyn neighborhood to raise children

Bay Ridge being ranked as the best place in Brooklyn to raise children may have surprised some people, but not the ones who live here.

The neighborhood was ranked first in the borough and fourth in the city in terms of its child-friendliness by the Citizen’s Committee for Children, an organization that has produced a database analyzing the benefits and disadvantages of different neighborhoods for child-rearing for the past two decades.

The ranking was revealed in the 10th edition of Keeping Track of New York City’s children, a comprehensive database that tracks the well-being of New York City kids based on a wide range of data from availability of early childhood education options to rate of child poverty.

“The Citizen’s Committee for Children has discovered what we’ve known all along: Bay Ridge is an absolutely magnificent place to raise a family,” says Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

This energetic and thriving community, houses an “interesting ethnic mix,” accommodating to an incredible assortment of families, seniors and young people. This is only one of the many reasons Joanne Seminara, chairperson of Community Board 10, says it is a “very desirable” place to live.

With an astonishing amount of kid and family friendly activities, Bay Ridge offers what State Senator Marty Golden calls, “a small town community feel in a big city.”

“What’s not to love?” asked Justin Brannan, Gentile’s director of communications as well as co-owner with wife Leigh Holliday Brannan of The Art Room, a children’s art studio on Third Avenue at 87th Street. Among the neighborhood’s attractions, Brannan counts the great, never crowded parks in the area, the beautiful waterfront, and the great schools.

Long-time residents and involved community members were eager to speak about what makes this Brooklyn neighborhood so great. Their genuine love of all things Bay Ridge was contagious.

For Liz Amato, Bay Ridge resident and member of Community Board 10, given the wide range of activities available in the neighborhood — her son Preston is involved in Tae-Kwondo and drama, and takes private art lessons — it seems natural that the Citizens Committee would take notice.

Among the neighborhood institutions she mentioned was the one-of-a-kind Ragamuffin Parade, founded nearly half a century ago, and subsequently imitated by other communities, and local bookstores hosting book readings and signings.

It’s the sense of continuity that is compelling to Allison Robicelli, an involved community member and mother. “I’ve been here my whole life,” she noted, “and now I walk down the street and run into all these people I grew up with and my kids play with their kids.”

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