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Arts & Entertainment

Second Summer Stroll draws crowds in the thousands

Two down, two more to go.

Summer Stroll on Third graced the Ridge for the second of four events this season on Friday, July 24, overtaking Third Avenue from 80th Street to 90th Street for what Merchants of Third Avenue President Bob Howe called a homecoming of sorts.

“I think it was a phenomenal success with thousands of happy people,” Howe told The Home Reporter, noting that he was greeted not once, but a number of times this past Stroll by attendees who had just bumped into friends they hadn’t seen in years. “It’s sort of a reunion for some people. Many groups of friends make it their meeting place for the summer.”

That’s because, Howe said, Summer Stroll is now more of an institution than just another summer event.

“It really has become an institution with people hanging out and waiting for it,” Howe said. “We have this perception that people run out of town for the weekend to the Hamptons and the Catskills but, I think, a lot of people stay in town and want something to do on a Friday night, and the Summer Stroll is it. It’s truly a simple pleasure.”

This past Stroll – like those that have come before – spanned generations, Howe said.

“Everybody was talking about how lovely an evening it was and how all the local Bay Ridge families came out – grandparents, parents, children,” he said. “They just loved having their neighborhood back.”

So did local businesses and artists.

“As a young artist from the neighborhood, there was nothing like presenting my work to friends, family and neighbors,” said local artist Cait McCarthy who – for the first time outside of a gallery – was able to sell her work to those sauntering the strip. “It is great to see that the neighborhood is still just as welcoming, if not more so, and has opened its arms even wider for artists.

“My family was visiting from County Cork, Ireland, and helped man my table on 83rd Street,” she added. “It was the perfect way to introduce them to Bay Ridge. They got a taste of all the restaurants down the walk, won some freebies, and even met people with ties to Cork.”

McCarthy thanked friend and artist Alicia Degener – whose artwork was on display at the first Stroll of the season – for telling her to check out the summer staple, now in its fourth year.

“I will be back every other Stroll, for sure,” McCarthy added.

This season will see two more Summer Strolls – this time on the south end of the strip between Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) and 80th Street – on August 7 and 14, from 6 to 10 p.m.

For more information on the Summer Stroll on Third, visit www.summerstrollon3rd.com.

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