Brannan’s Bay Ridge: The secret is out

I grew up on 99th Street near Shore Road. As a kid, I’d be the last person on the R when it finally pulled into 95th Street and exhaled. Nowadays, that same Fourth Avenue local is crowded until the bitter end.

To some people, change is an ugly word, so I won’t say Bay Ridge is changing, but I’ll say Bay Ridge is definitely growing. Evolving. Just like, as a kid, everyone had their favorite band. And then one day, seemingly overnight, the rest of the world found out about them.

Suddenly, your little secret, your special something that you had discovered but that no one else seemed to know about, was a household name. In a way, you felt robbed, as if there were no way these new fans could possibly love this band or appreciate them as much as you did.

But, of course, they did. You know why? Because the band was truly good.  And anything good doesn’t stay a secret for very long. That’s just how it works. So think of Bay Ridge as you would your favorite band.

More and more people are finding out about our little hamlet and they’re falling in love. Honestly, who could blame them? Bay Ridge really has it all: Great schools, beautiful parks, safe streets, amazing restaurants, vibrant commercial strips chock full of authentic mom and pop shops, and miles of waterfront.

We’ve got the quintessential close-knit small town just seven miles from the center of the universe. We’ve got just about every nationality under the sun, representing every age group, every religion, political persuasion and, for that matter, musical taste, joined together in our little bit of heaven on the bay. And we’re all driving around looking for the same parking spot.

Justin Brannan is a community activist, born and raised in Bay Ridge. He and his wife Leigh own a small business on 3rd Avenue.

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