Out to enjoy a day of food, music and community fun, Bay Ridge seniors took to the streets on Tuesday, May 17.
During the inaugural Senior Sidewalk Social, themed Welcome to the ‘60s and sponsored by the Bay Ridge Center, the Merchants of Third Avenue and the Bay Ridge Age-Friendly Project, Third Avenue businesses between 83rd and 93rd Streets highlighted special offers and activities not only for people 60 and up but for anyone who dropped by.
And with State Senator Marty Golden’s help, those who came rode in style; his office sponsored a trolley to run from one end of the event to the other A woman who attended the social thought the trolley was a great idea, “It’s nice for us that can’t walk as well and still gave us the opportunity to see everything,” she said.
The weather – which was damp and drizzly – did deter some from coming out and kept activities indoors for the most part. Nonetheless, hundreds showed up and walked the avenue, according to Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann.
People attending the event commented, “If the weather held up, more would have shown up,” adding, “If this was to be done again, on a nice day, we’d love to come again. It was a great time for what it was.”
And, there was plenty to appeal to a broad spectrum of residents. Uncle Louie G’s offered ice cream and waffle specials for anyone, the Art Room had an arts and crafts table for kids and HSBC held a vintage car show featuring Tony Travis and Friends as a live performance. Outside Xin Restaurant and Bar, a Frank Sinatra impersonator serenaded those walking by and several DJs filled the streets with music.
Green Spa and Wellness Center had a stand outside its doors offering special senior discounts as well as offering lotions and other useful products at a sale price. Victory Car Service handed people discounts on rides as well as cookies and an NYPD officer stood near 86th Street for Operation I.D., helping people register their electronic devices.
“It was a successful event,” noted Beckmann, who stressed that one of the event’s goal was “introducing age-friendly in a very big way to the community,” a key concept as Bay Ridge is a NORC, a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community, where a significant number of residents choose to age in place.
“It really focused on seniors and age-friendly needs,” Beckmann went on. “The merchants were very enthusiastic. There’s a large population of seniors in the community, about 20 percent of the district, and I think that this is something we will continue to work on and learn from.”