Even with 90° temperatures on Friday night, July 12, the crowds came out for the second weekend of the Third Avenue Summer Stroll. From 68th Street to 80th Street strollers enjoyed a wide variety of food, music and entertainment, not to mention endless activities for the children.
Restaurants along the strip had bands playing and outdoor seating so strollers could stop and take in the sights. Outside the Greenhouse Café at 79th Street, a band played while people danced in the street; and tables were packed in front of Salty Dog at Bay Ridge Parkway.
Bay Ridge’s Summer Stroll is part of DOT’s Weekend Walks program, which was created to allow communities to use streets as public spaces. The event was presented by the Merchants of Third Avenue along with City Councilmember Justin Brannan and State Sen. Andrew Gounardes.
“Summer Stroll was a blast!” enthused Gounardes. “It was a hot one, but we had a good crowd out on Third Avenue enjoying local food, drinks and shops. I’m proud that my team could help organize these beloved strolls so our community can let loose and have fun.”
Highlights of the stroll included a crowd-pleasing dance performance in front of Dimensions in Dance at 76th Street and a variety of artwork for sale all along the stroll route.
Among the elected officials and community leaders walking along the avenue were Brannan; Gounardes; Assemblymembers Mathylde Frontus and Nicole Malliotakis; New York State Conservative Party Chair Jerry Kassar; former State Sen. Marty Golden; Merchants of Third Avenue President Bob Howe; Brian Chin, VP and branch manager at Northfield Bank; Hon. Matt D’Emic; and Chuck Otey, one of the founders of the Summer Stroll and executive secretary of the Merchants of Bay Ridge.
Chin called the stroll a “wonderful community activity,” adding, “These strolls bring the community together and help our local small businesses.”
Brannan was especially impressed with the turnout. “It’s really so cool to see how far Summer Stroll has come,” Brannan told this paper.
“We struggled in the early days to get it right. It took a lot of work from a lot of people behind the scenes. Not to mention, many people were originally against the idea and now everyone seems to love it. It’s become just another great neighborhood tradition, rain or shine,” he continued.
“Even during an insane heatwave, we had a great crowd and everyone had a good time. Just a great way to spend a summer Friday with your neighbors, supporting our many great local businesses and non-profit organizations.”