“Come let’s stroll” were the opening lines to the popular hit song “The Stroll” by the Diamonds, and appear to sum up the mood for the third night of this year’s annual Summer Stroll series along Third Avenue in Bay Ridge between 80th and 90th streets on Friday, Aug. 2.
The weather was perfect with a bounty of delicious food, memorable music and entertainment, and an array of activities for kids and adults.
Restaurants along the strip had bands playing and outdoor seating so strollers could stop and take in the sights. Outside Kettle Black at 87th Street, the group Max’s Wheelhouse performed to an enthusiastic crowd.
Hom, Cebu and Chadwick’s at 88th Street, Ho’Brah at 86th and Blue Door Souvlakia at 84th Street all had food, drinks and seating for strollers to stop and enjoy a meal.
“This was truly a family friendly event and we’re so grateful to our community for hosting this stroll every summer,” said resident Amanda Rich. “We always look forward to trying all the food specials at the restaurants and running into friends on Third Avenue.”
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 State Sen. Andrew Gounardes and City Councilmember Justin Brannan.
“I love to see big crowds enjoying themselves for Summer Stroll! People of all ages hit the streets in the beautiful summer weather to enjoy local food, drink and shops,” Gounardes told this paper.
“The strong participation from small businesses, community groups and artists showcase what makes our neighborhoods truly special. As we do every week, my team was there to share information and resources that might be helpful for the public. Come by and say hi to us at the next stroll! This is one my favorite summer traditions, and I hope everyone had a blast,” added Gounardes.
Among the highlights were young performers from Narrows Community Theater turning Third Avenue into Neverland by previewing the upcoming production of “Peter Pan the Musical,” Maimonides Medical Center offering healthcare tips at its booth, and Tony Travis and Friends entertaining the crowd with some familiar rock and pop favorites.
The BookMark Shoppe at 84th Street hosted five authors — including Emmanuella Macri signing copies of her new children’s book “Older,” Dr. Andrea Auerbach with her new book “The Best Kept Secret,” and Henry Stewart autographing copies of his books “True Crime Bay Ridge” and “How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge.”
Among the elected officials and community leaders walking along the avenue were Brannan; Gounardes; Assemblymember Mathlyde Frontus; Brooklyn Conservative Party Chair Fran Vella-Marrone; former Councilmember Vincent Gentile; Robert Howe, president of the Merchants of Third Avenue; Brian Chin, VP and branch manager at Northfield Bank; Walter Ochoa, president and owner of Right at Home; Captain Robert Conwell, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct; and Summer Stroll organizer Ilene Sacco.
“Once again the Third Avenue Summer Stroll was a huge success. There were hundreds of families out and about taking in the delicious aromas of local restaurants and listening to the sounds of local bands,” Frontus told this paper. “My favorite part of the night was getting to meet my constituents and their families one-on-one, and getting to hear what’s on their minds.”
The next stroll will take place on Friday, Aug. 9 and will run from 68th Street to 80th Street.
“The Summer Stroll has become a Bay Ridge tradition and for good reason,” Brannan told this paper. “Friends and neighbors can enjoy being out on the avenue, taking in all that our local businesses have to offer. I look forward to the final summer stroll this Friday. If you haven’t been to one yet, please come out and say hi.”