On the Avenue: Art, opera fans to ‘Embrace Winter’ on Third Avenue

The winter season is music to the ears of opera fans in Bay Ridge!

The annual Embrace Winter Festival, sponsored by the Bay Ridge Arts & Cultural Alliance (BRACA), in partnership with the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc., will feature a special free performance “on the avenue” by talented members of the Regina Opera Company on Sunday, Feb 25.

The performance takes place at Vesuvio Restaurant, 7305 Third Ave., from noon to 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the popular Bay Ridge eatery directly at 718-745-0222.

The performance will feature special selections sung by Sara Beth Pearson (soprano), Melina Jaharis (mezzo-soprano), Paolo Buffagni (tenor), Eliam Ramos (baritone), accompanied by Richard Paratley (flutist) and Catherine Miller (pianist).

The Embrace Winter Festival features exhibits by local artists set up in the windows of Third Avenue businesses from Bay Ridge Avenue to 90th Street. Work will begin to be displayed as early as Feb. 17. An interactive Art Walk led by organizer Victoria Hofmo and featuring the participating artists is set for Saturday, March 9, from noon to 3 p.m.

“The purpose of the festival is to provide an event during a time of the year when there is a lull in activities, to build relationships among businesses and arts/cultural organizations and individuals, to promote commerce and to give the community something to enjoy during the cold weather,” Hofmo explained.

If you would like to display your artwork, or if you have any further questions, contact Hofmo at victoriahofmo1@gmail.com or 347-860-1932.

“Come out and ‘Embrace Winter’ while celebrating the art, cuisine and retail richness along Third Avenue,” Hofmo urged.

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You can’t put a price on love, but for $3 customers can show their appreciation for their favorite businesses “on the avenue” and contribute to the thoroughfare’s success all month long.

Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. Events Coordinator Chrisie Canny is spreading love through the association’s “Hearts on Third” campaign, which invites shoppers and supporters to color in a template to be hung in the windows of Third Avenue businesses to spread love and awareness about the Association’s ongoing beautification efforts.

Businesses “on the avenue” like Cellary are already filling their windows with colorful heart images as part of the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc.’s “Hearts on Third” campaign. Photo courtesy of Merchants of Third Avenue

“Participating merchants will also receive promotion and mentions on the association’s social media channels,” Merchants President Dan Texeira said. “We’re hoping to draw a lot of attention to the many great shops and restaurants located on Third Avenue, while raising much-needed funds to assist with beautifying and maintaining the expansive shopping thoroughfare.”

Merchant members like Tops Restaurant & Bar Supply, Caffe Cafe, Cellary, The Lipstick Box, Mixx Boutique, The Ridge Shop and Charmed by JLM have already felt the love, as the effort has raised nearly $1,500 at press time. Canny said she is hoping to keep the good vibes going. Interested supporters can contact her at chrisiecanny@gmail.com.

Tops Restaurant & Bar Supply owner Dennis Monier shows off the “Hearts on Third” promotional materials inside his shop. Photo courtesy of Merchants of Third Avenue

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