Seven Blocks: Bay Ridge

June 22, 2011 2:05:47 PM PDT
When you step off the 86th street station stop in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Bay Ridge Brooklyn, you are stepping into the heart of the neighborhood ? its shopping district.

Shops of all kinds line the busy thoroughfare with the city's very first Century 21 department store at its center. Today, the popular chain is spread out through Manhattan, Long Island, and New Jersey, but this is where the store first got its start in 1961, and it is still a favorite with fashionistas who are looking for good prices.

One block away from the subway stop on 5th Ave, you will find another longtime favorite in the neighborhood. - Hinches' Old fashion Luncheonette and Ice Cream. At Hinches, you can still get an ice cream soda or egg cream, take home some fresh made candy and meet the love of your life.

"One man said to me just last week, 'I met my future wife here. I came in for a soda, and she was sitting here and we sort of got together. It's just that it's been here such a long time'," said Mary Maunsell, a cashier at Hinches.

About five blocks west on Narrows Ave, you will the find historic national landmark home. It is known to all the residents as the Gingerbread House, and was built in the turn of the century as a guest house to a manor. Today, it is a private home owned by a businessman who has carefully kept its unique look up to date.

"Every Sunday at 1:00, a tour bus comes by. They don't let them out thank god; they take a look at the house and the bus stops," said neighbor, Gene Hart.

One more block west is Shore Drive Park. Here, you will find residents heading out for a lazy walk or just enjoying the outdoors as they take in the views of the water along the narrows.

"Bay Ridge has everything beautiful. Water here, park is looking beautiful. They keep it nice, it's great," said resident, Eshrea Cucsha.

Great views, good eats, and lots of pride can all be found within 7 blocks of the 86th street stop in Bay Ridge.