Bay Ridge, Long Island
Bay Ridge is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, Long Island. It is bounded by 61st and 86th streets, Gowanus Expressway, and Upper New York Bay. The portion below 86th Street is a subsection called Fort Hamilton. A small area east of I-278 bounded by 7th Avenue is also part of Bay Ridge. Elevation is 85 feet. The neighborhood is served by Brooklyn Community Board 10.
The area was formerly called Yellow Hook and Yellow Ridge for the yellowish soil that what observed by the Dutch settlers. The name was changed after the yellow fever epidemic strike on 1848-1849. The new name was given due to the proximity of the neighborhood to New York Bay with excellent views of which were visible from the ridge that has now become Ridge Boulevard. The area of the neighborhood around Ovington Avenue (aka 70th Street) was once known as "Ovington Village"; it was ultimately swallowed up as Bay Ridge.
Bay Ridge is a largely middle class neighborhood and is one of the few such places remaining in Brooklyn. With its strong family presence, it is not uncommon to see third or fourth generation families living in the region. Bay Ridge also has many international restaurants and bars especially along 3rd and 5th Avenue. The community is known for its high elderly population. In fact, Bay Ridge has been called a NORC or a naturally-occurring retirement community because many of its families have grown-up in the neighborhood while their children move away. This is also a sign for things to come for many other neighborhoods in the United States.
There are many historic sites and recreation parks that can be found in the neighborhood. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was built by Robert Moses. It was completed in 1964 although many residents opposed upon its construction for it would require the demolition of many homes. Fort Hamilton and Bay Ridge used to be separate small settlements in the town of New Utrecht on the western tip of Long Island. Time has blurred that distinction but Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and New York City are still defended by the fort, which was begun in 1825. A smaller fort in the Narrows, Fort Diamond (later Lafayette) had been finished in 1822. It survived until the eastern tower of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge replaced it in 1962. The Barkaloo Cemetery is still historic since it is the only family plot in Brooklyn not part of a larger cemetery. There are a number of them remaining in the Bronx (Ferris Cemetery) and Queens (Lawrence Cemeteries in Astoria and Bayside and Pullis Cemetery in Middle Village. The Barkaloos lived in Bay Ridge well into the 20th Century.