It’s not just for Bay Ridge anymore.
The Third Avenue Summer Stroll — the avenue’s annual four-part street fair — drew crowds from outside of the borough and the city on July 17, one attendee said.
“I come all the way from Long Island,” said Marge Cirillo. “I have a lot of friends in Brooklyn and we love to come.”
And for an out-of-towner, there’s no better introduction to the neighborhood’s cozy mom-and-pop shops and mouth-watering dining than the stroll, an organizer said.
“If someone wanted to know what Bay Ridge was all about, I’d tell them to come check out the Summer Stroll,” said Justin Brannan, co-owner of The Art Room.
For others, the annual event is a homecoming.
“You always run into people you haven’t seen in a while,” said Paul Mazzilli, a turncoat Ridgite who defected to Staten Island but still returns for the stroll.
Mazzilli perused some local shops, bought clothing with his girlfriend, and had dinner at The Pearl Room — but his favorite part was cutting loose in the middle of Third Avenue, he said.
“Dancing in the street is the greatest,” Mazzilli said. “Something about dancing outside gives you this feeling of freedom.”
Friday marked the stroll’s fourth year running. For two weeks in July and two weeks in August, the Third Avenue Merchant’s Association shuts ten-block sections of Third Avenue to cars and lets people shop and dine in the balmy summer air. The stroll will return July 24 before moving down the avenue to the leg between 69th and 80th streets for two weeks in August.
And Cirillo plans to drive in from Long Island for every one, she said.
“I’ll hit a few restaurants over the next three weeks,” Cirillo said.