Can’t slow this stroll

Can’t slow this stroll
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

The Summer Stroll on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge started off its second leg strong on Aug. 8, when revelers took over the avenue to enjoy shops and restaurants between 80th and 90th streets.

Strollers got to enjoy fair weather and local fare throughout the 10-block stretch, which was closed to traffic that evening. Friday’s Stroll was the third in the four-night festival, and an inveterate attendee said it was the year’s best.

“It was big — there were a lot more people there Friday than the last couple of weeks,” said Denise Salvesen, who added that she is a good judge, because she hasn’t missed a Summer Stroll yet.

The four-part annual street fair closes off several blocks of the venerable avenue on Friday evenings in July and August. Merchants and fun-seekers took over the avenue between 69th and 80th streets on July 18 and 25.

Having the opportunity to walk in the middle of the avenue imparts an important perspective, Salvesen said.

“Sometimes when you walk on the sidewalk you don’t tend to see as much,” she said.

In addition to throngs of walkers, the streets came alive with the sound of music and laughter — a bevy of musicians from Bay Ridge and beyond plucked, pounded, and strummed on their instruments to keep revelers dancing, and youngsters got a stroll of their own between 87th and 88th streets, which was dubbed “Kids Alley.” There the Art Room and Kaleidoscope Toys set up free games and crafts for Bay Ridge children. Kaliedescope’s owner even gave kids a tutorial on playing chess, one parent said.

“Every kid had a chance to play, and he made it really exciting for them,” said Melody Mena. “Now my son wants to play chess all the time.”

Another frequent Stroller said the best part about the event is the camaraderie it engenders among locals and businesses.

“There’s no competition,” said Lori Bambina. “Everyone works together.”

The final 2014 Summer Stroll on Third Avenue will run between 80th and 90th streets on Aug. 15 at 6 pm.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
You put the booze in the coconut: Ho’ Brah owner Thomas Casatelli and sister-in-law Kate enjoy a Summer Stroll specailty — spiked coconut — during the Aug. 8 event.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto