‘Bay Ridge, Etc.’ Book Reflects Vibrant Community Life Today

January 24, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Follow-Up to Books About

The Neighborhood’s Past

By Harold Egeln

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Brooklyn Daily Eagle

BAY RIDGE — Bay Ridge is definitely “staying alive,” in the words of the song that figured prominently in the Bay Ridge-based movie Saturday Night Fever. In fact, it is doing very well, as is vividly shown in Bay Ridge, Etc., which is the third and latest book by the Bay Ridge Historical Society.

“Our first book (Bay Ridge) was to show our past, our second (Bay Ridge Then and Now) was to present what was old and how it looks today, and our third book is to show what we have become, from a semi-rural community to the size of a small city,” write the trio of society authors in their introduction.

They are columnist Ted General, Bay Ridge Historical Society President Jack La Torre and Bay Ridge Historical Society Immediate Past President Peter Scarpa. They launched their book recently at the Yellow Hook Grille and held a book-signing celebration at The BookMark Shoppe on Saturday evening.

In this riveting present-day snapshot of a civic-minded Bay Ridge, the authors and photographers have made an exciting canvas of a lively neighborhood.

“While we are a diverse ethnic society, we live in harmony. We can laugh at ourselves and gather to remember our heroes,” the authors write about their highly interesting 104-page book published by ColorPage of Kingston, N.Y.

The book’s 12 sections address scenery, politics, houses, sports, Fort Hamilton, people in Bay Ridge, schools, faces in the crowd, business, churches and memorials, miscellaneous, and “Lost in Bay Ridge.”

The last section uses a fun imaginary dialogue between a taxi driver and a rider driving through several dead-end side streets and cul-de-sacs with names such as Hamilton Walk, Wogan Terrace, Bennet Court and Forest Place.

In photos, readers will see Brooklyn Eagle Publisher Dozier Hasty getting an award, Sancho’s Restaurant bartender Guillermo “Willie” Alosta, the late local historian George Paszkewicz as a child, and bakery workers on Fifth Avenue 100 years ago.

You see local resident Ruth Edwards as a child with her schoolmates, Anthony Perricone of Frank and Eddie’s greeting Norway’s King Olaf V in 1968, the McLoughlins at the grand opening of McLoughlin’s Cafe, and “ladies night out” diners. Old-timers may remember the Hatfield and Bell delivery truck from 97th Street.

Current political, civic and religious leaders are pictured in action, and historic places that have endured right into our time are shown, all in a sumptuous serving of Bay Ridge today with a delicious side dish of Bay Ridge’s past.

Copies of Bay Ridge, Etc. are available at The BookMark Shoppe, 8415 Third Ave., and at select shops. The society meets at the Shore Hill Community Room, 9000 Shore Road at 91st Street on the third Wednesday evening of the month. For more information visit www.bayridgehistory.org.

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