Summer Stroll finishes strong

August 17, 2015 Meaghan McGoldrick
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The fourth and final Summer Stroll of the season kicked off at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 14, proving to be one of the most successful as thousands of Ridgeites flocked to Third Avenue from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) to 80th Street for a night of good eats, good music and – perhaps best of all – good vibes.

“I really enjoyed all the community gathering,” said first-time Stroller and Bay Ridge resident Maria Mucciarone. “You don’t really see that a lot and, on top of it, there are so many local artists and performers – some you may even be surprised to know.”

Friend and fellow first-timer Dominique Bible agreed.

“It definitely feels authentic,” she said, attributing much of the Stroll’s success to its good planning.

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“I like that every block had something different but that none of the music was competing with each other,” said Bible. “There was always something good to listen to, but it didn’t overpower the restaurants and shops.”

The two credited their first time at the Stroll to a recommendation by friend and photographer Cait McCarthy who, for the second walk in a row, set up shop next to fellow artist Alicia Deggener between 75th and 76th Street. Both artists sold prints and paintings at each of the summer’s four Strolls.

Just a few blocks down, Ridgeites took a seat on the empty produce stands outside of Food Dynasty to enjoy live performances just across the way – something that, Bible said, was more telling of the atmosphere than anything.

“You could feel the good vibes,” she said, noting that her Stroll favorites included “the people bench,” as well as the FDNY fire safety display a 71st Street, the live music and the opportunity presented to local artists.

Over on 79th Street, HIT Factory Brooklyn challenged Strollers to try their hand at spinning as a number of trainers and dedicated gym-goers hit the bikes outside. On the other side of the street, patrons at Windy City enjoyed a pint at the curb.

“I thought it was fantastic overall,” said festival guru Chip Cafiero who, as always, lent a hand in organizing the Summer Stroll on Third. “There were no major problems and everybody seems to love it. That’s always the reaction from everybody.

“I certainly had a great time,” he said.

“I think we had four fabulously successful Summer Strolls,” agreed Merchants of Third Avenue (MTA) President Bob Howe noting that both he and MTA Marketing Director Chuck Otey sauntered the strip with their children and grandchildren. “I think Bobby from Greenhouse Café said it best: it’s like a block party.

“We just hope the Summer Stroll gods are as kind to us over the coming years as they were to us all four nights this year,” Howe said, lauding the beautiful, breezy weather the Stroll saw each and every night this summer.

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