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Pope Francis: Please come to B’KLYN on your next NYC trip

Eye On Real Estate: Cool places for you to see in the the Borough of Churches — Part Two

September 30, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Sunset Park's Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a church that ministers to immigrants, which Pope Francis would surely appreciate. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Pope Francis, your big visit to the Big Apple was awesome. If only you had come to B’KLYN!

We know there wasn’t time for you to visit our borough. So we hope you will return to NYC soon — and include Brooklyn on your itinerary. Everybody calls this the Borough of Churches. Doesn’t that sound like a good fit?

We made a list of some places you’d surely like.

Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 526 59th St., Sunset Park: Construction of part of this stunning Catholic church was completed in 1909, and the rest was finished in 1928.

The priests who built Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Redemptorists, had bought the land for the church for $40,000 in 1892, according to Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s website. It’s an entire city block bounded by Fifth Avenue, 59th Street, Sixth Avenue and 60th Street.

Today, this is a church with a strong ministry for immigrants. Masses are said in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and English.

Tacos Tijuana, 5807 Fifth Ave., Sunset Park: If the Pope needs a bite of lunch after visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, neighboring Tacos Tijuana serves up tasty mole poblano (chicken and sauce with chocolate in it).

The 58th Street pier, Sunset Park: Pope Francis wears a Fisherman’s Ring in remembrance of St. Peter, who was a fisherman before Jesus called upon him and his brother Andrew to become “fishers of men,” meaning Apostles who would bring souls to the Lord.

Perhaps Pope Francis would like to check in on Brooklyn’s present-day, actual fishermen.

There are fishing piers in various spots including Bay Ridge and Canarsie. But we’d like to show the Pontiff the 58th Street pier in Sunset Park. It’s scenic in an unusual way — it’s tucked behind that massive industrial complex, the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

By the way, there are fresh-water fish and salt-water fish to be caught off this New York Bay pier.

Red Hook Community Farm, 580 Columbia St.: During the summer, Pope Francis issued a high-impact encyclical (which is a letter about Catholic doctrine to church leaders) concerning climate change and the need for humankind to protect the environment.

Because of his strong environmental advocacy, surely he’d appreciate Red Hook Community Farm. The former concrete baseball field is now a field where more than 20,000 pounds per year of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, arugula and other vegetables are organically grown using sustainable farming practices.

Another good thing about the 2.75-acre garden and compost site is that teens receive training there in urban agriculture.


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