Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge brings back 1960s to attract Baby Boomer shoppers

May 18, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Leigh Holliday Brannan (left), owner of The Art Room, gives the peace symbol. She is pictured with Pierre Lehu, event organizer, and Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue looked like Haight-Ashbury circa 1967 on Tuesday as a group of civic leaders turned back the clock on the shopping thoroughfare for a special event aimed at attracting Baby Boomers to shop there.

“Welcome to the 60s” was billed as a “senior sidewalk social” and featured concerts, dance performances, wine tastings, karaoke, fashion tips, casino-style games, raffles and other treats in an effort that organizers said was designed to encourage older adults to shop in Bay Ridge and to convince merchants to start catering to the over-60 crowd.

It was raining, but that didn’t stop senior citizens from coming out to enjoy the day being held in their honor. “It’s really such a nice thing,” said Judith Collins, who looked like she would have been perfectly at home at Woodstock in 1969, decked out in a headband and a necklace with a peace symbol.

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The event was sponsored by the Bay Ridge Age Friendly Project, an effort headed up by Judith Grimaldi, a lawyer specializing in senior issues, and a group of volunteers seeking to turn the neighborhood, which is home to 18,000 people over the age of 60, into a more senior-friendly community.

Senior citizens are loyal customers who could help a merchant boost their bottom line, Grimaldi said at a recent meeting where plans for the event were announced.

“Welcome to the 60s” was also sponsored by the Bay Ridge Center and the Merchants of Third Avenue. The events were held on the sidewalks and inside stores on Third Avenue from 83rd Street to 93rd Street from 2 to 7 p.m.

There were peace symbols everywhere.

At The Art Room, an art school/exhibition hall, owner Leigh Holliday Brannan taught visitors how to paint peace signs and flowers in a nod to the “Flower Power” movement of the 1960s.

Shops and restaurants offered special senior citizen discounts for the day.

A special trolley-like bus traveled up and down the avenue to take senior citizens to their favorite spots.


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