Bay Ridge

On the Avenue: Fifth Ave. BID recognized for helping ‘build a better Brooklyn’

November 20, 2021 Editorial Staff
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From Sixth Avenue to Fifth Avenue with love! Bay Ridge Toyota, located at 6401 Sixth Ave., recently concluded its most recent Building a Better Brooklyn Campaign, which recognizes local nonprofit organizations and worthy causes throughout the year. The campaign has recognized groups like the Guild for Exceptional Children and March of Dimes in the past.

“As a family-owned-and-operated Toyota dealer for over 30 years, Bay Ridge Toyota has made a conscious decision to entrench themselves in the community,” the campaign’s homepage reads. “Whether helping individuals who have been wronged or donating to local organizations who make Brooklyn a better place to live, Bay Ridge Toyota has made it their sole goal to build a better Brooklyn.”

This time around, the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District was among the featured organizations. BID Executive Director Amanda Zenteno and Office Administrator Elizabeth Lovejoy were on hand to receive a special donation check from Bay Ridge Toyota officials.

“We shared the stage with the Bay Ridge Community Development Center and the Brooklyn Book Bodega — two other wonderful service agencies,” Zenteno said.

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Speaking of the Fifth Avenue BID, if you visit the organization’s website regularly or follow its growing social media channels, you’ve likely seen the impressive black-and-white homepage image that greets online visitors. The timeless photograph captures the B63 bus traversing the expansive thoroughfare on a spring afternoon.

What makes the photo even more impressive is its unique backstory. It was actually snapped earlier this year by current Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn senior Isabelle Zak, who added the stylish black-and-white filter and submitted it for consideration in the BID’s inaugural National Photography Month Photo Contest back in May. The contest drew submissions from photographers throughout Brooklyn and generated a lot of buzz “on the avenue” and beyond. After weeks of online voting, Isabelle’s photo was named the contest winner!

Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn Class of 2022 member Isabelle Zak (left) shows off her winning photograph to Head of School Iphigenia Romanos earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn

“We received many responses and were very excited to crown Isabelle from Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn as our first-ever photo contest winner,” Zenteno said. “Her photo truly captured Fifth Avenue and its importance as a thriving business district.”

The contest itself was an excellent example of the BID’s ongoing and innovative efforts to foster relationships with members of the community. It ties nicely into Bay Ridge Toyota’s aforementioned Building a Better Brooklyn Campaign.

“As a local nonprofit serving Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, we continue to look for ways to connect with the community, as commercial corridors are a vital resource to residents,” Zenteno said. “We encourage everyone to stop by Fifth Avenue and continue to shop locally to help keep our unique family-owned businesses alive and well.”

Zak’s photo is currently being featured as the homepage and header image for the Fifth Avenue BID’s website and social media channels. Screenshot from

Be sure to visit to see Isabelle’s photo and to learn more about upcoming programs and specials taking place “on the avenue” this holiday season.

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Over on Third Avenue, merchant leaders and community members enjoyed an exclusive networking and dining event at Georgian Cuisine, 8309 Third Ave., on Wednesday evening, Nov. 17.

This special evening allowed guests to enjoy the popular eatery’s famous cheese boat and regional wines, while meeting renown Chef Roini Mgaloblishvili. Look for highlights in next week’s edition!

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