Organizers seek to add more nights in 2015
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Summer Stroll on Third is becoming one of the premiere warm weather events in Brooklyn, according to organizers, who said the three nights it has taken place so far have proven to be so successful, they are considering asking the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to allow them to hold it eight nights next year.
Under an agreement with DOT, Summer Stroll on Third is taking place over four nights this year: July 18 and 25, and Aug. 8 and 15.
The Merchants of Third Avenue, the business group representing storeowners on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, sponsors Summer Stroll on Third with state Sen. Marty Golden and Councilmember Vincent Gentile and is hoping to capitalize on its success.
The whole idea of Summer Stroll, according to the Merchants group, is to give the avenue the feel of a piazza in Venice.
Summer Stroll on Third is run under the auspices of DOT and is part of that agency’s citywide Weekend Walks program. Any change in the Summer Stroll schedule would require permission from DOT.
The fourth and final installment of Summer Stroll on Third will take place Aug. 15 on Third Avenue between 80th and 90th streets. The avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6 to 10 p.m. to give residents a chance to stroll down the middle of the street, enjoy drinks and dinners at one of the many outdoor cafes set up by restaurant owners, and see great live performances by local talents like singer Frankie Marra and Narrows Community Theater.
The first two Summer Stroll sessions on July 18 and 25 took place on Third Avenue between Bay Ridge Avenue and 80th Street.
The event moved south for the third installment on Aug. 8 to give pedestrians the opportunity to enjoy the restaurants and shops on that end of the commercial thoroughfare.
Summer Stroll was a magnet that attracted thousands of people to Third Avenue.
“We decided to stop and have some pizza,” Reem Haidar told the Eagle while sitting with her husband Shadi and their two children, Adam, 5, and Emily, 3, at an outdoor café outside Nonno’s Pizza on Third Avenue. “This is a nice event. We’re having a good time,” she said.
In addition to the sidewalk cafes, visitors were treated to music. Members of Narrows Community Theater performed songs from “Pippin” and other Broadway musicals on the block between 87th and 88th streets. Musicians Frankie Marra and Tony Monier did an acoustic set outside The Kettle Black bar on 87th Street.
In Kids Alley, located on the block between 87th and 88th streets, children painted outside The Art Room, an art school. Outside Kaleidoscope Toys, youngsters made their own candy and played chess with giant chess pieces.
The Brooklyn Market, located on 80th Street, was giving out free bread and cheese as well as free watermelon slices. A small golf range was set up on 83rd Street. Gallery 364, a Bay Ridge art gallery, set up an outdoor exhibition space neat 86th Street.
A series of twinkling lights shaped like flower pots could be found on every block, adding to the ambience of the night.
For more on Summer Stroll on 3rd, visit the Merchants of Third Avenue’s Summer Stroll page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SummerStrollon3rd. And for information on Weekend Walks, visit DOT’s website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/weekendwalks/html/find/find.shtml.