A Local's Guide To Bay Ridge, The New York Times' Favorite Brooklyn Neighborhood

by Stephanie Maida · April 8, 2016

The New York Times is notoriously (and comically) late on most things, making it kind of the silly old grandpa of the media world. Oh, you just learned about hook-up culture? About the Rich Kids of Instagram? Aw, crazy ol' Times. The latest not-really-that-new-at-all thing to make it onto their radar? Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Nope, it's not Williamsburg, there's no Bedford Stop, and trust fund "artists" haven't started settling in just yet. Here's hoping they never do. 

As a Brooklyn native and Bay Ridge local, I LOL'd when I saw this week's piece in the Times, titled, "Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, a ‘Small Town’ in a Big City." Of course the amusement came with a little bit of that fuzzy feeling of having your neighborhood recognized on a global scale, complete with a photo of the thoroughfare you frequent almost daily without having a second thought. Finally, the Brooklyn I've been bragging about for years, from my days at NYU to my nights rubbing elbows with It Girls who prefer Bushwick, has been validated. 

Bay Ridge is indeed a small town in the middle of the city, located far enough from Manhattan to keep the rent prices relatively stable in the face of wild gentrification, but close enough for my BFFs from college to settle in after graduation, and my high school friends to stick around. Lazy Fridays are spent at the local bars and restaurants where we're guaranteed to run into at least five people we've known since third grade, some guidos who still spike their hair DJ Pauly D style, and even some early adopters of Bay Ridge, the types of hipsters who are so hipster they thought our hood was cool before we even did. They're OK.

Now, while I definitely don't want you to move here (sorry, it's nothing personal), Bay Ridge is definitely worth checking out for a night or two, a quaint brunch, a walk along the water. And if you're going to hop on the R train and take it to the very last stops, you might as well see the best of it. Here's a very authoritative, local's guide to this OG Brooklyn area. See it before everything turns into a Juice Press.

[Photo via @anna_lisa.jpg]