Saturday, February 28, 2009

David Lind Band, "Bay Ridge Avenue"



Bay Ridge is a neighborhood in the southwestern corner of Brooklyn, occupying a peninsula that forms the westernmost part of Long Island. On its western side, it faces The Narrows, the strait that separates it from Staten Island and through which almost all ship traffic in and out of the port of New York and New Jersey must pass. Maritime buff that I am, on pleasant days I sometimes take the "R" subway train to its final stop in Bay Ridge, then walk to the promenade that borders The Narrows to watch and photograph ships passing by and sailing under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Like Brooklyn as a whole, Bay Ridge is ethnically and economically diverse, though unlike some other parts of the Borough it doesn't have either extreme wealth or poverty. Parts of it are densely built up, while others look suburban, with substantial detached single or two family houses on small lots. Probably its most enduring popular culture reference is its having been the locale, along with neighboring Bensonhurst, for Saturday Night Fever, the 1977 movie starring John Travolta that spread and epitomized the disco craze.

The David Lind Band's song, "Bay Ridge Avenue" ("69th Street" and "Bay Ridge Avenue" are alternative names for the same thoroughfare), and its accompanying animated video, at the top of this post, brilliantly capture the neighborhood's enchanting middle-class-but-funky character.