With the recent release of a feasibility study by the MTA on the “Interborough Express,” a little-known stretch of train tracks is suddenly in the news. The Bay Ridge Branch is a critical link in the freight rail network of New York Harbor and Long Island, carrying goods like construction materials, chemicals, and beer, and connecting with the Hell Gate Bridge and the city’s last cross-harbor rail barge terminal. This proposal would utilize the branch for both freight and commuter rail service, linking with the NYC subway and providing a direct route through southern and eastern Brooklyn and Queens without the need to travel through Manhattan. In this virtual program, we will look at the history of the Bay Ridge Branch, its current use and future potential, and its connection to the long-planned Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel.
For the past three years, our friend Michael Cairl has been recovering from a stroke that limited his mobility and transformed how he gets around the city. As part of his recovery, Michael has been exploring the city in new ways and documenting it on his blog, On Foot, On Wheels. On foot, he has been climbing the city’s many stair streets, tackling more than 20 of them on his urban walks with friends and family. There are over 100 mapped public streets in the city that are actual staircases, most of them in the hilly sections of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, (including the one made famous by the 2019 film Joker), but Michael’s also climbed them in Brooklyn and Queens. On this virtual program, Michael will share some of his favorite spots he has discovered, and his passion for making the city more accessible to all. While you can’t navigate these streets on wheels, Michael’s adaptive tricycle built by Adapt Ability allowed him to continue his love of cycling, and all proceeds from this program will support Adapt Ability Bikes.
Take a virtual ride with us on the South Brooklyn route of the NYC Ferry. We will board at Corlears Hook and examine the Brooklyn waterfront as we ride past DUMBO, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and finally end in Bay Ridge. Along the way, we will look back at the industrial history of these neighborhoods and see some of the last vestiges of the industrial and working waterfront in Brooklyn, including the Red Hook Container Terminal, Erie Basin, and the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We will also discuss many of things to see and do near the ferry stops.
Located on the border of Sunset Park and Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal is nearby to many options for brunch, lunch, or a drink before or after your tour. If you like Mediterranean food, head to Bay Ridge for Lebanese standout Tanoreen or grab take-out from the Family Store. Industry City offers a host of food options seven days a week, including a food hall and Japan Village, or try a craft beverage at Brooklyn Kura Sake or the nearby Five Boroughs Brewing. Sunset Park is second-to-none in New York City for Mexican food along 4th and 5th Avenues, including Tacos El Bronco (which has a restaurant and a food truck), Tacos Matamoros, El Maguey, and Rosa’s Bakery. Or you can head up the hill a few blocks to 8th Avenue, Brooklyn’s Chinatown, where we recommend weekend dim sum at East Harbor or noodle bowls at Yun Nan Flavor Garden. Click the map below for more information. >> Continue reading