What Brooklyn Looked Like Before the Hipsters Took Over
While many of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods such as Williamsburg and Park Slope are being devoured by an endless invasion of hipsters hellbent on making it a capital of artsy coolness, their southern neighbors in Bay Ridge are often made fun of for being stuck in the past, if not being ignored outright.
However, Bay Ridge (Images of America), which was written by the Bay Ridge Historical Society and Peter Scarpa, is a collection of images and fascinating tidbits that give its inhabitants something to take pride in. Just like the rest of the borough, Bay Ridge has a fascinating history, and in the book, the neighborhood’s past is illuminated in breathtaking black and white photographs, many of which came from the collection of a man named Samuel Winter Thomas who used to live in the area.
According to Bay Ridge, the neighborhood was once a sleepy collection of farmhouses dedicated to living the rural ideal. There were also a handful of summer cottages as well, although these were mostly located by the East River. It was originally known as “Yellow Hook” and saw British troops march up onto the banks where the proud Verrazano Bridge stands today.
The Bay Ridge Historical Society has painstakingly collected over 200 never-before-seen rare photographs and brought the images together in order to give their readers a sense of what this early rural community looked like. Inside the pages of this book, readers can get a glimpse of early Bay Ridgers and imagine what their daily life would have been like. From early places of worship to the very first trolleys that ferried commuters to and from work, readers will get a sense that some things never change in the heart of their beloved neighborhood.
If you want to take a trip back to Bay Ridge’s rural roots, flip through our gallery to see just how different this sleepy neighborhood looked back in the early days!