Hofmo: Bay Ridge Becoming a Destination

Bay Ridge, because it has held onto its unique, authentic, old-school Brooklyn vibe as the borough changes around it, said local civic activist Victoria Hofmo, is becoming a destination.

Scandinavians, once thought to have abandoned Bay Ridge, are taking a second look at the neighborhood, not just as a place to do genealogical research, Hofmo said, but to live.

The Norwegian Day Parade and Viking Fest, sponsored by the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, an organization Hofmo founded, are pulling Scandinavians all the way from Norway. Last month, a group of  32 Norwegian women came to Bay Ridge for the second time in two years, with plans to return next year.

Part of the neighborhood's allure, Hofmo said, is the way it has embraced the new -- the Arab-American Festival, Summer Stroll and the Bay Ridge Arts and Cultural Alliance -- while staying true to its own traditions.

Bay Ridge is the New York City neighborhood, she said, that best reflects Jane Jacobs' ideal of urban diversity, a place where the old and the new can peacefully co-exist. 

This year, the Historic Districts Council chose Bay Ridge as one of its "Six to Celebrate" communities based on its residential architecture, its commercial streets, its institutional buildings, its parks, and its waterfront.

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