This past August, we had our very first live episode of Radio Free Bay Ridge! Of course, it was super-nerdy hyper-local book talk. Our guest of honor was local journalist, author, historian, and general renaissance man Henry Stewart. Henry just published his epic historical overview of Bay Ridge, titled, fittingly, “How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge”.
Our buddy John Avelluto, proprietor of the Owl’s Head Wine Bar (a major creative hub for the neighborhood) graciously hosted us… and plied us and the audience with drinks.
So of course, we recorded it all. Join us for a very special book talk that literally covers over two-hundred years of Bay Ridge history. We’ll debunk long-standing myths about Bay Ridge. You’ll get a peek behind the scenes as we explore some stories that were left on the cutting room floor. And most of all, we’ll tell the stories of all the people, past and present, who have made Bay Ridge… Bay Ridge!
Click these links to quickly jump to different parts of the episode.
A indicates our favorite sections!
Book Talk with Henry Stewart and Daniel Hetteix
- John Avelluto’s Introduction
- Book Discussion
- How Henry began getting interested in history
- Finding sources for the book and digging through articles
- The Athletics Clubs of Bay Ridge
- Native Americans and Slaves of Bay Ridge
- The Transition from Pastoral to Suburban
- Book Reading: The Artists and the Elites
- Book Discussion (Continued)
- Debunking Bay Ridge myths
- Stubborn Dutch farmers, malaria, and Real Estate deals
- Bay Ridge’s defunct transit options
- Early reasons to visit Bay Ridge
- Bay Ridge’s beaches
- How big was the original manuscript?
- What’s next for Henry Stewart?
- The most important lesson of Bay Ridge’s history
Grab A Copy of “How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge”
Remember to shop local! You can grab a copy of BOTH of Henry’s books at The Bookmark Shoppe on 3rd Avenue between 85th and 84th Street. As we mention on the show, it’s a perfect holiday gift for anyone who lives in Bay Ridge!
Check out the Bay Ridge Museum and Hey Ridge!
In case you didn’t know, Henry has been a guiding force behind multiple local publications, including Hey Ridge and the recently-launched Bay Ridge Museum. He’s also a contributor to Bklynr, the Indypendent, Gothamist, Slant, The Brooklyn Eagle, and many others. With local news outlets getting fewer and fewer in the neighborhood, its imperative that we support citizen journalists as much as possible. Be sure to follow both Hey Ridge and the Bay Ridge Museum if our podcast isn’t enough hyperlocal news content for you!
A progressive news blog about Bay Ridge! It’s been running since 2015. A big influence on our podcast.
Henry’s latest project, continuing from his work on the book and exploring new aspects of neighborhood history.
Listen in to Henry’s Walking Tour of Owl’s Head Park
In case you missed it, Henry joined us last fall for another history-focused episode. We created a self-guided audio walking tour for Owls Head Park, which explored the parks history and events. There’s a ton of interesting info in the tour, some of which shows up in Henry’s book.
Be sure to check the episode out and head down to Owls Head while the weather is still warm-ish. It starts at the main entrance and moves up the southern side of the big hill. It only takes about 20-30 minutes or so to complete!
Go to more awesome events at the Owl’s Head Wine Bar
Be sure to swing by the Owl’s Head for more cool programming! The Owl’s Head is an unofficial creative hub for Bay Ridge. They are hosting monthly writing workshops, poetry nights, and more. It’s run by local artist and wine expert John Avelluto, so swing by (and definitely ask him about natural wines if you want a preview of a future podcast episode we’re working on!)
Check out the Brooklyn Eagle’s coverage of the event in this article by longtime neighborhood reporter Meaghan McGoldrick.