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!

Dan Hetteix and Henry Stewart talking at the Owl's Head Wine Bar about his book "How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge"
Dan Hetteix and Henry Stewart drink wine and discuss history | Photo by Melissa Wahler

Show Notes

Click these links to quickly jump to different parts of the episode.
A starred bookmark indicates our favorite sections!


Grab A Copy of “How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge”

Henry Stewart signing his book "How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge"
Henry signing his latest book | Photo by Melissa Wahler

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!

Henry Stewart and Dan Hetteix take a selfie before their book talk for "How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge"
Henry and Dan take a selfie before the show | Photo by Melissa Wahler

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

A map of the Owl's Head Walking Tour

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

Audience clapping at the Owl's Head Wine Bar for the book talk for "How Bay Ridge Became Bay Ridge"
The audience at the Owl’s Head Wine Bar | Photo by Melissa Wahler

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!)

More Reading

Check out the Brooklyn Eagle’s coverage of the event in this article by longtime neighborhood reporter Meaghan McGoldrick.

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