Brownstoner takes on Brooklyn history in Nabe Names, a series of briefs on the origins and surprising stories of neighborhood nomenclature.
Made famous for its blue-collar Italian Catholic community and love of disco in Saturday Night Fever, today Bay Ridge is home to one of the city’s largest Middle Eastern populations. But what’s in its name?
Farmed by the Dutch since the 17th century, the area that is now Bay Ridge initially consisted of two sister villages, Yellow Hook to the north and Fort Hamilton to the south.
Yellow Hook got its name for its peninsular shape and yellow soil. But in 1853, the name’s negative association with Yellow Fever caused residents to rename the area. They chose Bay Ridge, for the glacial ridge that separates the land from New York Bay.
For you non-geologists out there, the steep-sided ridge was formed by the Wisconsin Glacier about 10,000 years ago.
The Insider: Affordable Decorating, With a Glance to the Past, in Bay Ridge
Past and Present: The Bay Ridge Public Library
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