Jane’s Walk is inspired by Jane Jacobs, a famous urbanist, activist and writer. She dedicated much of her life looking at how cities function and how to improve them.
This weekend, New York City will host over 100 of its own Jane’s Walks, covering neighborhoods across the five boroughs. One of those walks will be run by the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID).
Executive Director of Atlantic Ave. BID Josef Szende will lead the tour, taking participants from the end of Atlantic near the waterfront and walking them through the businesses and history that now make up the BID.
Szende will share the various layers of Atlantic’s fascinating history, starting with the days where it was a port for the South Ferry and working his way through the transitions to a Middle Eastern hub, a street full of antique stores and finally to modern day.
“I hope we get people out who have never been here before and want to check out the area,” Szende said, “but also some people who live here and don’t know all of the layers of history.”
Many will be surprised at some of the hidden gems of Atlantic Ave. Szende will discuss a secret tunnel under the avenue as well as the disappearance of Red Hook Lane and why Brazenhead Bar is built at an angle.
The walk will take place on Saturday, May 3 at both 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. It will be the first of a series of walking tours the Atlantic Ave. BID will be hosting throughout the summer.
Another walk will be hosted on June 14 by BID and the Historic Districts Council (HDC) as part of HDC’s Six to Celebrate, a program that celebrates six neighborhoods throughout the boroughs, which Atlantic Ave. has been selected for this year. That walk will also be free.
“It’s not about making money off of the tour,” Szende said. “It’s about getting to know the neighborhood.”
Those who are interested in Jane’s Walk should meet Szende at the southeast corner of Columbia and Atlantic. The full list of Jane’s Walks being hosted this weekend can be found at the Municipal Art Society of New York’s website.