Atlantic Avenue, a scant two short blocks from where I live, is probably one of the most diverse avenues in the United States, if not in the world. At one end is the Brooklyn Bridge Park and miles away at the other end, as it crosses the Van Wyck Expressway, it morphs into 94th Avenue. But my stretch is anchored by two bars, Montero's Bar & Grill and Hank's Saloon. In between you have everything. More bars than you can shake a stick at, restaurants of every kind, from Middle Eastern to French, to soul food, to..., well, you name it. And you can find food stores ranging from your typical New York deli to Trader Joe's to Sahadi's Middle Eastern Grocery, a sprawling store that stocks just about every exotic ingredient that you could imagine. And if they don't have it, there are another half-dozen Middle Eastern stores that do. You have stores to serve your every need. And everyone lives in harmony in this stew of diversity.
I have decided to restart my blog that formerly chronicled my journey through a thousand bars in a single year to document this, to me, most fascinating of places before it irrevocably changes. As the neighborhood gentrifies, as so many do, many of the old places are leaving or changing beyond recognition. Change is inevitable. Atlantic Avenue, when I moved to Brooklyn, was a stretch you might not feel comfortable strolling about after dark. Some of the bars were downright dangerous. Now the danger is getting nicked fourteen bucks or more for a cocktail prepared by a mixologist who uses more ingredients than a chef uses for most meals, and bars that look like chemistry sets cluttered with bottles of special house bitters and who knows what else.
Now don't get me wrong, I can dump down a Dolores Del Rio (Jalapeño Infused Blanco Tequila, Aperol, Passion Fruit, Lime Juice) at the Long Island Bar as well as anyone. But I also remember when the Long Island Bar was pretty much a beer and a shot place. I want to document my stretch of Atlantic Avenue as it is now, before it changes even more. And maybe throw in a memory or two of what it was like.
I hope you will enjoy this trip as much as you enjoyed the last one. I am sure I will have as much fun. And I encourage anyone who has their own memories of, or thoughts about Atlantic Avenue to share them.