Hi---I don't know Brooklyn at all, but I want to see Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. Googlemaps gave me directions to walk down 52nd st, then New Utrecht Avenue, then down 64th St. to 18th Ave. Is that a good walk, or will it be really uninteresting/unsafe/industrial? What would those in the know recommend? (I am a single woman)
walking from bay ridge to bensonhurst?
That doesn't sound like an interesting walk. There's a lot to see in Bay Ridge, but for a quick introduction, I'd take an R train to 86th Street and walk west to 3rd Avenue. Walk north to about 79th Street, then turn right and go over to 5th Avenue where you'll see a bit of the large Arabic community. Turn left on 5th Avenue, then right on Bay Ridge Parkway.
To get to Bensonhurst, walk down Bay Ridge Parkway, under the highway, and over to 13th Avenue. Turn left and you'll be in Main Street Dyker Heights. Some interesting Italian-American stuff in that area. If you continue up to 65th Street and turn right, you'll end up at the D/N station at New Utrecht Avenue.
I think the main commercial arteries in Bensonhurst are 18th Avenue between 62nd and 86th, and 86th Street itself. I don't know how far you want to walk, but if you continue down 65th street, you'll get to 18th Avenue, where you'd turn right and go until you hit 86th Street. Instead of walking down 65th, though, I'd go south a bit and explore some more quiet residential blocks.
To see Brooklyn you need a cheap used car.
I can't speak to Bensonhurst, only Bay Ridge. One lovely walk would be to take the R Train to 67th St (may be called Bay Ridge Ave.) This leaves you at 4th Ave. Walk west toward the harbor & enjoy the 69th St pier jutting out into the harbor & giving a fantastic view of Lower Manhattan & SI (THis is also the shot used in the opening scenes of Blue Bloods.)Then walk south along Shore Road enjoying the views & gardens of Shore Road Park which runs well into the 90s. When you get hungry just shift back east to 3rd Ave for all sorts of eats.
I do not think Google is correct. First, 52nd st is really Sunset Park. Although there are beautiful brownstones between 4th and 5th Avenues the main street is 5th Avenue for shopping. Huge Asian population as you approach 8th Avenue and 60th Street - but again, not Bay Ridge. New Utrecht Avenue (if around 52nd Street) is really Borough Park - and heavily Hasidic. Some shopping but nowhere near what is in Bay Ridge.
My suggestion is to decide WHAT you want to do - shop, just meander or chow down.
Shopping - take the R train to 86th and 4th - shopping galore on 86th street and then along 5th Avenue. I find the stores offer much better quality than the Bensonhurst counterparts on 86th Street by Bay Parkway (take the D to Bay Parkway).
Eating - R train to Bay Ridge Avenue and just walk along 3rd Avenue. Some are also on 5th Avenue.
Meandering - take the r train to 95th Street (last stop). You can wander by Fort Hamilton Army base, to the shore (along Shore Road) or along Ridge Blvd. All very safre.
18th Avenue is another main shopping street in Bensonhurst (D to 18th Avenue and walk back towards 65th street or up on 86th street towards Bay Parkway).
There are buses that go between the two neighborhoods (B1) which might offer you sightseeing without the aching footsies.WHY am I always the meat in the middle of an imbecile sandwich?