Tourist Tuesdays: Sheepshead Bay/Holocaust Memorial

Have I mentioned I love my neighborhood? I think it bears repeating, I love my neighborhood. This week’s installment of Tourist Tuesday once again features a hidden gem in my own neighborhood. We live between Brighton Beach (highlighted here: https://landlshenanigans.com/2022/12/20/tourist-tuesdays-brighton-beach/) and Sheepshead Bay.

Sheepshead Bay, the neighborhood, takes its name from a hotel established in 1844, which, in turn, was named from the bay’s formerly abundant population of sheepshead saltwater fish (which are named for their weird sheep-like teeth… seriously, check out these creepy fish — https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/running-ponies/the-sheepshead-fish-has-human-teeth-but-its-okay-because-it-wont-give-you-a-psychedelic-crisis/).

Known to be a fishing village in pre-colonial times, in the early 1900’s it had developed into a yacht club haven. The tradition of sailing and boating in the bay continues to this day.

Along the north side of the bay you’ll find a row of restaurants and fishing charters. It’s always vibrant and thrumming with life. Along the south side of the bay are ridiculously expensive homes, with the peninsula terminating in the Kingsborough Community College. A pedestrian bridge connecting these two sides of the bay was first built in 1880.

But at the top of the bay sits a beautiful and sobering tribute; a Holocaust Memorial. In the Spring and Summer the area feels almost secluded with trees and foliage forming a barrier around the memorial from the car and foot traffic surrounding it. In the late Fall and early Winter the ground plants get cut down, giving a more open view of the beautiful memorial. Conceived in 1986, the park was officially dedicated in 1997.

The memorial was designed to evoke tombstones, with 234 markers clustered in two areas. Some stones are inscribed with quotations, individual and family names, and historic events (https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/holocaust-memorial-park-bt10/history).

It’s worth a visit if you can make it to the neighborhood, and if you’re a bit peckish after your visit there are tons of restaurants to choose from along Emmons Avenue (burgers, bakeries, Turkish, crepes… pretty much anything you can think of). Also! There are swans in the bay! They’re beautiful and peaceful to watch.

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