Every once in awhile we’ll feature a Ridgewood resident and get his or her take on the neighborhood’s best spots to eat, shop, and hang out. Our first neighbor is Emily, a newcomer to the ‘wood who knows her way around Fresh Pond. Hello, Emily!
Tell us about yourself!
I am a grad student at Hunter College’s School of Education and also waitress at Morimoto, an upscale Japanese restaurant in the Meatpacking/Chelsea area.
How long have you lived in Ridgewood?
Since May 2012
Where do you live?
On Linden Street at Fresh Pond Road
Food spot no one knows about?
Stanley’s Pierogi on Metropolitan and Arnold Ave — right by Grover Cleveland High School. The potato and cheese ones are my favorite but they have other typical varieties (and blueberry) which are made fresh on the premises daily. My next stop is the Ridgewood Pork Store which is not so well-kept a secret — apparently the NY Times did a blurb on them but I like this dude’s. A friend of a friend mentioned them because they had carried one of their products at a fancy deli he worked at in the past — the bacon I think. If it’s not them then there is another Ridgewood bacon source that I must find. (Ed.: could’ve also been Karl Ehmer, Forest Pork Store, or Morscher’s?)
Best place for booze?
Junior’s on Fresh Pond has a pretty large selection of moderate to inexpensive wines. They are also open late — till midnight from Thursday through Saturday. But really the best thing about them is that they offer free delivery(?!). So you can totally go on that bender you were planning on without EVER leaving the house!
For beer I usually go to the deli on Palmetto and Fresh Pond — Fresh Pond Express Inc. A good selection of domestic beers is hard to find over here but these guys usually have a few good options that have a tendency to rotate. The prices are fair — no singles are more than two bucks (ahem, Hana Food [in Bushwick]) and the two guys that run it are super friendly even into the wee hours of the morning. Friendliness will always earn points in my book (ahem, Price Rite).
Favorite (non-food) thing about Ridgewood?
Over on this side of Ridgewood there are a lot of trees and grass and people generally seem to take pride in where they live. Sometimes it can get a little rowdy near certain drinking establishments (Glenlo) but for the most part people are kind to the space that they cohabit.
If I had to pick a favorite non-edible Ridgewood thing that is a bit more tangible it would have to be Joseph Mafera Park. Walking up from Shafer Ave you see all this lush greenery growing down from the train tracks above. The park itself has a really nice layout — it’s long and sort of narrow with the overgrown embankments from the train tracks as a backdrop. At the beginning of the park there is a large play area for children with swings and jungle gyms etc., then there are few basketball courts and a paved baseball field. Just beyond that is an astroturf soccer field with bleachers and a cool-looking bridge in the distance. The M train also runs right behind. Depending on the day it can have a really surreal feeling over there.
Emily’s Ridgewood Picks:
5401 Metropolitan Avenue [map]
Ridgewood Pork Store
516 Seneca Avenue [map]
6719 Fresh Pond Road [map]
Fresh Pond Express Inc.
6620 Fresh Pond Road [map]