Fort Hamilton is a quite respite from the busy city life. Although the many view the neighborhood as being part of neighboring Bay Ridge, the area has developed its own unique personality, partly due to a recent rezoning that marked its borders.
7th Avenue, the Gowanus Expressway, 86th Street and Poly Place bound the Fort Hamilton area.
The neighborhood is a military base that was named after a local army Garrison, and its mission is “to provide the New York metropolitan area with military installation support for the Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserve.” The remnants of its military identity is exemplified by its Canon monument, located in John Paul Jones Park (nicknamed Cannon Park), where residents are met with this giant cannon and a granite as they cross Fourth Avenue at 101st Street. The park itself is a pet friendly green space right off the water, popular for photo-shoots with amazing night time views of nearby Verrazano Bridge.
Fort Hamilton also has the honor of kicking off the annual NYC Fleet Week festivities, where thousands of recently deployed servicemen and women dock into the city for one week. More than 1200 children are in attendance as the neighborhood welcomes the ships. During a recent ceremony, Fort Hamilton rendered an 11-gun salute to the U.S. Navy’s USS Arlington (LPD 24) – Amphibious Transport. The U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team performed before the parade of ships.
The area is quiet in terms of food, shopping and entertainment. A neighborhood favorite is Hamilton’s, a local tavern serving comfort food with some global twists, plus brunch, in a warm-hued setting. For those looking for more restaurants and bars, Bayridge is just a stone’s toss over. Shoppers gather at nearby Fort Hamilton Plaza, with more shopping options located in neighboring Bay Ridge. The neighborhood is also very close to Dyker Beach Golf Course where residents can enjoy a few rounds of golf on a Saturday afternoon. The venue also hosts weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and corporate and formal events.
Many of its residents are over 55 and their families have owned homes in the area for several generations. Doris Cruz, a 30-year Fort Hamilton resident of Norwegian descent living on 99th Street, says that two families on her block have been in the same home for three generations, or about 75 years. Fort Hamilton is a family-friendly type of neighborhood where once you’re here, you don’t really leave. Because of its distance from Manhattan, the real estate in this neighborhood is much cheaper than others in the Brooklyn borough. The median rent in the area is less than $1500 and the median home value is around $650,000. Recently, Shore Road has seen growth in new development projects and condo buildings in the area, but the real estate in Fort Hamilton is mostly comprised of single-family detached and multifamily houses.
Many people in the neighborhood drive, but many more use the R train as a mode of transportation. The neighborhood stops on the R train are 86th street– Bayridge and 96th Street. For commuters looking to dodge the R train, you can take one of the express buses; (B8, X27, X37) for a quick trip to Manhattan, Staten Island and other parts of Brooklyn.