The World Famous Guss Pickles left the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 2009, partly because of the neighborhood changes, but mostly because they relied on a Jewish patronage that wasn’t coming around anymore. As a result, they moved to the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. While their new home may not be the best location for tourists and those traveling by subway, Ess A Pickles(renamed due to a lawsuit) is a hidden gem worth a visit if you’re biking in Brooklyn. As Ess A Pickle is located just 1.5 miles from Prospect Park, it could be a great affordable way to spice up your day without traveling too far. During a recent trip there, I bought 2 small containers of sour and hot pickles for the total price of $6. For that price I received 7 or 8 small pickles of each flavor.
Some details about Ess A Pickles:
Ess A Pickles
1470 39th St
(between 14th Ave & 15th Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Neighborhood: Borough Park
How to get there by bicycle:
From Prospect Park, you can connect to the the bike lane that runs down Ocean Parkway.
From Ocean Parkway, take a left on Cortelyou Avenue
Cross Dahill Road and take a slight left before turning right onto 38th Street
Turn left on 15th Avenue
Take a right on 39th Street, and Ess A Pickles will be on the left side.
Turn it into a day trip:
Bike back to Ocean Parkway, turn right and head south to Coney Island. Ocean Parkway has about 5 miles of dedicated biking lanes on the southbound side only. Ocean Parkway ends at Surf Avenue and the world famous Coney Island Boardwalk(biking permitted only between 5-10AM) on the Brighton Beach side. If you ride down Surf Avenue, you can see all of the new rides at Luna Park as well as ride the famous http://www.coneyislandfunguide.com/Attraction/The-Cyclone-Rollercoaster.htm and eat at Nathan’s Famous at the corner of Surf and Stillwell. Further down from Nathan’s is the home of the Single A Affiliate of the New York Mets, the Cyclones.
You could ride from Ess A Pickles to 17th Avenue, and head south through Borough Park and Bensonhurst. The street does not have a bike lane, but they are wide enough for you ride on the shoulder. Biking through Borough Park and Bensonhurst, you’ll be riding through some historic neighborhoods. Hall of Fame Brooklyn Dodger Sandy Koufax was born in Borough Park and grew up in Bensonhurst. When you’re biking down 17th Avenue and you come to the intersection with New Utrecht Avenue, you find yourself under the elevated D Train. Just a few blocks north, the famous chase scene from The French Connection ended. New Utrecht High School, also located at the intersection, was featured in the opening credits of the 70’s show, “Welcome Back, Kotter!”. These are just a few of the random historic connections to the area.
17th Avenue ends at Bath Beach Park, which connects to an overpass that brings you to the Shore Parkway Bike Path that runs along the Belt Parkway and up to the 69th Street Pier where you find great views of Manhattan, Staten Island, and cruise ships heading out or returning.
Take a look at the photos below, and move your mouse over the photo for more details.
There a ton of reasons to visit south Brooklyn, and these are just a few ways to do it. The plan here is to bring a few of them to your attention during the summer.