13 May 2007

Viking Runes

What with the annual Norwegian Day Parade due to take place in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, this Sunday, May 20, I thought I would point out that there are still a few remaining signposts of the neighborhood's once mighty Norwegian-born population, beginning with large, peaceful park named after Viking explorer Lief Ericson.

There are several churches that still conduct services in Norwegian, including this one just north of Ericson Park.

Nordic Delicacies on Third Avenue caters to those oldtimers who still cling to Scandinavian cuisine, such as it is.

And the Norwegians, Swedish and Danes still have functioning social clubs on the side streets in the mid-60s along Eighth Avenue. They're all nondescript buildings and rather hard to find. The Danish club has the most lavish digs, and has a working restaurant. The Swedish club is done out in spiffy blue and yellow, the colors of the Swedish flag. The Norwegian club is called Sporting Club Gjoa, and still competes in soccer.

I plan to go to the parade. I'm curious, since half my heritage is Norwegian. I will report back next Monday.


Eliot said...

There's a retirement home somewhere in the Sunset area which has a small museum dedicated to the area's Norse background. I'll try to dig it up.

A few old Norwegian-American carpenters and dockworkers hang out at the Soccer Tavern on 8th Ave.

Eliot said...


The exhibit is on the ground floor.

Anonymous said...

And don't forget Viking Fest on Saturday, the 19th, at Owl's Head Park.

Anonymous said...

Is that Norwegian store ever open? As an old Ballard resident I long for Scandanavian delicacies that Ikea just can't fully deliver on. Yet that store is always closed when I go there in search of lefse.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

It's open on weekdays, not so much on weekends.

eternalsunshine said...

The Lutheran Medical Center on 2nd Ave and 54th St in Brooklyn was founded by a Norwegian (Lutheran) woman in the 1800's: Sister Elizabeth Fedde. Supposedly this is noted on the 53rd St BMT subway signs.