17 Things You Didn’t Know About Bedford-Stuyvesant

Or otherwise known as Bed-Stuy, this Brooklyn neighborhood has slowly been the target of gentrification since the early 90s. Hip hop aficionados know that this neighborhood has produced some of the most well-known and prolific artists like Jay Z, Notorious B.I.G., Mos Def, Lil’ Kim, Old Dirty Bastard, actor-comedian Tracy Morgan, baseball hall-of-famer Connie Hawkins and so many more. So is this neighborhood a big deal? You bet it is.

1. Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” was filmed in Bed-Stuy. The racially-charged pizzeria scene was filmed right around Stuyvesant Avenue, but the pizzeria was completely fake. It was made for the production of the movie in an empty lot and torn down after.

2. In 2012, the median rent in Bed-Stuy was $933.

3. The longest road that runs through Bed-Stuy is Fulton Street (2.81 miles), which runs along the southern part of the neighborhood, parallel to Atlantic Avenue.

4. The shortest is Spencer Ct., at 0.05 miles.

5. From 2000 on, the population of Bed-Stuy has seen a dramatic increase in whites, soaring at an incredible 633%.

image - Flickr / Maria Vega.
image – Flickr / Maria Vega.

6. The post office in Bed-Stuy is notoriously slow and awful β€” the lines at the post offices are awfully long and some people dare to cut lines (and this makes every single people on line incredibly mad).

And you see some weird shit, like this.

7. Bed-Stuy is served by the A/C line (the A runs local after 10pm to 5am) on the south side , G line along the west, and J and M lines on the east side.

image - Flickr / Paul Lowry
image – Flickr / Paul Lowry

8. In 2005, a body was found in the A/C Nostrand Avenue line. 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell’s dismembered body was stuffed into trash bags and dumped on to the tracks.

9. The New York Times once called Bed-Stuy, “Brooklyn’s Little Harlem”. This was in 1961.

10. A six-day riot consumed Bed-Stuy and Harlem β€” two historically black neighborhoods β€” after an Irish American NYPD Lieutenant opened fire and killed James Powell, a 15-year-old African American.

Incident at 133rd Street and Seventh Avenue during the Harlem Riots of 1964, photographed by a staff photographer of the New York World Telegraph & Sun.
Incident at 133rd Street and Seventh Avenue during the Harlem Riots of 1964, photographed by a staff photographer of the New York World Telegraph & Sun.

11. The Times hailed Bedford-Stuyvesant as one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods to invest in.

image - Flickr / celebdu
image – Flickr / celebdu

12. The Slave Theater, once used as a rallying point for black political figures and activists, is located on Fulton Street between Bedford Ave. and Nostrand Ave.

YouTube β€” 12 HOURS OF HIP-HOP @ THE SLAVE THEATER / illBreedFam
YouTube β€” 12 HOURS OF HIP-HOP @ THE SLAVE THEATER / illBreedFam

13. Tompkins Square Park β€” also known as Herbert Von King Park β€” between Lafayette and Greene and Marcy and Tompkins Ave., was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Olmsted designed Central Park and Prospect Park as well.

14. Ali’s T & T Roti shop, on Fulton Street near the Nostrand Ave. station has the best roti on this corner of the borough. Royal Bake & Roti Shop, a short walk down Nostrand Ave. past Atlantic Ave. (in Crown Heights) comes close, though. And speaking of food, A&A Bake and Doubles Shop has the best doubles in all of New York City.

15. Bed-Stuy is home to many historical and black churches, like St. Philip’s Episcopal/Anglican Church on 334 MacDonough Street.

image - Flickr / WarmSleepy
image – Flickr / WarmSleepy

16. There are plans to change Sumner Avenue Armory, parts of it currently used as a homeless shelter, into a community recreation spot.

17. After the 1977 blackout, it was reported that Bed-Stuy and neighboring Bushwick were the hardest hit by looters. TC mark

image – Do The Right Thing

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