NFT New York Bedford-Stuyvesant


Somewhere between the tough streets immortalized in hip-hop and the hot-topic chatter of gentrification and hipster-invasion lies the real Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of North Brooklyn's largest, most storied neighborhoods. The diversity of Bed-Stuy's blocks--from brownstone to project high-rise, nail salon to wine bar--is slowly being matched by its population. Partly revitalized and yet still bearing the brunt of decades of economic struggle, today's Bed-Stuy offers an interesting mix of transition and history in one of the borough's most fascinating areas.

"Bed-Stuy" is a mash-up of what were once two separate neighborhoods: Bedford and Stuyvesant Heights. Bed-Stuy also includes the communities of Ocean Hill and Weeksville, the latter of which was one of the first free African American communities in the US. The greater Bed-Stuy demographic remains predominantly African American, and is to this day a touchstone of hip-hop culture, though Jay-Z has long since upgraded to TriBeCa from his roots in the Marcy projects.See more.

Bed-Stuy is home to hundreds of stunning brownstone and greystone homes, typically three- to four- stories in height and ranging in condition from condemned to immaculately restored. Much of the Stuyvesant Heights end of the neighborhood is historically designated, including the anomalous and expansive Akwaaba Mansion (1860s), an Italianate home now converted into a high-end bed and breakfast. And did you know you could landmark a tree? The Magnolia Grandiflora in Von King Park is one of the city's rare examples. Visit in the springtime when its marzipan-like petals begin to explode. Don't overlook (as if you could) the amazing stature of two of the neighborhood's former armories on Marcus Garvey Boulevard at Jefferson, and on Bedford Avenue at Atlantic. They're now homeless shelters, but they look like medieval castles right in the heart of the 'hood.

Though not a nightlife destination (depending on your idea of nightlife), Bed-Stuy has cultivated several fantastic locals' spots, and while the new shining stars of Lewis Avenue's commercial strip begin to draw people just that much farther out on the A train, the real local treasures are the hole-in-the-wall Caribbean spots--get there before the doubles--chickpea curry pockets served in greasy mini roti pockets and wrapped in twisty wax paper--run out in the early afternoon.

Though the skinny jeans set sticks to the Bushwick borderlands under the J/M/Z train, Bed-Stuy offers an array of supper/nightclubs (Sugar Hill, Brown Sugar) and Therapy Wine Bar, with a casual by-the-glass vibe.

Bed-Stuy's evolving culinary landscape now extends well beyond Crown Fried Chicken (though there are still a few dozen outlets to choose from in the neighborhood) to Neapolitan pizza (Saraghina), Trinidadian roti (Ali, A&A), and plenty of vegetarian options. Peaches is Southern cooking on high.

Breukelen Cellars and Olivino Wines are two non-plexiglass wine & spirit stores. For basic goods, the Fulton Street retail strip has all you'll ever need. And Tony's Country Life is no Johnny-Come-Lately on the Bed-Stuy scene.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Alisha Miranda
Photo:  Alisha Miranda

Brooklyn Beso
Bed-Stuy does it again. This time, it's a kiss from the Caribbean at Lewis Avenue's newest restaurant, Beso. I don't get to eat much of my favorite Spanish dishes so when I heard Beso opened its doors, I wanted to revisit those Latin flavors. To my pleasant surprise, Beso fed me well: arepas with shredded and stewed beef plus a trio of tostadas layered with black beans, queso fresco, and bacalao (cod fish) were our start to the meal. Delicious, familiar, and enough to be a meal on their own. Next up: grilled skirt steak for two - juicy and served medium topped with chimichurri and a side of fried potatoes. For dessert, we kept it simple - chocolate cake. The dinner was familiar and exciting, as I pieced together ingredients and flavors I grew up with and more recently have come to love. And the drinks are NOT to be played with: served to the brim and packed with a punch. Order wisely. Look out for Beso to make its mark in the neighborhood this spring.

Posted By:  Alisha Miranda
Photo:  Alisha Miranda

Southern Italian enthusiasts have found a new home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. SUD offers a small, seasonal menu that makes for a perfect date night out as summer heats up. Forget the pretentious plates and attitude, SUD is friendly and its straight-from-Italy owner is passionate about introducing his cuisine to new stomachs. You'll find a versatile group of customers packing the tables--from girlfriends tasting the wine and cheese plates, to whole families sharing main courses--SUD makes everyone here feel like you're having dinner at home. Not to mention the interior decor is stunning and their outdoor patio is rustic with home-grown herbs and veggies. Make room for your next Sunday evening out at SUD, and be sure to impress someone special.

Posted By:  Andrew Savage
Photo:  Andrew Savage

Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop
Roti is the main attraction at Ali's. But don't let that stop you from venturing toward other classic West Indian dishes. The saltfish bakes, doubles, and aloo pies ensure that you really can't go wrong at this Bed-Stuy diner. Located in the heart of Fulton Street's Caribbean district, Ali's almost always has a line. Upon hearing a muffled "NEXT!" from behind the plexiglass barrier in front of the counter (remember, your in the Stuy), I would recommend ordering promptly. Service isn't always with a smile, but all food is made fresh. Sometimes certain dishes, especially rotis, can take a while to prepare. The drab decor doesn't make time pass any faster, but be patient!

Posted By:  Andrew Savage
Photo:  Andrew Savage

A&A Bake & Doubles
Destined to be the newest NYC street-food sensation, doubles are sandwiches of Trinidadian origin. Curried chickpeas betwixt two pieces of fried dough, garnished with chutney. Central Brooklyn's Caribbean diaspora have brought New Yorkers a wonderful dish that is hard to find outside the neighborhood. In Bed-Stuy, A & A is king of the double. And for good reason. A & A's doubles have all the elements of good street-food; inexpensive, easy to handle, and fresh. Traditionally served as a breakfast food, it would be in the hungry patron's best interest to get there early before they run out!

Posted By:  Andrew Savage
Photo:  Andrew Savage

Athom Café
From the outside, the Athom Cafe isn't easy on the eyes. But this is Bed-Stuy/Bushwick, not Park Slope, so what would you expect? Lying underneath the elevated J train tracks, blocked from sunlight, anything that isn't a bodega or dollar store stands out. Once you walk in, prepare to feel like you completely stepped into a different world. This place had been a point of curiosity for weeks, but it wasn't until a friend began raving about the croissants that I finally felt inspired to walk in. My friend was correct--the croissants are delicious. But what has kept me going back again and again is the bread. As a French bread maniac, Athom Cafe is a godsend to this particular Bushwick dweller. The menu is very sandwich-centric, with a few soups and salads thrown in. The salads are remarkably fresh, and their presentation only adds to Athom's unassuming charm. And last but not least, a delicious cup of coffee smack in the middle of bodega land? Yes!

Posted By:  Juan Molinari
Photo:  Juan Molinari

Liquid Love
Not having any windows can be a bad thing for any bar, but nothing excercises the bad parts of one's mind like a bar with no windows that happens to be called Liquid Love. And nothing can ratchet up that sense of icky dread like looking up the business on the online yellow pages just to discover that the establishment's actual name is LARRY'S LIQUID LOVE. Walking around Bed-Sty one expects to find evangelical churches, some delis, a hardware store run by an 80-year-old woman, and the occasional stray cat. What one does NOT expect to find is a swanky, classy lounge, especially if it looks like this from the outside. However once inside all unwelcome thoughts are dispelled as Liquid Love is simply as its sign states: A Sophisticaed Meeting Place. The music is not too loud, the staff is more than friendly and the drinks (while served in strangely small glasses) are stiff. There is a dress code and expect to be patted down on entry. This is the place for serious adults to have a serious adult time (clothes on). They also have a roomy dance floor area in the back and live DJ music all weekend (Karaoke on Sundays). Tell the current proprietor, Bunny, that Juan says hi.

Posted By:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch
Photo:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

Prince Lefferts Hotel
The rooms at the Prince Lefferts Hotel are shockingly spacious, the color scheme gradating from charmingly weird navy blue and gold paisley to charcoal black and banana yellow moulding. The towels are too rough and the check-in men too flirtatious. They don't take credit cards but the handy bodega down the street will gladly charge your debit card an ATM fee, allowing you to interact with your fellow gum-snapping, slow-walking compatriots and the Franklin Ave C and Shuttle are just a handy block or so away. Cats are allowed. In my spacious single, there was a gigantic TV, gigantic bed, a mini refrigerator, extraneous rolls of toilet paper on the plastic-covered table, dresser and mirror, fan and AC and out of the not-unappealing tackiness of it all, a very pretty Impressionist painting hanging on the wall. Bedbug-free, benign of quietude, a good semi-luxurious place to spend $80 for a night off the town--in Bed-Stuy, not Clinton Hill.

Posted By:  J. Slab
Photo:  J. Slab

Exotic Homes & Gardens
My idea of "home décor" is leaving slices of pepperoni pizza around the house (for aroma and easy access). So I truly appreciate those with a more "modern" sense of style—like Serena and Patrick Icart-Pierre. Serena knows interior design; Patrick is a painter and art teacher. They recently combined their talents and opened a store on Atlantic Avenue in Bed-Stuy. Situated beyond the Boerum Hill antique strip, they offer a more eclectic and oftentimes interesting selection whose emphasis lies on faraway places and unique pieces: everything from Hawaiian platters and Chinese armoires to plants and paintings. The stock constantly rotates but they always have something purchase-worthy, no matter your budget. So the next time you need a non-pepperoni accoutrement to "classy" up your abode, head on down. Exotica for one and all!

Posted By:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch
Photo:  Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

Goodbye Blue Monday
The Bushwick/Bed-Stuy border never looked so safe! This well-known slightly out-of-the-way music venue hasn't gotten quite a million reviews yet, so I thought I'd give it another. A relaxed, junk/antique-filled hole-in-the-wall, GBM exudes a shabby charm! A traveler's spirit! The shelves are stacked with out-of-print reading materials, the boxes are filled with records; an old-time pale ale is served at the tiny bar. The bar to perform doesn't seem so high, but owner Steve T. will allegedly only invite you back if he likes you. So go! Wine will be served (secrets will be spilled!), bands will be listened to and computer time will be rented out to the computer-desirous. The whole frilly, dilapidated space will be yours for the meandering for the duration of your nighttime stay. Did I mention the $1 meat patties (at any bodega) down the street? Don't forget your switchblade.

Posted By:  Alex Steed
Photo:  Alex Steed

Man, the Bed-Stuy YMCA is where it's at. It is, of course, a fantastic place for swimming, but its workout facilities are both top-notch and inexpensive as well. It opens at 6 in the morning, typically closes at 11 at night, and the only downside to working out there is that starting around two thirty in the afternoon, series of oodles of local high school students come through the gym as a part of their physical education system and hang all over the equipment, doing next to nothing. Aside from that, it's a great place to get your work out on, talk to the sorts of women who read Dostoyevsky on the stair-master, and finish a great work out off with an even better swim.

Powered By Subgurim( Maps ASP.NET

See Bedford-Stuyvesant...
Restaurants (23)
Nightlife (6)
Shopping (50)
Landmarks (3)