Neighborhood Highlights

Must-See Bed-Stuy

by Jessica Allen, 04/23/2014

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  • Twenty-five years after Spike Lee memorably depicted a day in the life of the neighborhood in Do the Right Thing, Bed-Stuy has shed its volatile reputation and emerged as a must-visit destination. First, there’s the food, including the whimsical creations at Do or Dine, the pizzas at Saraghina, the unique doughnuts at Dough and the flavorful doubles (a classic West Indian snack) at A&A Bake and Doubles Shop. Then there is the beautiful architecture: just about every tree-lined block reveals a treasure or two in the form of an Italianate brownstone or landmark row house. Let’s not forget about the neighborhood’s illustrious inhabitants: only in Bed-Stuy can you get a drink at a bar owned by actor Anthony Mackie or walk past stoops where the Notorious B.I.G. (who, contrary to myth, actually grew up in adjacent Clinton Hill, near the border of the two neighborhoods) and Jay Z got their starts. When the sun goes down, you can see an Off-Broadway show by an up-and-coming African-American performer or hang out in the parlor of a townhouse built in the 1880s, listening to jazz. The streets hum with an energy as distinctive as its residents, many of whom can trace their Brooklyn roots back to the first wave of the Great Migration in the early 20th century. By all means, be prepared to say hello to those you pass kibitzing in their gardens or tidying their steps. Most of all, be prepared to be welcomed to a neighborhood bursting with pride, culture and community. 

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