Petition Emerges Against Proposed Homeless Shelter for 1217 Bedford Avenue

1217 bedford avenue
The city is considering a proposal to open a homeless shelter for single individuals at 1217 Bedford Avenue, a four-story building on the corner of Halsey. A group of residents within our Community Board Three district are in opposition to the plan–as one resident told me, “As a community Bed-Stuy already has done more than it’s fair share to provide facilities for the homeless and putting this facility one block away from an elementary school would have a palpable effect on the community.” A petition has emerged that calls upon “the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to reject the proposal from Breaking Ground (the “operators”) based on the lack of both process and merit.” The petition details the reasons of rejecting the plan.

After 200 signatures, the petition will be deliver to the mayor, borough president, public advocate and other local pols. Since it was launched yesterday, it’s gotten 110 supporters.

Photo via Massey Knakal

Don’t Miss This Vietnamese Pop-Up This Saturday!

Viet Comfort, Bed Stuy

A Vietnamese pop-up that first arrived to the neighborhood last year is back! After good feedback from last year’s event, chef Isabelle Nguyen will open Viet Comfort this Saturday, August 20th to the public from 5 to 10 pm. It’s located at 833 Dekalb Avenue, inside Simple Pleasures Cafe. Nguyen told me, “It will be the first Vietnamese restaurant in Bed Stuy, and I can’t wait to share some of the food I grew up eating.” It’s a one-time pop up but she plans to host more in the future. Here are full details from her:

Viet Comfort serves high quality Vietnamese comfort food. The menu comprises of small plates with classic dishes such as summer rolls and spring rolls, lesser known comfort food such as pho kho (brothless pho) and xui mai (meatballs braised in a zesty tomato sauce), and modern/inspired dishes such as taro chips and dips and a spicy version of buffalo wings. Viet Comfort uses local and fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Viet Comfort will have a seasonal menu. The upcoming Fall menu will have the traditional pho noodle soup and rice plates. Viet Comfort will be a weekend casual dining with dining options in the front or rear yard. It is currently working on implementing a delivery services.

Local Org Fashion Redefining Justice Is Holding a Party Next Monday

fashion redefining justice

Mark your calendars: next Monday, August 15th the local organization Fashion Redefining Justice is holding a courtyard party at Treehouse Brooklyn. FRJ does some pretty admirable work:

FRJ seeks to uniquely revolutionize the way adolescent orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) aged 14-19 access justice – through the provision of livelihood and life skills training within the global fashion industry. FRJ will give adolescent OVC the support and skills needed to survive and become healthy adults thus, social and economic empowerment and justice.

We envision the fashion industry as an innovative, sustainable economic development tool that creates self-sufficiency through opportunity, redefining the image of justice for adolescent OVC and for the world.

The invitation is to “come spend a warm NYC summer night partying, courtyard style, with good food, drink, and fashionable people.” Sounds good to me! All the event details can be found here.

Bed-Stuy Resident Skitzo Releases Her EP, Disconnected

skitzo - disconnected ep

Skitzo is a talented musician and rapper who also happens to be a Bed-Stuy resident, born and raised. She has just released an EP, entitled Disconnected, that you can listen to here. Here’s what she told me about her latest work: “Certain parts of it I was vulnerable, other times I was broken and discouraged. But I decided instead of letting it all get to me I should put my personal struggles in the music. I can say one thing though, in the world we live in now I’ll forever be DISCONNECTED. Well there you have it … ‘The Disconnected Ep'”

Definitely give this a listen. And if you want to hear some of her other music, here’s the music video she released earlier this year for her song “I Know.” Also, here’s Skitzo’s full Soundcloud profile to check out. Enjoy and support our local artists!

More Farmers Markets in the Neighborhood This Summer

marcy plaza farmers market bed stuy

The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has expanded the farmers markets in the neighborhood this summer, according to DNAinfo. The BSRC typically runs the Marcy Plaza Farmer’s Market every year through November, and that market will kick off this Wednesday, July 13th and continue running Wednesdays from 10 am to 5 pm. With a $99,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Promotion Program, there will be more markets, advertising and cooking demonstrations. The BSRC will also work with Head Start programs to provide fresh food from the markets for participants. The goal, as organizers told DNAinfo, was to work with “hyper-local and regional farmers of color” that reflected the neighborhood’s demographics. Here’s the market lineup for the summer:

Marcy Plaza Farmer’s Market
Fulton Street and Marcy Avenue
Wednesdays, 10 am to 5 pm

Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ Market
Marcy Avenue and Clifton Place
Saturdays, 9 am to 3 pm

Malcolm X Boulevard Farmers’ Market
Marion and Chauncey streets
Saturdays, 8 am to 3 pm

Hattie Carthan After Church Farmers’ Market
49 Van Buren St. between Tompkins and Throop avenues
Sundays, 1 pm to 6 pm

Marcy Plaza Farmers Market via

After a Week of Heartbreak, An Installation Goes Up in Fulton Park

It has been a terrible, hard week for the country. But thank you to the artist Shaquilla Dillon who just installed this art installation at Fulton Park. The video was taken by Julia Chance, who posted it to the public Bedford Stuyvesant Facebook group. As Shaquilla says, “My installation is to make black people feel loved and better… just spreading black love and black empowerment. It’s a portal for love.”

Volunteers Lend a Hand at Gotham Professional Arts Academy

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The other week, a group of volunteers spent the day making improvements at the Gotham Professional Arts Academy off Ralph Avenue. The nonprofit housing organization Rebuilding Together NYC, alongside 100 volunteers from Forest City Ratner Companies (the developer behind the Brooklyn Barclays Center), spent the day at work. Improvements included painting classrooms and offices, assembling gym equipment, making curtains for the black box theater and building an outdoor vegetable garden for students and teachers.

Gotham Academy High School, located inside the PS 40 building, is a small Community Learning School. It’s an initiative which utilizes partnerships between schools and nonprofits and local businesses to improve student achievement.

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