Radio Segment Focuses on Bed-Stuy and “Feeling Like an Outsider in Your Own Neighborhood”

Radio Rookies, WNYC, Bed-Stuy, Corinne Bobb-Semple

I highly recommend this eight minute WNYC segment that is part of the station’s “Radio Rookies” series. The very talented teenage journalist and Bed-Stuy resident Corinne Bobb-Semple produced a show entitled “Feeling Like an Outsider in Your Own Neighborhood”–you can listen to it right here. Corinne’s mom opened Brownstone Books on Lewis Avenue in 2011 and her father started a local real estate business. Her segment looks at all the ways gentrification has changed the neighborhood, and how difficult it can be to talk about gentrification between new and old residents. She also speaks on how the African American community of Bed-Stuy has had such a positive impact on her life as she attends a predominantly white school.

The radio segment includes an uncomfortable discussion Corinne has with a clueless young gentrifier. (My words, not Corinne’s.) It’s true, gentrification can be hard to talk about–but it shouldn’t be impossible. Start with this radio segment and we can start having better conversations about how this neighborhood is changing and how those changes do not always benefit the longterm residents of Bed-Stuy.

Free Stop ‘N’ Swap Community Reuse Event This Saturday

Stop N Swap, GrowNYC

I hope all my Bed-Stuy neighbors are hanging in there after a tumultuous, sad week for the country. If you’re looking for a little community engagement this weekend, GrowNYC is hosting a free Stop ‘N’ Swap Community Reuse Event on Saturday, November 19th between 12 and 3pm. Here are full details:

WHAT: Free Stop ‘N’ Swap Community Reuse Event
WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 12pm–3pm
WHERE: MS 35, 272 MacDonough St, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

The public is invited to bring clean, portable, reusable items to share with those who can use them. No one is required to bring something to take something—you can simply show up with a bag and see what’s free for the taking. Books, toys, fashionable clothing, housewares and electronics are just some of the offerings.

Stop ‘N’ Swaps have developed a regular following among thrifty and environmentally conscious New Yorkers. In response to increasing demand for the events, GrowNYC has set a goal of hosting one swap in each of the city’s 59 community districts each year. “Everyone knows New Yorkers have the coolest stuff. And you can find it at Stop ‘N’ Swap!” said GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “These events bring neighbors together and reduce the city’s carbon footprint by facilitating reuse and encouraging waste reduction.”

Anything leftover at the end of the day is donated or recycled. Furniture and other large items are not accepted at the swap.

Photo courtesy of GrowNYC

Take a Tour of Eastern Bed-Stuy This Weekend

eastern bed stuy, eastern bedford stuyvesant, morgan munsey, suzanne spellen

Bed-Stuy is a huge neighborhood, with various architecture to admire depending on which area you’re in. This Saturday, the Municipal Art Society is hosting a walking tour in one of the lesser-talked about districts: East Bed-Stuy. The tour is being led by my all-time favorite guides, Suzanne Spellen and Morgan Munsey. Their tours, which cover both architecture and history, are an absolute treat and I will be there ready to learn. Here are details from MAS:

Join tour guides Suzanne Spellen, writer and architectural historian, aka columnist “Montrose Morris” on, and Morgan Munsey, architect, historian, and expert on the architecture of Bedford Stuyvesant for a look at Bedford Stuyvesant’s Eastern District, the great architecture, and the history of the neighborhood then and now. For too many years, this part of Brooklyn has been neglected and forgotten, but no more. Cost: $30 / $20 Members

The tour is scheduled for Saturday, November 5th at 2pm. To buy tickets, go here and click through to the “Bedford Stuyvesant Eastern District” tour.

Photo via Suzanne Spellen

Hart’s Now Serves Mediterranean Food on Franklin Avenue

harts brooklyn, harts, 506 Franklin Avenue

When I put out a request for tips earlier this week, a lot of readers got in touch about Hart’s, the new Bed-Stuy restaurant just profiled in Grub Street. The website praised the restaurant for “simple, stylish Mediterranean food,” and it definitely looks good. Here’s a word from owners–and Bed-Stuy residents–Leah and Nick:

We serve dinner from 5-10:30pm Wed-Sun, and hope to expand our hours and open for brunch soon. The menu is full of seasonal dishes of mostly vegetables and seafood inspired by flavors from the Mediterranean coastline. A a grass-fed lamb burger on a potato bun never leaves the menu, and there’s a natural wine list focusing on approachable & food friendly wines from coastal areas, all available by the glass, such as Sherry, Muscadet, and Vinho Verde — and a full bar with cocktails heavy on rum, mezcal, and amaro.

You can’t miss the teal facade of the little one story building tucked behind the Franklin train station’s shuttle. On Instagram and Facebook we’re at @hartsbrooklyn!

You can find the restaurant at 506 Franklin, between Hancock and Fulton. (It’s the former Willow restaurant space.) If you’d like to check out a menu beforehand, go here. Pictured below is clam toast with pancetta. Welcome to the neighborhood, Hart’s!

hart's brooklyn, franklin avenue

Photos via Instagram

A Helpful Neighborhood Update from a Bed-Stuy Blog Reader

Hi readers. I haven’t been posting here with as much regularity as I’d like due to my full-time job, but Bed-Stuy resident Rick emailed an extremely helpful overview of interesting stuff happening around the neighborhood. I’ll hand it over to him:

We definitely need more eating establishments so a jerk place next to Peaches would be nice. I had a look inside the other day and it looks exactly like it did a year or so ago when it was a coffee/sandwich shop. Seems a no brainer that a food place should take over since that end of Lewis is kind of dead.

Just a few other places I’ve noticed that have opened or are opening around the area:

A new coffee bar that will also be serving food is expected to open at 380 Marcus Garvey (Hancock/Jefferson). I spoke to someone working inside (possibly the owner) and she said they are expected to be open by December. This is the same building where a bar is in the works at 382 MGB on the corner of Hancock.

I also saw that a place is going to open on Fulton Street called the Fulton Street Ale House and they are currently applying for a liquor license. This is about near where Tompkins Ave. ends.

Some newly refurbished spaces at Hancock and Stuyvesant. The corner store is already open and they are serving food, not a traditional restaurant with waiters but looks more like a place with food already prepared.

A great upscale bodega/sandwich shop is open on Hancock/Patchen. Didn’t see this reported but it apparently has been open for a month or two.

There’s a large space that is being remodeled on Monroe/Throop. It looks like it is going to be some sort of upscale market/deli.

Also, not sure what happened to the coffee shop on Fulton called Capitoline Grounds but it’s been shuttered the last two times I walked by.

An awesome roundup! I’ll keep an eye out for these spots myself. And I always like hearing from readers with tips or notes so feel free to email me anytime at

Something New for the Space Right Next to Peaches

the jerk shop, bed-stuy, peaches

There’s been lots of activity at the storefront just south of Peaches, along Lewis Avenue. A peek inside shows a really charming space with bar stool seating. From what I’ve been hearing, it will be the brick and mortar location for The Jerk Shop, which has a setup on the corner of Lewis and Macdonough. I caught them grilling at Bed-Vyne Cocktail and can speak from experience when I say that the jerk chicken and pork is amazing. It’d be great to welcome them into this space. If you’ve got more info, shoot me an email:

Don’t Miss It! Browntoners of Bedford Stuyvesant House Tour is October 15th

 Browntoners of Bedford Stuyvesant, Inc. 38th Annual House Tour

If you live in Bed-Stuy, you know we have some of the best architecture in the entire borough. Which means you really can’t miss the Browntoners of Bedford Stuyvesant, Inc. 38th Annual House Tour–your chance to peek inside these incredible homes and see how the interiors are just as lovely as the exteriors. On Saturday, October 15th at 11am, the self-guided tour will begin at Boys and Girls High School (1700 Fulton Street), where you receive a brochure outlining the participating homes. You’ll have until 4pm to check them all out.

Tickets are $20 in advance (til October 14th) and $25 on the day of the tour. Buy them online here or pick them up in person at BrooklynSwirl (445 Marcus Garvey Boulevard at MacDonough Street) or Bed-VyneWine (370 Tompkins Avenue at Putnam). You can also pick up advanced tickets at the Bed-Stuy Alive! Gala Kickoff next Saturday, October 8th.

Photos courtesy Brownstoners of Bed-Stuy