Renovated Affordable Housing Opens on Bainbridge Street


Photo by Ben Gabbe

Last Thursday, the ribbon was cut on a renovated affordable housing project at 271 and 291 Bainbridge Street. It was the work of HPD, Enterprise Community Partners, Low Income Investment Fund, NYS Housing Trust Fund and New Destiny Housing. New Destiny is a nonprofit that works with low-income families and individuals at risk of homelessness and domestic violence by connecting them to safe, permanent housing and services.

The four-building, 36-unit affordable complex got $9.4 million in upgrades. Each renovated building now contains six apartments set aside for formerly homeless families, with rents affordable to very low and low income tenants.

Renovations also included new roofs, joist replacement, new and improved lighting in hallways, masonry cleaning, new boilers, additional security cameras, renovated lobbies, new landscaping in all backyards, and new children’s play equipment. Apartment upgrades included new bath and kitchen fixtures, new appliances, floor replacements, tiling and painting. Check out the apartments below!

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Pop-Up Exhibit Happening This Friday at The Malcolm

Carlos Mateu, Art De Coeur

This Friday between 7 and 11pm, a pop-up art exhibit will be on view at The Malcolm, located at 106 Malcolm X Boulevard between Greene and Lexington. The show, “Pop Geometric” is by the artist Carlos Mateu. Here are more details on Carlos:

Carlos Mateu calls his art style “geometric realism”. His paintings fuse elements of cubism with realism, using straight lines and perspective to create a geometric and three-dimensional effect, while subtly deforming the images. Intense colors of acrylic are applied in layers like silkscreen, creating clean and precise divisions between tones, textured further with oil pastel. His subject matter incorporates surrealism and mysticism to reflect the Afro Cuban life and religions, memories of Cuba, his life in the United States and his own creative perspective on the world around him.

The event is being hosted by Art du coeur, which represents both emerging and established artists and shows their work in various venues around New York City.

Brooklyn United Marching Band Theater Debut

Join the Brooklyn United Drum and Dance Troupe for their limited time, off-Broadway debut on June 8th, 9th and 10th – BROOKLYN UNITED LIVE. This dynamic, engaging production will feature performers ages 5 to 17 from across the borough who have been working hard to prepare for this unique expression of music, dance, community and camaraderie.

Brooklyn United kids come from numerous Brooklyn neighborhoods, with over 100 participants from Bed-Stuy alone. Students learn to read music and to march, of course, but they also learn life skills. The BU mission states clearly the wider vision as “the development of youth through Academic Support, Character Development, Skills Building and Performance Opportunities. It is through these pillars that we strive to build strong, well rounded, healthy, confident and capable young people.”

Ty Brown has been running programs in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights for over 20 years, and described the myriad ways in which the program has impacted young participants. “BU has effected students in every area of their lives. Academically they show great growth, emotionally they are more confident and outspoken, and their relationships with their parents are stronger. BU students become amazing leaders and go on to lead any industry they enter.”

Next week these young leaders will have the opportunity to showcase their skills on a new stage, and we will be fortunate to partake in the joy and growth that comes from working together as a community to create a singular work of art. Brown’s message is clear and rings from every cymbal crash and bass drum beat, “[We can all] be better each day,” he said, “Wake up with gratitude every day for our ability to beat this game of life!”

Tickets are available at www.lamama.org. Performances will take place June 8th to the 10th, 2018 at La Mama (66 East 4th Street). (June 8th at 8pm, June 9th and 10th at 3pm.)

Check out this video to learn more about the incredible kids of Brooklyn United, or watch this video to see and hear them at the Kosciuszko Bridge Opening Ceremony.

Atlanta Celebration at Bed-Vyne Brew This Weekend

This Saturday, June 2nd, there will be a a celebration of all things Atlanta at our local beer and wine bar Bed-Vyne Brew. The bar’s regular DJs will be playing tons of music from the ATL, including favorites like Outkast. Also, Atlanta’s craft beer king, Sweetwater, will be doing a tap takeover. Expect new beers alongside merch giveaways and prizes.

Interested? The tap takeover is from 4pm to 9pm and there’s no cover.

DanceAfrica Kickoff Happening This Saturday at Bed-Stuy at Restoration Plaza

This Saturday marks a pre-opening celebration of a 21-Year Partnership between Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and BAM’s DanceAfrica program. Check out the event this Saturday, May 19th, between 10am and 3pm at Restoration Plaza (1368 Fulton Street). This year the theme focuses on “Living Your Best Life,” and there will be artisans, healthy living vendors, dance classes, music, yoga and performances by RestoratonART’s Youth Arts Academy.

According to the event press release, “Midway into the day, the DanceAfrica Council of Elders will pay homage to the ancestors with a procession throughout the campus of Restoration with community leaders and members. All are welcomed to participate.”

This event is free and open to the public. For more details, check out the Facebook event.

Bed-Stuy Stories: Gloria Sandiford, Advocate and Real Estate Broker

GloriaBed-Stuy Blog’s newest contributor, Mikhal Weiner, is profiling interesting residents from our community for her column, Bed-Stuy Stories. Next up is Gloria Sandiford, a community activist, Real Estate Broker at Flateau Realty Corp, and president of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Real Estate Board.

If you open Gloria Sandiford’s StreetEasy profile you’ll find yourself looking into her intelligent eyes, as they beam at the camera. Underneath, a short blurb explains that she is a “Brooklynite for Life! Community advocate and activist. Deep respect and admiration for arts & culture,” but most importantly: “My service policy: knowledge, trust, honesty, integrity & top-notch service, with a little humor!” In truth, Sandiford is all this and more. We met recently at Grandchamps, a local Bed-Stuy haven of Haitian cuisine. Sandiford walked in, shaking off an umbrella, and immediately took in the room with a warm smile. Calling the servers ‘honey’ and asking how they are, she made everyone’s day brighter.

Our conversation covered a wide swath of topics, but throughout her eclectic adventuresGloria2 one thread has remained consistent and strong: people, and the connections between them. “[The] word community encompasses so many different things,” she told me, considering the idea as she spoke, “The people, the processes, the leadership. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Schools, education, children, seniors, it’s all a part of that word community.” That’s where her passion lies, in helping the public become it’s best self, whether through advocacy, outreach, education, or simply buying groceries for an elderly neighbor.

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Zaca Cafe Opens Tonight in Former Jeffrey’s Spot

Zaca Cafe, bed-stuy, bed-stuy cafe, 426 Marcus Garvey Boulevard

This evening, get ready to welcome a new business to Marcus Garvey Boulevard, a stretch that’s seen some openings as of late. The great commercial space once occupied by Jeffrey’s is now home to Zaca Cafe. The location is 426 Marcus Garvey Boulevard, between Macon and MacDonough. The owner is chef Inoussa Campaore, who you can read more about here. Inoussa immigrated to Brooklyn from Burkina Faso and worked his way up from dishwasher at Clinton Hill’s Choice Market. Here are some more details:

After a long year of planning and hard work, Inoussa is opening the doors of Zaca Cafe in Bed Stuy this Friday, 5/11 from 4-8pm. [Facebook event here.] Having spent the last 10 years as head chef at Choice Market in Clinton Hill, we’re excited to have his menu in the neighborhood. Stop by if you can to give his menu a try.

The name “Zaca” means “house” in Moore, one of the common spoken languages in Burkina Faso. It’s also a reference to Zaca Restaurant, a restaurant in Burkina Faso which played live music every night. Can’t wait to try it out!

Photo via Facebook