The Annual Cycling Circuit, Scheduled for This Month, Raises Money to Combat Health Disparities

Annual Cycling Circuit, lifecycle biking, bed-stuy

The Brooklyn-based collective LifeCycle Biking has partnered with the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation to kick off its yearly meditation and bicycling event. The event, scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd, will begin with a collective meditation, followed by 15, 31, or 62 mile guided rides through Brooklyn and Queens. Participants will then return for a complimentary “Wellness Wrap Up,” with music, food and yoga instruction.

All the funds raised through the event will go toward program development to improve access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity, with a focus on Central Brooklyn.

This year’s goal is to host 100 riders and raise $10,000. There’s also a “Sponsor a Saddle” option, which enables donors to purchase a registration slot for a low-income rider who is unable to make a financial contribution.

LifeCycle Biking is currently seeking participants, donors, sponsors and volunteers. If you are interested in supporting LifeCycle Biking and The Annual Cycling Circuit, just shoot an email to hello@lifecyclebiking.com, or go here. Happy riding!

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Newly-Renovated Tennis Court Just Opened at the Sumner Houses

sumner houses, bed-stuy

Late last month, the Kings County Tennis League (also known as the KCTL) dedicated a newly-renovated tennis court at the Sumner Houses. The groups is a nonprofit that brings its passion for tennis to underserved communities. KCTL collaborates with members of city, community boards and other tennis organizations to raise funding for the construction and renovation of courts. According to the group, “The Sumner House court is just the first of many court renovations–KCTL has its eyes set on other courts in the area at Marcy, Thompson, and Lafayette Gardens, where it holds weekly sessions for students over the summer, as it works to bring tennis into the mainstream.”

The ribbon-cutting included KCTL staff, volunteers, participants, council members, community leaders and Sumner House families. Then there was a celebration at Cafe Erzulie, where appetizers were served by parents of KCTL students. Check out some cute photos of the event below.

kings county tennis league, sumner houses, bed stuy

kings county tennis league, sumner houses, bed stuy

kings county tennis league, sumner houses, bed stuy

A Few Openings Around the Nabe

brown butter craft bar and kitchen, 413 tompkins avenue

Here are some new business openings I’ve noticed around the neighborhood. The first is Brown Butter Craft Bar + Kitchen, at 413 Tompkins Avenue (between Hancock and Halsey). Myriam Nicolas, owner of Brooklyn Baby Cakes on Nostrand Avenue, is behind the venture, and is offering up fancier takes on staples like the bacon, egg, and cheese, alongside grain bowls, salads, matcha teas, beetroot lattes and juices. The cafe is currently open from 7:30am to 5pm, though Nicolas is in the process of applying for a beer and wine liquor license to expand her hours. Read more details of this new spot over at DNAinfo. The photo of the cafe is via Facebook.

CAPOEIRA FIT BROOKLYN, 525 Nostrand Avenue

This summer, Capoeira Fit Brooklyn opened at 525 Nostrand Avenue, between Nostrand and Atlantic. Beside offering Capoeira classes–which is an African-Brazilian practice that combines dance, martial arts, music and acrobatics–there are also karate and yoga classes. Check out the full class schedule here. Photo above via Yelp.

bravi ragazzi, bed-stuy, 570 putnam avenue

South London pizzaria Bravi Ragazzi has opened shop at 570 Putnam Avenue, on the corner of Marcus Garvey Boulevard. This is the first American outpost for the company, which is known for its wood-fired, sourdough pizzas. This is more than a slice joint — there’s seating for up to 60 people inside and includes a bar. Has anybody tried it yet? Does it stand up to the classic Brooklyn slice?

The Bed-Stuy BID is Hosting a Back-to-School Giveaway This Friday

the bed stuy bid

This Friday, the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District (BID) is hosting a free back-to-school event to encourage young entrepreneurs. There will be free school supplies, giveaways, food, music and plenty of family-friendly fun between 5pm and 8pm on the corner of Marcy and Fulton. Local entrepreneurs are welcome! As the Facebook event says, “All entrepreneurs should come and serve as an inspiration to teens within our communities, that typically aren’t exposed to positive role models.” Check out event details here.

That brings us to our next order of business regarding the Bed-Stuy BID, which has started a new Facebook account and is looking to rebuild its following. You should follow the new account here for local events, happenings and general community engagement.

Small Business Spotlight: Claudette Brady, owner of Slip Stitch Needlecraft

claudette brady, slip stich needlecraft, bed stuy

Bed-Stuy is made up of some incredible, committed small business owners and Claudette Brady is one of them. She began her business, Slip Stitch Needlecraft, online after becoming ill and having to move out of Bed-Stuy. Thankfully she returned, and opened a brick and mortar location with her massive collection of yarn and books in 2015. She moved into a larger space at 450 Nostrand Avenue, between Putnam and Jefferson, last year. Anybody crafty–or anybody looking to get crafty–will find tons of supplies here: yarns, threads, floss, patterns, needles and hooks. But what makes this place really special is its community focus. “This is designed as a community space where you can sit down and be comfortable,” Claudette told me. Basically, it’s the perfect place to take a class and learn how to knit or crochet, or join a circle (held on the last Friday of every month) to sit, drink wine, meet your neighbors, talk about the world and craft away. Check out the shop’s full list of events here.

Claudette is now raising $6,000 on GoFundMe to renovate her space to begin hosting maker’s markets. As she said in her fundraising profile, “Brooklyn has become the Makers capital of the USA, unfortunately, many in our community have been excluded from the various makers markets or do not have the financial means to have a retail outlet; my goal is to be an incubator for these Makers/artisans and provide a low-cost space.”

It’s no secret that Bed-Stuy is changing rapidly and becoming un-affordable to many of our neighbors who have long called it home. Claudette would rather see community-focused retail opening up here, rather than an endless stream of bars and restaurants. Her business seeks to preserve the close-knit support system she has loved about Bed-Stuy since her arrival in 1995. “This has long been a middle class neighborhood, and was made beautiful because of all the black people who live here,” she said.

Claudette’s impact in the neighborhood surpasses the management of Slip Stitch. She was one of the most influential voices behind expanding the Stuyvesant Heights Historic District and establishing the Bedford Historic District. She has also helped organize Greenest Block submissions and It’s My Park Day at Von King Park. Claudette’s commitment to Bed-Stuy has been an incredible gift to the neighborhood, so be sure to stop by, say hello, support the business and enjoy the space on your next stroll down Nostrand.

Photos via GoFundMe

Don’t Miss Bed-Stuy’s 5th Annual STooPS Art Crawl This Weekend

bed stuy stoops art crawl, stoops art crawl

The neighborhood’s annual STooPS Art Crawl–formerly known as STooPS Bedstuy– is taking place this weekend, August 5th and 6th. The awesome event will transform the stoops throughout Bed-Stuy into stages and pop-up art installations. Expect live music, poetry, theatrical performances and plenty of visual arts from more than 20 Brooklyn-based artists. The talented group includes Aleijuan Afuraka, Babay L. Angles, Clarivel Ruiz, Lisa Sikorski​, ​Najee Omar​, students from ​the Brooklyn Music School’s Summer Vocal Arts Program ​and​ the visual arts house ​Fulton Art Fair.​ There will also be a Kiddie Korner featuring story time, mural painting and puppet-making, plus evening performances at special pop-up locations to be announced. The entire event is free and open to the public.

Getting excited? For a full lineup of artists and activities over the two-day event, just check out the Stoops website.

Help a Bed-Stuy Resident Facing Eviction [UPDATED INFO BELOW]


There is a fundraising campaign up to help Ms. Augusta, a longtime resident of Bed-Stuy, who was evicted from her apartment on Halsey and Thompkins this month and is now facing homelessness. Here are details about the campaign set up for her:

We are frantically pulling all resources to get Ms Augusta a room that she can afford on her own for the time being, a mover/moving truck, and a storage unit for her belongings before anything is discarded by the current property owner. We are looking to raise $1800.00, as Ms Augusta is on a tight and fixed monthly income. Any and all support will be greatly appreciated from her, and her neighbors residing in the Bedford Stuyvesant block of Halsey St between Tompkins and Throop Avenue. Thank you

Over $500 has been raised of the $1,800 goal. The fundraiser will last until Monday, July 31st, and you can donate here.

UPDATE: There are many concerns about the veracity of this fundraiser. More details were reported by DNAinfo here.