Friday, December 12, 2008

Introduction Brooklyn 102A: Bed-Stuy

Jan.2006 - Jul.2007
Brooklyn, NY 11233, USA

What a gwaan todo el mundo! I'm Nochi back again.

Sharing my global experience for the better communication, Downtown Global Academy, we continue on Brooklyn, NY. This time, let's go a bit deep inside where you don't get bothered by tourists.

Introduction Brooklyn 102A: Bed-Stuy

Among Brooklyn's many Hoods, the "corner" named Bed-Stuy used be called "the biggest ghetto is the US" til very recently. And this is home to so many famous bigmans including Biggie "The Notorious B.I.G.", Jay-Z, and Mos Def.

I lived in an area 11233 for a year and a half. So, How was things?

001. Overview

An official name of the hood is called Bedford-Stuyvesant. It's located around the southeast of Williamsburg where I talked about before. And it's only 10-15 mins east of that famous Fulton Mall. Around Nostrand Ave. and Fulton St. is a center.

A historical story behind, as Wikipedia says, is that in 19th centuries people from all over the places including South, Caribbean nations and Africa migrated there hoping to have "better life". They built churches and schools, over time it became a community. Becasue of the US segrigation policy, until 60's Bed-Stuy had been one of a very few areas in Brooklyn that black people were able to buy and own properties. So now, Bed-Stuy is "the most famous Afrian-American neighborhood in NYC", as they say. No wonder my neighbors were all black people from all over the world like Grenada, Guyana, Ghana, Jamaica, Brabados, St. vincent and more.

Anyway, I wonder tho who actually planned how Bed-Stuy got ghettonized. Some says "oh, real estate businessmen". But still I guess it's a theory out of many. Or maybe NYC itself?

002. Neighbors

As I said already, all the neighbors I saw everyday were Black people from local, Caribbean islands and Africa. I notinced differencies in their eyes, the way they dress, walk and talk, maybe depending on their religions and where they from.

There was a Mosque near by Fulton St. and Franklyn Ave, where I used to catch a bus for work. Around that corner, there were many Muslim style baffet. restaurant, cafe and Roti place. Ah, they make good bean pie. And around another corner, there were many Christian churches where followers dress nice in like Marcy's going out style and chat with a smile.

As on the streets, locals love riding big dometic SUV like Cadillac and Lincoln and many youths were riding around on Japanese bikes like Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki. I really liked teh vibes there. So chill. Old people playing domino in a park, boys cruising around on BMX, girls with a latest hairstyle chat on a Brownstone's stairs
, and playing loud music for private parties, it was like "The Third World" vibes. The vibes I was familier with in Latin America.

And actually the east side of Bed-Stuy is getting culture mix with non-black people from Williamsburg and Fort Greene. Boom, it's in a middle of globalization right there.

003. Movement

Some say that gentrification is this or that, or good or bad. For me, it's like Mexican saying "ya ni modo". Cafes and restaurant emphasizing "green" and/or organic were getting everywhere. More new business coming in to the area. New styles. So instead, I enjoyed whatever new things I saw in the area. Maybe only because I wasn't a local so I didn't feel invaded or taken advantage of.

Where I was living in was a east end of Bed-Stuy, so the whole atmosphere was chill.

to be continued

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