October 23, 2002

Shakedown in Bed-Stuy

[ From the Village Voice | Features ] :

Foreclosing on Bed-Stuy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Much of what gives Bed-Stuy its charm has made the area a target for predators. The neighborhood's most distinguishing feature is its trove of gorgeous brownstones. For years, despite their beauty, these homes did not attract much attention due to Bed-Stuy's reputation as a historically black neighborhood troubled since the '60s with crime and economic decline. Gentrification and an influx of new renters, followed by buyers, has been occurring at the edges of Bed-Stuy for almost 20 years. But with neighboring Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, and Fort Greene drying up, and residents trying to kick-start development in the neighborhood, Bed-Stuy has become a jewel in the eyes of prospective buyers.

I recently moved back to Bedford-Stuyvesant after a more than 15 year absence. There is a big difference in demographics: I've seen more whites and Asians in the neighborhood — usually scurrying from the nearby G-line station — in the past three weeks than in the 20 years that I spent living here. And many of the African Americans leaving the station can be described as Black hipsters. They're showing off iPods, carrying laptops and sporting vintage (read: dirty, torn and outdated) clothing.

Who woulda thunk it?!

Posted by ronn at October 23, 2002 11:26 AM