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Bordering Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Bushwick, and Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant - locally known as Bed Stuy - is part of Brooklyn's Brownstone Belt, which extends to Carroll Gardens.
Named for the village of Bedford and for Stuyvesant Heights, after Peter Stuyvesant who was the last governor of the colony of New Netherlands, Bed Stuy became a predominately African-American community after residents began leaving an overcrowded Harlem. From the 1960s to the 1990s, Bed Stuy was often referred to as Brooklyn's Little Harlem. Life in the neighborhood was chronicled in Chris Rock's popular sitcom "Everybody Hates Chris."
In the early part of the 21st Century, Bed Stuy began to experience rapid improvement with the creation of the Fulton Street-Nostrand Avenue Business District, which brought heightened police protection and focused resources.
Today, Bed Stuy is a very diverse area, racially, ethnically and economically. Current residents range from students and hipsters to architects and lawyers, all drawn to the neighborhood's rehabbed brownstones and row houses. New restaurants, cafes and boutiques are constantly popping up in the area; and it's not unusual to see a Trinidadian fast food joint next to a new American restaurant. In fact, there are more than ten Zagat-rated establishments in the neighborhood.
Among the many interesting neighborhood properties, the home of Lenny Kravitz's grandparents is now being converted to a multi-family apartment complex; and 7 Arlington Place, which served as the setting for Spike Lee's 1994 film "Crooklyn," sold for $1.7 million in 2013. Meanwhile, the Verve Condominiums at 170 Putnam are million-dollar condos that are attracting quite a bit of attention.
Bed Stuy is home to many schools -- most notably Pratt Institute, which is near the border of Bed Stuy and Clinton Hill. Other schools include Boys and Girls High School, Paul Robeson High School for Business and Technology, and two schools affiliated with the high-scoring charter program Success Academy.
Some famous residents to have called Bed Stuy home include Jackie Gleason, Lena Horne, Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Mos Def, World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer and the late singer Aaliyah.
Bed Stuy has one historic district and is in the process of earning designation on a second. The neighborhood stands out as an architectural marvel with its brownstones, wood-frame houses and Gothic chateaus.
A few must-try establishments in the area include the famous donut spot, Dough, which lures Brooklynites with its fried donuts and flavors that rotate with the seasons. Reflective of the neighborhood's strong diversity, David's Brisket House was previously owned by Jewish immigrants and later passed on to a Muslim partner. Another neighborhood mainstay is Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop, which serves roti with goat, curry chicken, conch and shrimp fillings. It also serves delicious Caribbean drinks.
A few fun events to try out in the neighborhood include Crazy Legs Skate Club, a roller skating spot that has open skating sessions on Wednesday night, and Bike Kill, a Halloween themed bike showcase on the last Saturday in October.