The Bedford-Stuyvesant Historic District is quite easily one of the most picturesque neighborhoods that Brooklyn has to offer. From its humble beginnings as a Dutch settlement in the 1800s to a neighborhood that has been home to countless personages from legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson to hip-hop artist and mogul Jay-Z, the area is a diverse landscape that invigorates the senses no matter the season. A walk through the district is an ideal way to spend a day appreciating all of the wonders of the Bed-Stuy Historic District.
Bed-Stuy brownstones photo by reclaimedhome via Flickr.
The starting point: Take the A or the C train to the Utica Avenue station. Exit and make your way into Fulton Park, a neat space where many come to get some fresh air and meet near the statue of Robert Fulton, the famous engineer and steamboat builder. Veer slightly east and walk north along Stuyvesant Avenue to begin your walk through the district, which was created and appointed to the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s.
Lovers of architecture will marvel at the varied styles of many of the neighborhood’s buildings, which include Utilitarian, Queen Anne and Beaux-Arts. Make the left onto MacDonough Street, and you’ll be greeted by Akwaaba Mansion, an 1860s estate that is now a popular bed and breakfast inn.
Alhambra Apartments | Crown Heights North via Flickr
Walk over to Marcy Avenue and make a quick left crossing over Fulton Street and you will find The Billie Holiday Theatre, the centerpiece of the venerated Restoration Plaza and home to an artistic organization dedicated to the community since 1972. Walk west on Fulton Street and make the left onto Nostrand Avenue and feast your eyes on the grandiose Alhambra Apartments, erected in 1889 and designed by architect Montrose Morris.
Peace & RIOT | Carlie C. via Yelp
If you’re inclined to partake in some shopping, the Bed-Stuy Historic District offers an eclectic array of boutiques and shops. Breukelen Cellars, a boutique at the corner of Nostrand and Halsey, is notable for a choice selection of wines and for hosting art exhibitions on an intermittent basis.
Or, if you’re on the lookout for vibrant accents for your home, head north one more block to check out the African– and Caribbean-themed goods at Peace & RIOT. (Note: Peace & RIOT is scheduled to reopen on January 26, 2016.)
Peaches | Hayley T. via Foursquare
With all of that shopping and scenic walking, it stands to reason that you’d be a bit ravenous by now. The area has a slew of restaurants that reflect the simmering melting pot of people that call the Bed-Stuy Historic District home.
If you’re a newbie to Trinidadian food, don’t miss the A&A Bake and Doubles Shop at Nostrand Avenue and Macon Street. Or maybe you’re more in the mood for Southern comfort food — take Macon Street back east until you hit Lewis Avenue, then walk south two blocks. There you’ll find Peaches, a restaurant so popular that the wait for brunch can be up to 90 minutes.
After a full day of exploring this rich and historic enclave, take a leisurely stroll southward on Lewis Avenue until you reach Fulton Street once again. Walk past the park, and you’ll be back where you started your journey, at the Utica Avenue Station, to catch the A and C trains.