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Spa Week 2017

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Life in a big city means very little sleep time, especially for everyday New Yorkers. Well, you’re in luck! After working 30+ hours every week, it is time for some pampering.

Spa Week in New York City is scheduled for October 16-20, 2017. This is your opportunity to toss that briefcase, kick off those shoes, and unwind with a massage or a trip to the sauna. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, there are quite a few spas ready to schedule your appointment for some overdue rest and relaxation. So reward yourself, you deserve it.

For information on exclusive deals or to locate the nearest participating spa, visit https://www.spaweek.com/.

How Would You Spend $1 Million to Improve Bedford-Stuyvesant?

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How would you spend $1 million in our community? That’s the number one question that members of the New York City Council throughout the five boroughs have been asking community residents and stakeholders.

Through participatory budgeting, New Yorkers have the opportunity to submit ideas to improve “schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces” with capital money to fund “brick and mortar” projects.

Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. who represents Bedford-Stuyvesant and serves as chair of the Committee on Small Business,  launched participatory budgeting earlier this month with neighborhood assemblies within the 36th Council District.for a third consecutive year.

The next event will be held on Wednesday, October 4th at 5:30PM in the Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, 82 Lewis Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11206.

For more information on participatory budgeting or to get involved, call Council Member Cornegy’s office at (718) 919-0740 or visit https://council.nyc.gov/pb/.

Halloween Tips and Events

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Trick or Treat!

For one night only, children of all ages will be dressed as their favorite characters and go door to door to fill their bags with lots of candies.

Halloween, unlike any other holiday, is full of pranks and mystery. As a result, it requires extra vigilance of your surroundings and proper screening of treats to avoid becoming the victim of a crime. Additionally, Halloween is among the top three dangerous times for pedestrian injuries and fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

With residents and small business owners along the Fulton and Nostrand commercial corridor expected to participate in this annual tradition, here are some tips from the NYPD for a safe Halloween: http://nypdnews.com/2016/10/halloween-safety-tips-2/.

Happy Birthday Restoration!

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The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, more commonly known as Restoration, is celebrating fifty years of community and economic development in Brooklyn’s most iconic neighborhood.

On October 30th, community stakeholders and distinguished guests will convene at Cipriani for the 50th Anniversary Restore Brooklyn Annual Benefit hosted by CBS 2 News Anchor Maurice DuBois.

Since its founding in 1967, Restoration has provided a wealth of services and resources to “improve the quality of life in Central Brooklyn,” such as job readiness, financial literacy, education, small business services, while attracting new businesses to Restoration Plaza to spur job creation.

As the nation’s foremost community development corporation, Restoration is a model of how public-private partnership can successfully revitalize a neighborhood with dilapidated buildings and lack of opportunities. Five decades later, residents, small businesses and cultural institutions are thriving in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

To date, the corporation has several accomplishments including the construction or renovation of 2,000 housing units; provided nearly 1,500 homeowners with $60 million in mortgage financing; was the second largest real estate owner in Brooklyn after the City of New York; brought more than $500 million in public and private investment to Central Brooklyn; served over 1,400 preschoolers in partnering childcare centers and Head Start programs with nutritious meals to curb diet-related illnesses; and showcases local talent in the Skylight Gallery while welcoming 30,000 visitors.to the Billie Holiday Theatre annually for special performances.  

For more information on the upcoming festivities, visit http://restorationplaza.org/.

Wake Up With Furman’s Coffee

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Start your day with a nice cup of rich, gourmet coffee from the newest shop to join the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID, Furman’s Coffee. Just three months ago, Dominican-born Emanuel DeJesus opened his doors for the very first time excited about reinvesting in his community not just as a resident, but now as a small business owner. His shop, located at 547 Nostrand Avenue, serves pastries and coffee made from exclusive beans harvested worldwide and locally roasted in Bushwick.

Coffee, paired with some toast, has been a part of his daily breakfast routine since the early age of 4 or 5 in the Dominican Republic. After an excursion in Costa Rica, where he visited a coffee plantation, DeJesus became nostalgic and was inspired to bring back the unique aroma of freshly brewed coffee and morning dew to Bedford-Stuyvesant. The most popular menu item has been their Japanese iced coffee to beat the summer heat. Customers have already been raving about their experiences on Facebook, citing the “friendly owner,” “chill vibes,” and “great customer service.” So whether you’re on the go or searching for a new remote workspace, explore Furman’s Coffee.


Their website, furmanscoffee.com, will be launched in a week.

Discover the Flavor of Bed-Stuy

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Thanksgiving Day may be two months away, but the mouthwatering bean pies at Abu’s Bakery have been flying off the shelves daily due to customer demand in store and soon online. Idris Conry, a husband and father, was an educator by day and a baker by night. Inspired by the rave reviews of his cheesecake by colleagues, Conry finally decided to pursue his entrepreneurial dream in the same community where he was raised. Nearly twenty years ago, Conry opened the bakery at 1184 Fulton Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which offers baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, and pies in a wide array of flavors.
 – bean, sweet potato, coconut custard, and pecan.
The name Abu means father in Arabic; and its significance is evident in this family-owned and operated bakery that is now managed by Conry’s son, Idris Braithwaite. In an effort to expand their footprint, he launched a new business venture – securing shelf space for his pies in the local bodegas. Every week, an estimated 6,000 pies are sold from 150 locations across the city.
Both bakers share more than family ties and love of community, but also the desire to mentor today’s youth. Hiring locally was an unforeseen challenge for this growing business, but Braithwaite who was a dean at Boys and Girls High School and once operated a nonprofit organization that provided youth with professional development, knew the solution.
Through a partnership with the bakery and the Brooklyn Frontiers High School Learning
to Work program, students are offered a paid internship opportunity to explore potential careers, develop professional skills, and ultimately succeed in the workplace. With the help of these young bakers, Abu’s will become a household name. Their website, www.abusbakery.com, is currently under construction to provide customers with the opportunity to place orders online and is expected to relaunch early October.

Taco Bell Cantina Comes to Bed-Stuy

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Foodies rejoice! One of 50 new Taco Bells expected to open throughout New York City’s five boroughs will begin taking orders in early 2018 at the former Checkers located at 491 Nostrand Avenue.
The Mexican-style fast food giant has announced that this storefront will be one of a handful cantinas, or exclusive locations serving alcoholic beverages alongside their famous tacos.
Patrons can look forward to “live mas in a modern, energy-efficient space with architecture reflective of the local neighborhood, an open kitchen, digital menu boards, TV monitors, an app for mobile orders and pick up. The restaurants will also feature “a new tapas-style menu of shareable appetizers.”
The new Taco Bell will be a welcome addition to the commercial corridor – joining Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, KFC, Golden Krust, and McDonald’s. To date, there are only three Taco Bells in the City and Bedford-Stuyvesant will be the second Brooklyn neighborhood to host the millenial eatery.

Unprecedented Economic Growth in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NYS Comptroller Says

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Bedford-Stuyvesant is open for business, according to a new report released on Friday by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli providing an economic snapshot of the community that is now thriving after the recession.

Known for its beautiful brownstones and rich African-American culture, this historic neighborhood has experienced significant growth in new businesses, jobs, and population. More than 150,000 people and nearly 2,000 businesses call Bedford-Stuyvesant home, Through the service and hospitality industries, more than 17,000 jobs have been created in the private sector.

As businesses continue to flourish, crime has steadily declined by 44 percent. Despite the many years of progress, many of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s long-term residents are facing several challenges including chronic illnesses, poverty and displacement due to rising rents. Through its vast network of businesses and service providers, the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID remains committed to creating opportunities for residents and entrepreneurs, cultivating strategic partnerships, and providing the resources that will propel this community to higher heights.

In partnership with our member organizations and city officials, we will strive to surpass Bedford-Stuyvesant’s current ranking as the fourth fastest growing New York City neighborhood out of 55.

To read the full report, click here. (https://osc.state.ny.us/osdc/rpt5-2018.pdf)

The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID seeks Deputy Director

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The Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway BID, seeks a Deputy Director to join our team to assist in the management, oversight, and execution of our day to day operations.

This dynamic position touches on many aspects of economic and community development in the heart of one of Central Brooklyn’s busiest commercial corridors.

The ideal candidate will be a fast learner, comfortable both working in a fast paced environment and interacting with our stakeholders at all levels (i.e., property/business owners, board members, customers, area residents, community leaders and representatives of City agencies).

Salary is commensurate with experience and education. The incumbent will also receive a benefits package including health plans, paid leave, and retirement plan.

Please click here or on the link below for a comprehensive overview of the position.  Interested parties should submit a cover letter and resume, including salary requirements, by email to info@bedstuybid.org by 5:00pm, Friday September,22, 2017.

Please include “Deputy Director Position” in the subject line of your email.


Position Description – Deputy Director Bed-Stuy Gateway BID

National Preparedness Month

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For more than a decade, September has been observed as National Preparedness Month in the United States. Despite the media and community outreach  to increase awareness, small business owners are not prepared for an emergency.

In fact, four out of 10 small businesses will never reopen after experiencing a disaster. It is time to protect your investment!

Communication with your employees is vital when faced with a hurricane, fire, flood, or blackout. Through Business PREP, a program sponsored by the NYC Department of Small Business Services, business owners can receive a free risk assessment, assistance with developing an emergency communications plan and applying for emergency readiness grants.  

This year’s theme is disasters don’t plan ahead. You can. It is a quick reminder of how important it is for small business owners to secure their property and documents before disaster strikes. Now is the time to make sure that your livelihood is fully protected by your insurance policy so that you can avoid out-of-pocket expenses to repair any damages.

For helpful tips and resources from the Department of Small Business Services to help you stay on track or quickly get back on your feet, visit http://on.nyc.gov/2dH7Xcy.

Groove to the Rhythm of the Caribbean with Charlie’s Records

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Starting a business requires vision, ambition, patience and perseverance. Only a select few entrepreneurs have what it takes to undergo the challenging yet rewarding experience. Rawlston Charles, affectionately known as Charlie, is the owner of not one but two thriving businesses along the Fulton Street commercial corridor – Charlie’s Calypso City and Rawlston Recording Studio. Fifty years ago, Tobagan native Charlie immigrated to the United States and has become an American success story. Though he began his studies in fashion to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a designer, Charlie took a risk and pursued a career in music as the owner of a record store and soon after a music producer.


After five years as a mechanic and manager of a Ford outlet store, Charlie opened his record store in 1972 at 1273 Fulton Street to reconnect Afro-Caribbean Diaspora in Bedford-Stuyvesant to their cultural roots through the rhythmic sounds of steel bands and calypso from the islands. In that same year, he launched his own record label, “Charlie’s Records.” Twelve years later, he opened a recording studio next door at 1271 Fulton Street where he worked with musical giants such as Lord Shorty, the late Arrow, Calypso Rose, Charlie’s Roots Band, The Mighty Swallow, Lord Kitchener, Explainer, Blue Boy, and The Mighty Sparrow. For  the past 43 years, Charlie has shared his love of music through the annual Fulton Street Festival, which has drawn large crowds of people with free food, refreshments, and live entertainment. Music and culture is alive and well in the iconic neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant – thanks to the dapper and artistic visionary, Charlie.

Bed-Stuy BID Announces New Executive Director

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The Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway Business Improvement District (Bed-Stuy BID) , a public-private partnership created to stimulate economic development and improve the overall quality of life for merchants, residents, and patrons within BedStuy since 2009, has announced the appointment of Medina Sadiq as its new Executive Director.  Medina will fill the vacancy created by Michael Lambert’s departure in February to join the office of the NYC Comptroller, Scott Stringer.  The decision was made after an extensive search and selection process, during which Medina served as the Interim Executive Director for the organization.

“We are very pleased and excited to announce this appointment,” reported Joyce Turner, owner of Cross Boro Business Services, and the BID’s Board Chair.  “Medina will bring leadership and creativity needed for the BID’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to our business community here in Bed-Stuy. She has served organizations at various executive and leadership levels, and has a breadth of new perspective and experience.”


Medina’s resume includes over 30 years of executive planning, administration,and marketing experience in the nonprofit sector.  She holds a Juris Doctorate degree conferred by Northeastern University School of Law.  Since 1985, Medina has dedicated herself to social and economic justice.  Prior to attending law school, Ms. Sadiq worked as a Project Officer at the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. Immediately after Law School, she became the Founder and Executive Director of A Better Bronx For Youth Consortium, a CBO that provided technical and financial assistance to Bronx youth serving organizations that did not have such access.  After developing programs that reached thousands of Bronx youth, Ms. Sadiq went on to serve as the CEO of a community based security service with over 700 employees. Medina later spent some time in the Caribbean where she honed her craft in the area of economic development and commercial revitalization. There she brought entrepreneurs from various island nations to develop joint business ventures.


In 2008, Ms. Sadiq went on to be the founding Executive Director of the Southern Boulevard Business Improvement District.  There Ms. Sadiq was extremely successful at improving that commercial corridor and made it into a local destination. Continuing to strengthen urban commercial districts, Medina has moved on to become the Executive Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Business Improvement District.


“I look forward to continuing to serve and partner with the area’s merchants and organizations in this new capacity,” remarks Medina.  “I am dedicated to this sector because it provides vital services, cultural enrichment and economic growth to our community — this BID plays a key role in supporting it.”

Medina Sadiq
Executive Director
(718) 636-6905

Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Bed-Stuy Fights Rat Infestation With New Trash Cans

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The primary mission of the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID is to keep the commercial district clean, safe, and attractive to shoppers. The district is comprised of more than 400 small businesses along the Fulton Street and Nostrand Avenue commercial corridor. Within Brooklyn and throughout the City of New York, residents and business owners have had to face the same issue – the infestation of rats.  As a result, sanitation will continue to remain at the top of our priority list. Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $32 million neighborhood rat reduction plan targeting Bedford-Stuyvesant among other areas with the highest activity. From new solar-powered trash compactors and frequent trash pick-ups to new legislation for better trash management and increased enforcement, we can look forward to cleaner streets.  Ten of these solar powered garbage cans, also known as Big Bellies, will be sited throughout the BID in September 2017.

Starbucks Coming to Bed Stuy!

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Coffee lovers rejoice! With the first ever Starbucks in Bedford-Stuyvesant slated to open in 2018, you will no longer have to travel far for a latte, frappucino, or macchiatto. The new store, sited for the intersection of Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Broadway, will serve as both a cafe and training ground for local, unemployed and out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 who are interested in developing their entry-level skillset. This unique combination of offerings will help create new opportunities over the next ten years that will further the mission of the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID by bolstering the economic development of our community. Whether you need a shot of espresso or a quick bite, the 2,500 square foot Starbucks will be designed to help you recharge daily. Let the countdown begin as we await the sweet aromas of freshly brewed coffee and iced tea during the grand opening of our very own coffee headquarters at 774 Broadway.

Uber Eats Delivers in Bed-Stuy

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American fast food giant McDonald’s is revolutionizing the way you can place your order by retrofitting its global restaurants with new technology. Through kiosks and a mobile app, self-ordering is just a few taps away. The franchise restaurant located at 1275 Fulton Street is one of the latest to join the growing trend through a newly-established partnership with UberEATS, Customers are lovin’ it! Whether you’re craving a Big Mac, world famous fries, or baked apple pie, now you can bring the golden arches directly to your front door.

Businesses throughout the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID are also offering their customers the same service include but are not limited to  Golden Krust, KFC, Popeyes, Crown Fried Chicken, Texas Chicken & Burgers, Little Caesars, Subway, and Papa John’s Pizza. You can download the free UberEATS app through the Google Play or App Store. However, you must log in with your pre-existing Uber account.credentials.

Billie Holiday Theatre Re-Opening

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After a $4.1 million upgrade, the first renovation in over 40 years,The Billie Holiday Theatre will reopen on May 9th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and performances during its debut weekend – in time for Mother’s Day.

Hundreds are expected to fill the 200-seat theatre now equipped with a new maple stage, control room, curtains, railings,
seats, lighting, catwalks, riggings, acoustic panels, dressing rooms with showers, air-conditioning, and boiler.

Watch Dr. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Director of Restoration Art, and Dyrnest K. Sinckler, COO and Executive Vice President of Restoration Art discuss the transformation of the Billie Holiday Theatre on BK Live.
For tickets to this week’s performances of “Their Eyes Were Watching God” among others, click here.

Bed-Stuy BID Launches New Site for Biz Owners

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The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID relaunched their website with new resources and opportunities for its 400 business members to maximize their earning potential within the commercial corridor.

The user-friendly online portal offers BID members and area residents a central location to explore the historic Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, local events, leasing and employment opportunities. One of the newest features is the local business coupons designed to incentivize visitors to dine and shop local.

With a new digital home, the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID has a new outlook towards economic development.

Ride and Explore Bedford-Stuyvesant

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Meet your neighbors and explore your neighborhood with Citi Bike! In 2016, the number of Citi Bike rides in Bedford-Stuyvesant more than doubled from 146,000 in 2015 to 319,000.

With 36 stations across the neighborhood, area residents can now ride and dock – anytime and anywhere. This month, Citi Bike and Bed-Stuy Restoration has partnered with Job Plus; Kweli C. and Brooklyn Neighborhood Health Action Center; Council Member Robert Cornegy; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and Interfaith Medical Center.

Every Wednesday and Saturday from February through October, you are invited to take a spin around the neighborhood. Save the date for these upcoming community bike rides on May 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and the 31st. Our start and end point is Restoration Plaza adjacent to the Applebees. For more information on upcoming events or Street Skills classes, visit https://www.citibikenyc.com/explore/events.

Interested in learning how to ride a bike? Bike New York offers free classes for adults and mature teens across the city. Learn more: http://www.bike.nyc/education/classes/.

Join the United States Postal Service

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Did you know that the United States Postal Service is the second largest employer in the United States? Join a workforce of over 508,000 employees who help process and deliver more than 153.9 billion pieces of mail across the fifty states.

On Wednesday, May 10th from 2PM to 6PM, start the process of becoming a federal employee with free supplication assistance from Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration.

From mail handler to carrier or mechanic to operator, the United States Postal Service has a variety of positions available within Postal Operations. This is your opportunity to invest in yourself and your community by pursuing a rewarding career.

For more information, contact Willie Sanchez at (718) 636-6394 or via email: wsanchez@restorationplaza.org.

5 Hotspots in Bedford-Stuyvesant

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Immerse yourself in the the unique cultural experiences of the African and Caribbean Diaspora.

1. The Billie Holiday Theatre, founded in 1972 by Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, has been graced by renowned actors and artists including Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Allen, Tichina Arnold, and Bill Cobbs. http://thebillieholiday.org/

2. Known as one of the first parks in Brooklyn, Herbert von King Park is the backdrop for summer concerts and year-round performances in the dance studio or the outdoor ampitheater. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/herbert-von-king-park

3. The Weeksville Heritage Center is Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African-American community of Weeksville – one of America’s first free black communities. http://www.weeksvillesociety.org

4. Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street is better known as “Do the Right Thing Way” in honor of the 1989 Spike Lee film that was filmed on that iconic block.

5. Bedford Hall is a lounge that was custom built by restaurateur Calvin Clark to complement the historic look and feel of the Bedford-Stuyvesant community as a speakeasy mansion and century-old books on the shelves. http://www.bedfordhall.com