Unless you’ve been a hermit for the past couple decades, you’re probably aware that the cost of living in Manhattan has been sharply rising. In fact, the average price for a tiny apartment is now well over $2000 per month. So where do all the working stiffs live..cubicle dwellers, police officers, teachers? They’ve long since migrated out to the other boroughs and now the prices there are sky high!
New frontiers like Newark, Jersey City, and Yonkers await. Gentrification is the catchword describing the effects of this continual exodus and many neighborhoods in Brooklyn haven’t escaped it. But not so fast in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Get off at the Franklin St. C line station, walk down Fulton Street a half block with Crown Fried Chicken & Pizza on your left and take a left onto Spencer Place. To your right at # 15 is Spencer Place Bed & Breakfast, a recently renovated 1870s brownstone, offering three guest rooms sporting original historic detail. 10 foot high scrolled ceilings, ornate wooden floors, and generous pre-energy saving windows let the sunlight stream in. The bathroom is shared and owners Nancye Good and Paul DiMartino leave out an organic continental breakfast of coffee, juice, cereal, muffins, and fresh fruit.
Here you don’t feel as though you’re a pampered guest as much a having your own pad. The blocks around here are unvarnished and gritty. But don’t worry, the culture is authentic and your wallet will thank you. You’ll also find cheap ethnic eats and music reflecting the neighborhood’s diversity within walking distance:
338 Franklin Avenue
(between Greene Ave & Lexington Ave)
Best visited for breakfast…fluffy blueberry pancakes, eggs cheerfully cooked any style, and leisurely service which could be good or bad depending on your schedule or chillin threshold. Otherwise, great salads, spinach ravioli, and burgers.
456 Nostrand Avenue
The best local jazz that nurtures up and coming talent. You gotta drop in for this Carribean influenced free flowing music making. Festivals and artist spotlights abound.
Bush Baby Cafe
1197 Fulton Street at Bedford Ave.
Open Tuesday – Friday(10am -9pm)-Saturday(9am – 9pm)- Sunday(9am – 5pm) Closed Monday
Home to the liquor-less lounge every weekend, you’ll get yummy original drinks like Millie’s Iced Tea; a southern-styled sweet tea, and Chocolate Marsala; a spiced cocoa. Nibbles include an assortment of gourmet chocolates, nuts & dried fruits, and a selection of desserts. Add to this their weekend brunch and regular performances by independent artists and musicians. You’ll suddenly realise you’re far away from tourist land!