Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Facebook Live Video from 2020/09/29 - Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant

Rediscovering New York

Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant On this week's show we will visit the neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn. My guests will be Rediscovering New York regular and the show’s Special Consultant, David Griffin of Landmark Branding; and Medina Sadiq, Executive Director of the Bed Stuy Business Improvement District. 

Posted by Talking Alternative Broadcasting on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

2020/09/29 - Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant

[NEW EPISODE] Brooklyn's Bedford Stuyvesant

On this week's show we will visit the neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn. My guests will be Rediscovering New York regular and the show’s Special Consultant, David Griffin of Landmark Branding; and Medina Sadiq, Executive Director of the Bed Stuy Business Improvement District. 

Tune in for this fascinating conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Jeff introduces his first guest David Griffin, a regular on the show as well as being the founder of Landmark Branding. David begins by talking about his background and becoming interesting in architectural history. Next, Jeff asks him how Bedford Stuyvesant, or Bed-Stuy as locals call it got its unusual name. They explain how the “Stuyvesant” part of the name came from the first Dutch governor in Brooklyn. Jeff and David then talk about some of the early native settlers of Bed-Stuy, specifically some of the notable Dutch founders. Jeff asks what life was like in Bed-Stuy during colonial times up until the nineteenth century. David then talks about the battle of Long Island in 1776 that took place in and around Bed-Stuy. Jeff changes topics by asking about the history of Bed-Stuy’s railroad and its construction. They then talk about the history of Weeksville, one of the first free African American settlements in America.

Segment 2

Jeff begins by asking David about the origins of his company, Landmark Branding. He then asks about the process behind his blog: Every Building on 5th Avenue. Now going back to Bed-Stuy, Jeff and David discuss how Bed-Stuy became the neighborhood it is today. This brings them to talk about why Bed-Stuy became such an attractive location for developers and all the construction that happened. Jeff moves on to ask what the development of Bed-Stuy in the twentieth century looked like. David and Jeff bring up the famous Bed-Stuy A-train and the songs inspired by it. After this, they bring up a darker side of Bed-Stuy during the 1960s where real estate moguls took advantage of the African American community in the neighborhood. The social and racial divisions eventually led to a riot that encompassed Bed-Stuy and the surrounding streets. After this, David discusses the community activists that helped fight the injustice happening in the neighborhood. Lastly, Jeff asks David about how Bed-Stuy has managed to maintain its cultural identity amongst gentrification. 

Segment 3

Jeff introduces Medina Sadiq, executive director of the Bed-Stuy Gateway Business Improvement District. Jeff begins by asking Medina about her upbringing in New York and how she got her law degree. Next, he asks how Medina got to work for the CDC and what she did. Medina talks about her experience managing projects helping women with HIV. Jeff then asks how Medina helped Muslim business owners and her part in getting mosques built in the city. Moving down her extensive job history, Medina talks about working as a lawyer in the Caribbean. 

Segment 4

Jeff begins by asking how Medina got involved with BIDs. Medina goes on to discuss some of the challenges she dealt with when becoming the director of a BID, as well as her special initiatives. She goes on to talk about how gentrification has impacted her district. Jeff asks Medina about the neighborhood’s vibe, which leads her to speak about Bed-Stuy’s culture. She goes into detail about the beauty of the architecture in many of the buildings. Jeff then asks what surprises Medina about the neighborhood. Medina gives advice to potential business owners looking to open in Bed-Stuy. 


00:00:36.360 --> 00:00:45.870 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York

00:00:46.590 --> 00:00:52.560 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, I'm a real estate broker with brown hair Stevens, and as my listeners know I love New York

00:00:53.040 --> 00:00:57.930 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of our amazing city.

00:00:58.740 --> 00:01:07.800 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official

00:01:08.730 --> 00:01:18.180 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like tonight we focus on an individual New York neighborhood exploring its history and its current energy. What makes that particular New York neighborhood special

00:01:19.140 --> 00:01:24.960 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes we host shows about an interesting and vital color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:25.710 --> 00:01:35.070 Jeff Goodman: And prior episodes. You've heard us covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in. We had some interesting history here in New York, about half of them.

00:01:35.700 --> 00:01:44.670 Jeff Goodman: History of women activists in the women's suffrage movement in the city. We've talked about the history of African Americans in New York, which go who go back actually to the time of the Dutch

00:01:45.360 --> 00:01:54.030 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement, we've explored bicycles in cycling. They've been here for 200 years

00:01:54.450 --> 00:02:04.530 Jeff Goodman: We've delved into the history of punk and Opera. We've looked at our public library systems. We actually have three of them in this great city, not one, not two, but three library systems.

00:02:04.950 --> 00:02:16.260 Jeff Goodman: We've looked at some of our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges after the broadcast each show is available on podcast. You can hear us on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.

00:02:17.340 --> 00:02:25.080 Jeff Goodman: Tonight we're going to Brooklyn. Again we visited a Brooklyn neighborhood last weekend we're visiting another Brooklyn neighborhood, not too far from Flatbush tonight show

00:02:25.440 --> 00:02:30.630 Jeff Goodman: Is about Bedford Stuyvesant, or is it's also lovingly known by New Yorkers Bed Stuy

00:02:31.620 --> 00:02:38.100 Jeff Goodman: Our first guest is a returning guest to rediscover in New York and our special consultant for the show david Griffin.

00:02:38.850 --> 00:02:53.940 Jeff Goodman: David is a lifelong architectural enthusiast providing creative sales enhancing services for the national real estate community. He's the founder and CEO of landmark branding his clients include architects and design firms in addition to developers brokers and marketing companies.

00:02:55.200 --> 00:03:05.190 Jeff Goodman: His room at the top series co hosted with Jennifer Wallace of Mason art. New York is the only ongoing series in real estate to future tours of Manhattan's greatest buildings.

00:03:06.180 --> 00:03:16.200 Jeff Goodman: David's latest blog every building on Fifth documents every single building on Fifth Avenue. That's right. Every single building from Washington Square right up to where Fifth Avenue ends at the Harlem River.

00:03:17.010 --> 00:03:27.720 Jeff Goodman: His writing has appeared in real estate weekly Metropolis dwell and the National Trust preservation magazine, David. How many times can I say a hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York. It's always great to have you.

00:03:30.780 --> 00:03:32.100 Jeff Goodman: Hope you're not unmuted.

00:03:34.590 --> 00:03:34.920 Jeff Goodman: There.

00:03:36.030 --> 00:03:37.770 David Griffin: Hey, Jeff, how are you. Good to see you.

00:03:38.400 --> 00:03:40.650 Jeff Goodman: That's a real treat. That's two times today on zoom

00:03:41.010 --> 00:03:41.340 David Griffin: Right.

00:03:42.030 --> 00:03:44.520 Jeff Goodman: With another real estate focused project that we're working on.

00:03:45.690 --> 00:03:57.690 Jeff Goodman: Your regular on the show some of our listeners know you and some don't. But you have a fascinating background and I always like to talk about that from our guests, you're from the New York area, but not the city itself, at least on originally

00:03:58.230 --> 00:04:11.220 David Griffin: Know I grew up south. The Port Jefferson on Long Island and myself and my three siblings were we've been moved up to the Hudson River Valley. When I was about 12 or so. And I've been in that area, ever since.

00:04:12.270 --> 00:04:22.590 Jeff Goodman: And you know every lately I've been going to and from Eastern Long Island on the on the northern Parkway. The northern State Parkway and it says old Bethpage and to hear you talk about it. It's like, I gotta do this.

00:04:23.790 --> 00:04:33.390 Jeff Goodman: I went and visited when it's when it's opening and I don't know if they're hosting tours. How did you get interested in architectural history and and in New York history in particular.

00:04:33.630 --> 00:04:41.130 David Griffin: Well, all the best age as you just mentioned was a big part of that. My siblings and I were the first children to be actually hired by New York State.

00:04:41.520 --> 00:04:52.830 David Griffin: To serve as Park interpreters. So we dressed up in the clothing of the 1860s period and the village stops around 1865 or so right right after the Civil War, actually.

00:04:53.400 --> 00:05:04.320 David Griffin: And we would demonstrate games and toys and other things of that time period. And we did that for the the village fair, which they held every year in October. So that was a lot of fun.

00:05:04.860 --> 00:05:11.250 David Griffin: And sometimes they actually got to stay on site in one of the houses that had sort of bedrooms spaces upstairs.

00:05:11.670 --> 00:05:17.520 David Griffin: And it was really sort of interesting to walk around these buildings and see them and just kind of think, you know, so many different people have lived here.

00:05:17.820 --> 00:05:26.550 David Griffin: How did the buildings come about, what are their histories and I think that really sort of propelled me towards that interest in architecture generally

00:05:28.920 --> 00:05:45.660 Jeff Goodman: There are not a lot of neighborhoods in New York that have have two words or two names as part of their name. Sometimes there are associated with a thing like a hill or a slope but Bedford Stuyvesant is different, um, how did I get its name.

00:05:46.320 --> 00:05:59.790 David Griffin: Well, there was a village sort of named Bedford, that was technically the owner of the area, if you will, and then Stuyvesant was the district. That was the agricultural district near that Hamlet.

00:06:00.300 --> 00:06:07.440 David Griffin: And the second name is derived from Peter saw, who was of course the last governor of the colony of the New Netherlands.

00:06:09.390 --> 00:06:24.270 Jeff Goodman: You know, we usually associate the name Stuyvesant, and Peter Stuyvesant with things in lower Manhattan. This Stuyvesant square Stuyvesant this Stuyvesant, that you don't come across a lot of Stuyvesant related places outside Manhattan. How did the name Stuyvesant end up coming to Brooklyn.

00:06:25.080 --> 00:06:36.750 David Griffin: Well, I think they just wanted to identify with the fact that you know the the Dutch governor. The, the community was actually sort of founded during the time of his

00:06:37.680 --> 00:06:48.150 David Griffin: Sort of rain, if you will, and the stylist and family actually was up and down the Hudson River Valley as well so they weren't necessarily all concentrated in New York.

00:06:48.540 --> 00:06:53.490 David Griffin: There are, there's a Stuyvesant town upstate that's the Hudson River Valley.

00:06:54.090 --> 00:07:04.560 David Griffin: There are things, named after the silence and family, you know, sort of throughout this area, New York state. So I think it was, it was the name of the governor, but it was also, you know, as a surname that other people had it.

00:07:05.820 --> 00:07:21.930 Jeff Goodman: Well, we know that native peoples lived in the area before the Dutch came and from our conversation last week with Lucy Levine and Flatbush they're pretty close together, who was the first Dutch settlers in this part of Brooklyn and what And was there anything unusual about them.

00:07:22.890 --> 00:07:23.340 Well,

00:07:25.290 --> 00:07:33.360 David Griffin: How much has beginnings of course when a group of local residents decided to develop a market for their area. So they wanted a commercial center.

00:07:34.800 --> 00:07:40.200 David Griffin: And they petition the Hamad to Governor Stuyvesant, which is one of the reasons why they named it after him.

00:07:41.220 --> 00:07:44.790 Jeff Goodman: Yes, it's hard to say no when they want to name it after you're right but

00:07:45.750 --> 00:07:52.770 David Griffin: Ironically, a year later and probably would have had a different name because the British captured the New Netherlands and think of the end of Dutch role so

00:07:53.430 --> 00:08:03.960 David Griffin: It just squeaked in under the line as far as we know that bid for the hamlet itself had an in his earliest 1668 and it seems that in 1670

00:08:04.410 --> 00:08:14.820 David Griffin: There was a purchase of land from those people from the Canarsie Indians is an additional area for common lands for met for grazing and then the development of the market happened after that.

00:08:16.050 --> 00:08:28.830 David Griffin: At the time of its earliest history. The, the three major people were the three Dutch settlers Dirk who land and he operated a ferry boat on the East River. So that's actually

00:08:29.340 --> 00:08:39.180 David Griffin: A distance away from Bedford Stuyvesant, and then two other farmers john Hansen and man named left her Peterson event hard lot and

00:08:39.480 --> 00:08:48.030 David Griffin: The last one is a name that then occurs again throughout New York history, particularly in the 19th century, the hard work building is of that family.

00:08:48.630 --> 00:08:57.750 David Griffin: They were mercantile lists and they developed a series of department stores. So they were doing very well for themselves. But those were the three first settlers area.

00:08:58.650 --> 00:09:06.630 Jeff Goodman: This is probably a real getting down into the weeds but most of the history of New York when it comes to the local unhappy people you hear about the Dutch

00:09:07.350 --> 00:09:15.810 Jeff Goodman: Exchanging things for use of the land. You don't hear much where that actually happened in what became the city of New York after the English takeover.

00:09:16.290 --> 00:09:33.060 Jeff Goodman: Because the Canarsie Indians, you know, quote unquote sold some of the land in what would become Bedford Stuyvesant in in 1617 under the English, English rule. What, what was life like in this part of Brooklyn during the century or so, when we were in a British colony.

00:09:34.080 --> 00:09:46.620 David Griffin: It was basically agricultural, it was, it was very rural there wasn't a great deal out there. There was the end there was the market. There were farmhouses, but it really sort of stayed

00:09:48.450 --> 00:09:54.660 David Griffin: Rural up until the latter part of the 19th century. So there wasn't a lot of development of the area.

00:09:56.700 --> 00:10:01.620 Jeff Goodman: Even going to town. They're like, until the time of the American Revolution. It just put have all been farmland.

00:10:02.070 --> 00:10:08.100 David Griffin: Pretty much. I mean, other than the both couple places to stay in that I've mentioned on the place for market that was about it.

00:10:09.570 --> 00:10:15.870 Jeff Goodman: Is there anything significant that happened in the area that would become Bedford Stuyvesant David during the American Revolution.

00:10:16.860 --> 00:10:35.280 David Griffin: And there was an important Battle of Long Island that took place near the president historic district and and in that was C 1776 I think Lambert Sadam was the captain of the Kings County calorie and he lived in what later became Bedford Stuyvesant

00:10:36.390 --> 00:10:50.160 David Griffin: It must have been quite a battle because it took until 1784 before the people in town appropriate for hold their first town meetings in 1776 so there was a little bit of a delay, I guess, and various political forums points.

00:10:52.800 --> 00:11:01.710 Jeff Goodman: Are moving into the 19th century, the history of this part of Brooklyn is also intertwined with the with some local railroad history.

00:11:03.570 --> 00:11:07.860 Jeff Goodman: Who was there. What was the railroad and how to to contribute to to the development of the area.

00:11:08.430 --> 00:11:14.340 David Griffin: Of the building of the Brooklyn and Jamaica railroad took place in 1833 along Atlantic Avenue.

00:11:14.940 --> 00:11:20.310 David Griffin: And Bedford itself establish the railroad station. Yeah, the intersection of the current magic gathering and Franklin avenues.

00:11:20.670 --> 00:11:28.890 David Griffin: And of course we know that that railroad really kind of opened up an entire corridor of commercial and in some cases light industrial development through Brooklyn.

00:11:29.430 --> 00:11:48.030 David Griffin: So the coming of the railroad really began to Harold. I think you know the see changes that we saw see later on. And then the subway. I think shows up around 1908 or so. And that's when you really start seeing apartment buildings and things of that nature. Going out as well as the townhouses

00:11:49.950 --> 00:12:04.170 Jeff Goodman: Wasn't there a major railway station that was built like in the 1830s along the line that that also contributed to to some additional building up of the area. This is before you don't brownstones and before row houses.

00:12:04.410 --> 00:12:04.740 David Griffin: Yes.

00:12:05.190 --> 00:12:05.670 David Griffin: The one that I

00:12:05.730 --> 00:12:17.190 David Griffin: The one that I mentioned in 1833 it would have been on Atlantic Avenue. So the current section of Atlantic and Franklin Avenue us there wasn't a railroad station and that really kind of as a spark to commerce in the area.

00:12:19.080 --> 00:12:24.690 Jeff Goodman: One of the most significant significant things to me that happened in Brooklyn history before the Civil War.

00:12:25.200 --> 00:12:35.100 Jeff Goodman: Was the settlement and establishment of weeks fail on a place where African Americans could could establish homes and thrive. Do you want to talk about weeksville and when it

00:12:35.580 --> 00:12:40.950 Jeff Goodman: When it when it was born and and what might have been different about weeksville compared to other parts of Brooklyn.

00:12:41.400 --> 00:12:48.990 David Griffin: Well, it was founded in 1838 and it's been recognized as one of the first free African American communities in the United States.

00:12:49.800 --> 00:12:57.060 David Griffin: There is a community. I think further up in the Hudson River valley that was also founded around this time by African Americans, free to African Americans.

00:12:57.900 --> 00:13:07.560 David Griffin: It was a very picturesque rural Hamlet and there are some houses in homes that survive actually from that era, they discovered them sort of in the nick of time.

00:13:08.190 --> 00:13:15.900 David Griffin: Through aerial photography, oddly enough houses had been sort of they were sort of behind other row houses and other buildings.

00:13:16.230 --> 00:13:23.550 David Griffin: And someone was flying all over the place. I think in the 50s or so, and looked at and said once a culture building sort of in the in the central area there.

00:13:23.880 --> 00:13:29.010 David Griffin: And they realized they had an intact community there from that very first time period.

00:13:29.400 --> 00:13:41.430 David Griffin: So I think it's about four or five buildings and it's open as a museum village, much like old Bethpage and it interprets free African American life in the city prior to the Civil War prior to the American Civil War.

00:13:42.750 --> 00:13:50.850 David Griffin: And it's really quite remarkable. You wouldn't think that something like that could exist within the confines of New York City, particularly since a lot of Bedford Stuyvesant is quite urban and appearance.

00:13:51.270 --> 00:13:58.980 David Griffin: And this is really a kind of like a little sort of a rural grace note of a little agricultural village. So I strongly suggest people seeking it out.

00:13:59.250 --> 00:14:14.880 David Griffin: It has wonderful programming. And of course, I imagine it's closed. Now, due to the pandemic situation. But if you haven't been it's definitely worth seeing. It's one of those places that you don't forget, once you've seen it. And it's one of only two museum villages in

00:14:16.140 --> 00:14:22.980 David Griffin: New York City itself. There's another museum villages or who knows in Staten Island called Richmond restoration, which is somewhat similar.

00:14:23.340 --> 00:14:41.370 David Griffin: But week so i think is unique and that I believe all the houses are on their original foundations, so they didn't move any buildings there that I'm aware of. Whereas the Richmond town Restoration. Restoration is buildings are moved from everywhere in Staten Island to form a sparkling

00:14:42.150 --> 00:14:43.950 Jeff Goodman: And how old are the oldest buildings and we still

00:14:44.190 --> 00:14:53.760 David Griffin: Are they from the 1830s 1930s. Yes, there's one house there that is from the late 1830s. And then I think there's, there are building from the 60s 1870s, very

00:14:55.560 --> 00:15:04.680 Jeff Goodman: Well, I'm a lifelong New Yorker and I love the history of the city, and I have not been two weeks, so not yet, but I will definitely be visiting it as soon as we can do that.

00:15:06.360 --> 00:15:17.160 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with David Griffin of landmark branding and our exploration. The show of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. We'll be back in a moment.

00:17:27.960 --> 00:17:35.250 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York. This is actually our 84th episode and tonight we are visiting Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

00:17:35.610 --> 00:17:45.300 Jeff Goodman: My first guest is a regular on the show and the show special consultant David Griffin of landmark branding, Dave. I'm going to ask you about landmark branding. When did you start landmark branding.

00:17:48.240 --> 00:17:49.890 Jeff Goodman: You're not unmuted.

00:17:54.240 --> 00:17:54.960 Right, okay.

00:17:56.070 --> 00:18:06.870 David Griffin: Um, I actually started back in 2013 I had been writing some freelance work while working as an arts consultant and in 2008 a lot of that dried up because of the economic downturn.

00:18:07.380 --> 00:18:13.110 David Griffin: And I thought, well, how can I continue to write about buildings and, you know, architecture, the city at large.

00:18:13.530 --> 00:18:20.640 David Griffin: And so I decided to go into marketing for real estate and it's been really quiet unexperienced I work with brokers. I work with developers.

00:18:21.120 --> 00:18:31.260 David Griffin: I work with people who are restoring buildings engineers and architects interior designers and people who simply own and manage historical architecture.

00:18:31.770 --> 00:18:40.080 David Griffin: Property, so I do everything from website text to creating VIP tours, special events to highlight the architecture of certain things.

00:18:40.560 --> 00:18:49.560 David Griffin: And as you mentioned, my blog every building on fifth. That was really a lot of fun to ride a long time to do because I had to find time to photograph the buildings and

00:18:49.950 --> 00:18:52.110 Jeff Goodman: Photographed every single building on Fifth Avenue.

00:18:52.290 --> 00:18:53.790 David Griffin: A single building on Fifth Avenue.

00:18:54.330 --> 00:19:06.120 David Griffin: As a capsule time history and it starts with the Washington Square arch and it goes on to the magnificent Art Deco a Harlem Armory, which is, I think, really sort of an overlooked masterpiece.

00:19:06.720 --> 00:19:16.140 David Griffin: In New York City architecture. And yeah, it's been it's really been a lot of fun. So I'm developing a potential book on apartment architecture.

00:19:16.530 --> 00:19:27.690 David Griffin: I'm going to be thinking about a second blog potentially about Hudson River Valley architecture and villages and just moving along with them, wonderful programs like rediscovering New York

00:19:29.040 --> 00:19:38.580 Jeff Goodman: And it's always great to have you. How did you come up with the idea for every building office. What was the genesis of it. What was did you wake up in the middle of the night one night and say, I got to do this or

00:19:39.330 --> 00:19:47.250 David Griffin: I just was really, really sort of interested in the idea that here you have a street that's famous around the world.

00:19:47.850 --> 00:19:54.810 David Griffin: And it's right there in front of you. And so now it's sort of, it has a walkability that I think a lot of very famous speech don't necessarily have

00:19:55.290 --> 00:20:03.030 David Griffin: You know, a lot of other streets they wind and this or that way or the highway. So there you know eight lanes of traffic or something.

00:20:03.390 --> 00:20:06.630 David Griffin: And here you have a street that really is kind of a neighborhood speak away.

00:20:06.960 --> 00:20:15.120 David Griffin: And I thought, I just want to see what is on Fifth Avenue. I want to see everything that's on Fifth Avenue and I want to record of it because it's changing its changing quite quite rapidly.

00:20:15.930 --> 00:20:21.180 David Griffin: Several of the buildings that I documented at the beginning of the blog, you know, three or four years ago. I'm not there anymore.

00:20:21.540 --> 00:20:25.830 David Griffin: And then others have been restored. You know, they're still there, but there. They've been

00:20:26.340 --> 00:20:41.880 David Griffin: Trying to buff up or they've been rebuilt or modified in some way. So I'm thinking that the blog is it stands will be sort of an interesting testament to the development of that court or overall. And I'm very happy that I did it. And I'm planning to keep updating it as best I can.

00:20:42.540 --> 00:20:43.980 Jeff Goodman: How many buildings are there on Fifth Avenue.

00:20:45.180 --> 00:20:51.000 David Griffin: There are, I believe, it's something close to 530 540 buildings.

00:20:52.140 --> 00:20:53.940 David Griffin: Wow. Well, and a

00:20:54.090 --> 00:20:56.610 Jeff Goodman: little trivia Judah, how long FIFTH AVENUE IS, I DON'T KNOW.

00:20:57.750 --> 00:20:58.740 Jeff Goodman: I'm just wondering how

00:20:59.040 --> 00:20:59.460 Jeff Goodman: You know I

00:20:59.670 --> 00:21:09.300 David Griffin: Think it's about six miles long, or so it says someone said it's about half the I should know that actually but about I think it's about half the length of Manhattan.

00:21:09.810 --> 00:21:15.210 David Griffin: Uh huh. So it doesn't start at the bottom. But I think it's I think it's about five or six miles.

00:21:15.540 --> 00:21:15.810 Hmm.

00:21:18.060 --> 00:21:19.140 Jeff Goodman: Have you ever walked the whole thing.

00:21:20.100 --> 00:21:20.760 David Griffin: And

00:21:20.790 --> 00:21:23.580 Jeff Goodman: At the same time, not all, it's okay. Okay, just

00:21:23.790 --> 00:21:26.760 Jeff Goodman: Just wondering, well, that takes us back to Bed Stuy

00:21:28.200 --> 00:21:34.650 Jeff Goodman: When would bedside begin looking like the neighborhood that we see and recognize today.

00:21:35.250 --> 00:21:46.530 David Griffin: Be real masonry row house development started as early as the 1870s, but it wasn't really until the 1890s, that you begin to see a lot of development coming up.

00:21:48.120 --> 00:21:55.290 David Griffin: You see an acceleration between that 1900 and then sort of tapering off over the first decade of the 20th century.

00:21:56.070 --> 00:22:02.280 David Griffin: At that point, the construction amazing row has basically for a community that was largely German

00:22:03.090 --> 00:22:09.180 David Griffin: And it was emerging as very much a sort of an upper middle class neighborhood. The houses are quite substantial

00:22:09.810 --> 00:22:17.550 David Griffin: They're four and five stories tall, some of them. They're, they're wider than some of the earlier brownstones for places like for Queen or even heights.

00:22:18.090 --> 00:22:23.850 David Griffin: And they tend to be very highly detailed, you have these sort of examples of the Italian at style.

00:22:24.510 --> 00:22:30.810 David Griffin: That are some of the earlier buildings and they kind of echo proportions and styles of buildings during the Civil War period.

00:22:31.440 --> 00:22:42.390 David Griffin: But then you see Romanesque revival houses French Second Empire, a lot of very good Queen and architecture which is rather unusual for for fun. There's not a great deal of that in Brooklyn.

00:22:43.200 --> 00:22:50.070 David Griffin: Some Beaux Arts, but other sort of Victorian eclectic styles, almost all the keeping the general aesthetic of the brownstone building type

00:22:50.430 --> 00:22:59.130 David Griffin: Meaning that it's either face to brownstone or it has brownstone trim involved, regardless of whether the building is correct or some other type of stone.

00:23:00.420 --> 00:23:09.420 David Griffin: They're really quite amazing and Nostrand Avenue in particular, I think, is one of the most intact seascapes of that time period where you

00:23:09.960 --> 00:23:17.550 David Griffin: You have our Hancock Avenue, actually, is one that I'm thinking of Hancock is just block after block of these really amazing houses.

00:23:17.970 --> 00:23:34.170 David Griffin: And they're really quite something to see there's almost no missing gaps or modern construction on that particular spreadsheet for fun. And that's quite unusual for any neighborhood in Brooklyn. And it's really quite, quite a, quite a monopoly.

00:23:35.190 --> 00:23:51.210 Jeff Goodman: On $64,000 question. Why did that happen in Bed Stuy and not neighborhoods immediately west and northwest like Clinton Hill for green and prospect heights in Park Slope, what was it a bad construction in Bed Stuy that would have all these like

00:23:51.240 --> 00:23:59.760 David Griffin: It was, I think it was a certain group of people who were. They were merchants, they expected to live a certain way.

00:24:00.240 --> 00:24:09.660 David Griffin: They, you know, I think there was started building for the client tell if you will. So, you know, the people in Fort Greene were very prosperous, but they might not have been quite as money.

00:24:10.380 --> 00:24:19.230 David Griffin: People in Brooklyn Heights. That's an older neighborhood and express more quote unquote aristocratic but people aren't as popular back then as they were in a place like Bedford Stuyvesant

00:24:19.620 --> 00:24:35.970 David Griffin: The place where you see similar buildings, to a large degree is actually Park Slope, which was being developed at the same time. And even there, I think, um, I think that the architecture in Bed Stuy is a little bit more freewheeling IT'S A LITTLE BIT MORE ECLECTIC

00:24:37.110 --> 00:24:47.490 David Griffin: And sometimes that just goes down to the fact that these people were maybe only one call, quote unquote, the new vibration. So they didn't mind sort of being a bit more flamboyant about it and having a house that was more unusual.

00:24:50.400 --> 00:25:00.090 Jeff Goodman: Well, let's move on to the 20th century, what his bed styles development been like, since we started the 20th century, and after the after the First World War.

00:25:01.050 --> 00:25:06.480 David Griffin: Well, during the 1930s, we were in the Great Depression, of course, and major changes started taking place.

00:25:06.990 --> 00:25:11.970 David Griffin: There was a wave of immigration during that period from the American South, and also from the Caribbean.

00:25:12.570 --> 00:25:24.510 David Griffin: And so that brought the neighborhoods black population off to where there were about 30,000 people who were African American in that district and it was suddenly the second largest black community in the city at the time after Harlem.

00:25:25.740 --> 00:25:34.170 David Griffin: During World War Two, the Brooklyn Navy Yard attracted other black New Yorkers to the neighborhood for an opportunity for employment and the war economy was sort of

00:25:35.040 --> 00:25:44.580 David Griffin: Creating these kind of fluctuations in suburban development. So a lot of the people who are above the the first wave of sort of Polish, German arrivals are moving further out into the suburbs.

00:25:45.000 --> 00:25:52.410 David Griffin: But Bedford Stuyvesant, was it was a very well to do district during that time period that it was phosphorus and

00:25:53.220 --> 00:25:57.210 David Griffin: It's sort of funny that Harlem, I think is better known in African American history.

00:25:57.540 --> 00:26:08.130 David Griffin: Because of the entertainment zone. It had the theaters that had the great music spots and things like that and Bed Stuy a had less of that there weren't as many places for people to congregate.

00:26:08.460 --> 00:26:14.550 David Griffin: But I was very much considered a neighborhood of a someone put it, you know, a place of homes and churches, so

00:26:14.940 --> 00:26:25.890 David Griffin: A Harlem, I think, was a little bit more sort of intellectual Razzle Dazzle. And it was about celebrity. And I think that's, I was sort of the more respectable more staid side of the African American middle class.

00:26:27.330 --> 00:26:43.410 Jeff Goodman: It was interesting reading today that one of the things that contributed to Bed Stuy becoming a home to a greater number of African Americans was actually the opening with the extension of the a train that we call the train now to the on the high end line out to Rockaway

00:26:43.980 --> 00:26:46.560 David Griffin: And the, the song. Take the a train.

00:26:46.590 --> 00:26:49.980 David Griffin: Is supposedly about leaving ben stein to go to Harlem.

00:26:51.060 --> 00:26:54.360 David Griffin: Like going out for an hour a night on the town and going after theater district.

00:26:55.410 --> 00:26:58.140 Jeff Goodman: That everyone, by the way, bus by the famous Duke. Duke Ellington.

00:26:59.790 --> 00:27:05.130 Jeff Goodman: Crazy. Yes. Yes. And he was with us till I think 1975 that was in high school, when he died.

00:27:05.670 --> 00:27:10.770 Jeff Goodman: Really um yes yes really little older than you are.

00:27:11.850 --> 00:27:15.420 David Griffin: I just, I guess I didn't know that he had lived until the 1970s, but yeah.

00:27:15.420 --> 00:27:16.170 Jeff Goodman: Yeah yeah

00:27:18.510 --> 00:27:24.030 Jeff Goodman: Actually remember news coverage of his funeral. I didn't go to his funeral. But you know when he was awake in Harlem.

00:27:26.040 --> 00:27:38.010 Jeff Goodman: There's a. Now then, moving into the 60s, there's a there's a dark side to bed size history that was aided and abetted by some unscrupulous business people. What happened in Bedford Stuyvesant in the 60s.

00:27:38.040 --> 00:27:47.400 David Griffin: Well, there was an illegal. It is now illegal practice and it's something that's really, I think, you know, part of a

00:27:48.060 --> 00:27:59.790 David Griffin: Very negative History in New York and other cities around the country, real estate agents and speculators and what are they called blockbusting to turn a profit where they would go in and sort of

00:28:00.810 --> 00:28:10.200 David Griffin: Encourage people who are white to sell their homes, turn around, sell them to African American buyers and then go to the next white

00:28:10.620 --> 00:28:16.860 David Griffin: Household and say, Oh my gosh, the African Americans are moving in, you gotta move out fast so they were getting the homes for less than they

00:28:17.580 --> 00:28:27.540 David Griffin: Were valued and then they were pumping up the price to the people who were moving in and they were creating this kind of feeling of racial division.

00:28:27.930 --> 00:28:34.230 David Griffin: Which might not have happened if it just occurred as a natural process with more and more people moving into the area so

00:28:35.160 --> 00:28:44.490 David Griffin: By 1965 85% of the population at that size that was black. And then the early 1960s, there was one of the first urban riots in the area.

00:28:44.880 --> 00:28:49.980 David Griffin: And that was due to, you know, the social and racial divisions that the city was experiencing.

00:28:50.670 --> 00:28:58.980 David Griffin: But also relations between the New York Police Department at the time were very strange because the perception was the New York Police Department. They were oppressive

00:28:59.550 --> 00:29:06.480 David Griffin: That they were racially biased and there are also very, very few black policeman or, you know, people working in the police department.

00:29:06.810 --> 00:29:16.440 David Griffin: Who are African American. It was sort of like one of these, these things where they didn't have community representation at that level. And that's incredibly difficult to deal with. So

00:29:17.520 --> 00:29:27.510 David Griffin: There were a number of activists and politicians such as Civil Court Judge Thomas Jones and a number of grassroots organizations, community members within the community and Bedford Stuyvesant

00:29:28.650 --> 00:29:35.970 David Griffin: Who were formed and began to kind of rebuild Bed Stuy as as sort of a more stable neighborhood environment.

00:29:36.450 --> 00:29:45.690 David Griffin: And there was a 1965 Andrew Cooper was a journalist from Bedford Stuyvesant, and he brought a lawsuit under the voting rights act against racial gerrymandering

00:29:46.050 --> 00:29:52.140 David Griffin: Under the grounds that Bedford Stuyvesant was divided among five congressional districts and each had a white representative

00:29:52.680 --> 00:30:04.410 David Griffin: So it was altered in the creation of New York's 12 congressional district and the election in 1968 of Shirley Chisholm, who was the first black woman and West Indian American ever elected to the US Congress

00:30:04.770 --> 00:30:17.220 David Griffin: So that was really a historic moment for American politics that was generated entirely out of Bedford Stuyvesant so it really, it has incredible political history. In addition to, you know, the architecture and the social feel

00:30:18.840 --> 00:30:25.380 Jeff Goodman: Yes, and Shirley Chisholm him Harold, a lot of changes into Congress and just great leading in or in our, in our system.

00:30:26.760 --> 00:30:32.010 Jeff Goodman: We have about a minute left. David, I want to talk about the gentrification in Bed Stuy

00:30:33.750 --> 00:30:37.110 Jeff Goodman: A lot of gentrification displaces long time neighborhood residents.

00:30:37.500 --> 00:30:52.530 Jeff Goodman: And that rapid change can lead to the decline of culturally rich and diverse neighborhoods, but it didn't quite happen on that scale in Bed Stuy, why not what was one of, one of the things that really separated Bed Stuy from some of this wholesale gentrification.

00:30:53.160 --> 00:31:00.090 David Griffin: Well, I think that your next guest will probably be able to speak much more on point to that than I can, but from what I've read

00:31:00.480 --> 00:31:12.690 David Griffin: It does seem that one of the things that is interesting is that Bed Stuy continues to attract new people who are African American, or who are of African ancestry and they identify with the history of the region.

00:31:13.350 --> 00:31:28.440 David Griffin: And you know they're professionals, they're coming in and they're restoring them so beautiful old houses and opening up businesses and restaurants and things of that nature. And I think it's seen as maybe a little bit more of a historical and cultural destination in that sense, but

00:31:29.520 --> 00:31:34.440 David Griffin: Yeah, the gentrification is continuing and that's even under the current pandemic, it's continuing

00:31:34.950 --> 00:31:40.680 David Griffin: And it's at the same that seven Arlington place, which was the setting for Spike Lee's 1994 film Kirkland.

00:31:41.250 --> 00:31:49.620 David Griffin: Actually sold over asking price in 2013 at $1.7 million dollars. So I think that I've seen again.

00:31:50.400 --> 00:31:57.570 David Griffin: The way it was when it was first built as a place of very desirable properties. It has, you know, excellent access, of course, to the subways.

00:31:57.930 --> 00:32:12.270 David Griffin: And it's sort of in the heart of brownstone Brooklyn, but it's very much sort of also set apart in a way that I think there's still a lot of privacy and quiet. You're not getting the tourist words, you're not getting people who are just kind of, you know, buzzing through as well.

00:32:13.110 --> 00:32:21.360 Jeff Goodman: It's one of the few neighborhoods in Brooklyn where the people who live there actually had a hand in its gentrification and it's becoming better as a neighborhood.

00:32:22.260 --> 00:32:29.010 Jeff Goodman: Sort of like the low point in the 60s. Let the home grown improvements in a sense of community that still exists in Bed Stuy today.

00:32:29.760 --> 00:32:42.780 Jeff Goodman: David Griffin. Thank you so much for being our first guest on this program about Bedford Stuyvesant, and our first guest has been David Griffin David is the founder of landmark branding and also the show special consultant

00:32:43.860 --> 00:32:48.000 Jeff Goodman: Looking forward to having you back on the show where we see you next, David. Thanks so much for being on the show today.

00:32:48.270 --> 00:32:59.610 Jeff Goodman: Thanks a lot. We're going to take a short break and when we come back we are going to speak to our second guest who can speak a little bit more recently about happenings in Bed Stuy, we'll be back in a moment.

00:35:22.890 --> 00:35:32.130 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support from the program comes from our sponsors Christopher pappas mortgage specialist to TD Bank.

00:35:32.550 --> 00:35:42.660 Jeff Goodman: To find out how Chris can help you with all your residential home mortgage needs and tailor a mortgage that's right for you. Please call Chris at 203-512-3918

00:35:43.380 --> 00:35:55.380 Jeff Goodman: And support also comes from the Law Offices of Thomas the ACA focusing on estate planning probate and inheritance litigation Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317

00:35:56.340 --> 00:36:01.050 Jeff Goodman: Our show us about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and the myriad textures of our amazing city.

00:36:01.680 --> 00:36:07.770 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco.

00:36:08.130 --> 00:36:16.770 Jeff Goodman: My friend and colleague brown Harris Stevens. This is show airs live on Tuesday mornings at 9am you can hear him on voice America calm and also on podcast.

00:36:17.250 --> 00:36:22.830 Jeff Goodman: You can like this show on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC.

00:36:23.520 --> 00:36:29.190 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York at NYC.

00:36:29.880 --> 00:36:34.950 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.

00:36:35.400 --> 00:36:41.760 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I'm indeed a real estate agent. Now we're amazing city where I help my clients buy sale lease and rent property.

00:36:42.420 --> 00:36:53.520 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of a within New York. I would love to help you with all those real estate means you can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761

00:36:54.510 --> 00:37:04.500 Jeff Goodman: Well, our second guest on the show is a special guests Medina Sadiq, since the mid 1980s Medina has dedicated herself to social and economic justice.

00:37:05.010 --> 00:37:09.840 Jeff Goodman: She holds a Juris Doctorate degree conferred by Northeastern University School of Law.

00:37:10.500 --> 00:37:19.710 Jeff Goodman: Prior to attending law school and Sadiq worked as a project officer at the US Centers for Disease Control, which he was assigned to work throughout region, to which includes Puerto Rico.

00:37:20.460 --> 00:37:30.150 Jeff Goodman: She was the recipient of the Muslim mind award in 2018 from Colombia for providing the legal assistance in the development of more mosques in New York City than any other attorney.

00:37:31.020 --> 00:37:38.940 Jeff Goodman: Medina founded a better Bronx for youth consortium that providing technical assistance and made grants to organizations that might otherwise not have such such access

00:37:39.480 --> 00:37:48.330 Jeff Goodman: After developing programs that reach thousands of Bronx youth, Mr. D went on to serve as the CEO of a community based security service with over 700 employees.

00:37:49.170 --> 00:37:56.220 Jeff Goodman: Medina later spend time in the Caribbean wish he honed your craft in the area of economic development and commercial revitalization.

00:37:56.730 --> 00:38:02.310 Jeff Goodman: She worked in Sint Maarten, and we love Jamaica Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

00:38:02.940 --> 00:38:08.610 Jeff Goodman: She is especially proud of bringing together entrepreneurs from various Caribbean island nations to develop joint business ventures.

00:38:09.060 --> 00:38:21.480 Jeff Goodman: In 2005 she received the Madame CJ Walker businesswoman of the Year award. She has since committed to passing that award forward and presenting it to several businesses in the Bedford Stuyvesant community in 2018

00:38:22.410 --> 00:38:37.860 Jeff Goodman: Mr. D became the chief executive officer and the executive director of the Bedford Stuyvesant gateway Business Improvement District in February 2017 and I can't imagine a better guest for the second part of the show the Medina Sadiq patina a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York

00:38:38.400 --> 00:38:41.490 Medina Sadiq: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

00:38:42.150 --> 00:38:45.690 Jeff Goodman: You're a native New Yorker, you're from New York. Originally, where are you from in the city.

00:38:45.720 --> 00:38:55.140 Medina Sadiq: I'm born and raised in Harlem. I went to elementary schools in Harlem and actually graduated from high school in Harlem.

00:38:56.820 --> 00:39:12.690 Jeff Goodman: Or Medina, you have a level of accomplishment and education that most executive directors of Business Improvement districts don't have and may only be able to dream of. And I'm not just talking about your law degree. There are a number of big directors who have law degrees but

00:39:14.460 --> 00:39:19.620 Jeff Goodman: Let's, let's talk about your JD when you studied law was was your career path going to be the law.

00:39:20.310 --> 00:39:31.050 Medina Sadiq: No, no, never, I never intended to be a lawyer. I never thought of myself. I'm certainly not as a litigating attorney, um,

00:39:32.280 --> 00:39:49.950 Medina Sadiq: I got the opportunity to go to law school and I thought that it would help me to help people in in my communities around public our we were in the, you know, this is before Clinton and we were working with Mrs. Clinton around, you know,

00:39:50.970 --> 00:39:56.880 Medina Sadiq: Managed care for people everywhere to be able to get public access and so

00:39:58.020 --> 00:40:02.370 Medina Sadiq: Yeah, I did not think I'd be courthouses ever know.

00:40:03.030 --> 00:40:04.500 Jeff Goodman: This being a show about New York, we

00:40:04.500 --> 00:40:07.470 Medina Sadiq: Have the proverbial sirens that we can hear the background.

00:40:07.470 --> 00:40:08.520 Medina Sadiq: Oh, sorry. There

00:40:08.580 --> 00:40:09.120 Jeff Goodman: No, no.

00:40:10.290 --> 00:40:11.160 Jeff Goodman: It's really your

00:40:12.000 --> 00:40:13.500 Jeff Goodman: Servants all the time. It's good.

00:40:13.500 --> 00:40:29.010 Jeff Goodman: To provide a little bit of you know if if if it were on stage, we would have we would have someone with that sound effect in the ways. Um, when did you work with the with the Centers for Disease Control and what led you to working with it with the Centers for, you know,

00:40:29.160 --> 00:40:32.250 Medina Sadiq: It was so crazy. I, I was running

00:40:33.900 --> 00:40:37.800 Medina Sadiq: A teen pregnancy prevention program in the Bronx and

00:40:39.000 --> 00:40:42.000 Medina Sadiq: Just off the floor go apply for a job.

00:40:43.110 --> 00:40:46.320 Medina Sadiq: In Washington, DC around

00:40:47.550 --> 00:41:02.430 Medina Sadiq: prevention of HIV for women. And so that was an exciting project. Um, we were at that time, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and the CDC recruited me and invited me to come work for them.

00:41:03.000 --> 00:41:10.080 Medina Sadiq: Managing prevention projects for women and really little for everybody but I ended up focusing on women's health

00:41:12.180 --> 00:41:25.980 Medina Sadiq: around HIV and you know when you deal with HRP you end up dealing with everything you know all of the pre existing conditions of your life come into focus. When you get an HIV diagnosis and so

00:41:27.750 --> 00:41:35.880 Medina Sadiq: That was some exciting work, but it wasn't. I was really just looking at making things better for women and ended up at CDC.

00:41:37.740 --> 00:41:49.290 Jeff Goodman: Well, in a departure of that you but not from your, your activism and your support on you got involved with helping mosques to establish had, how did you get involved with with that project.

00:41:49.680 --> 00:42:00.720 Medina Sadiq: You know, I set up a consulting business, um, to help nonprofits that that really didn't have access to

00:42:02.070 --> 00:42:11.100 Medina Sadiq: Support around their businesses support around starting nonprofits fundraising and things of that nature governance and

00:42:12.150 --> 00:42:13.710 Medina Sadiq: You know I'm Muslim, I had been

00:42:14.730 --> 00:42:26.700 Medina Sadiq: Around a lot of Muslim business owners. And I said, well, let me see if I could help some business owners and in helping the business owners, we realize that Moscow business to that they have to be incorporated. They have to be

00:42:27.570 --> 00:42:31.920 Medina Sadiq: They need a board of directors as well. And so, yeah, I got involved with it that way to

00:42:34.110 --> 00:42:39.900 Jeff Goodman: What was your inspiration behind founding a better Bronx for youth consortium.

00:42:42.690 --> 00:42:44.850 Medina Sadiq: When I came back to New York.

00:42:45.990 --> 00:42:56.880 Medina Sadiq: After working for the Centers for Disease Control and seeing how many nonprofit organizations existed in New York City in of color communities where

00:42:58.260 --> 00:43:12.540 Medina Sadiq: People did not have access to foundations and corporations that were making large grants and and part of the government was even ignoring some of these communities. And so I felt like I had access to

00:43:14.820 --> 00:43:23.550 Medina Sadiq: To government costs of money not accessing that they were mine, but that I knew how to reach people I could bring attention to the community.

00:43:23.970 --> 00:43:37.860 Medina Sadiq: And so I started this nonprofit whose mission was to bring funds to nonprofits have served young people in the Bronx, because we were, I believe, at that time, very much ignored in that community.

00:43:39.840 --> 00:43:46.860 Jeff Goodman: Medina, how did you get involved with economic development of the Caribbean, you've done so much. I feel like this is like a job interview. I'm just asking you.

00:43:47.130 --> 00:43:49.710 Jeff Goodman: Know all the amazing stuff.

00:43:49.710 --> 00:43:50.340 Jeff Goodman: That you've done

00:43:52.170 --> 00:44:02.040 Medina Sadiq: Well, in the Caribbean. I just was asked as an attorney to support some property owners that were trying to

00:44:03.900 --> 00:44:14.340 Medina Sadiq: Get financing to build hotel. So there were and they these people exist all over the world, not just in Jamaica, but in Jamaica that were these people that owned property.

00:44:15.900 --> 00:44:24.990 Medina Sadiq: On beachfront right that did not that where they didn't have proof of their ownership of the land. So it's called untitled lands and a lot of times

00:44:27.210 --> 00:44:34.980 Medina Sadiq: You'll find that even here in the United States where there are pieces of land that maybe have not are left without proof of ownership.

00:44:35.460 --> 00:44:46.650 Medina Sadiq: And so when I went to do that work. I met the ambassador, or the the Jamaican ambassador to to to Cuba. His name was Carlisle dunkley

00:44:47.130 --> 00:45:06.660 Medina Sadiq: And he said to me, well, you know, you speak Spanish, as a first language you understand these issues, would you come with me to Cuba to try to attract other islanders other business people to come to Cuba and events and I started working on that project with him, which was also awesome

00:45:07.080 --> 00:45:20.370 Jeff Goodman: Awesome. Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. It's going to sound like a stupid question. Was there enough free enterprise in Cuba to have fostered the need for the kind of economic development and commercial revitalization that's that's really been a hallmark of your career.

00:45:21.270 --> 00:45:29.340 Medina Sadiq: Well, you know, that's where I learned how to do it and learn how to make something with nothing and what I learned there was that, you know,

00:45:30.540 --> 00:45:53.100 Medina Sadiq: Even in my own childhood. We knew how to make fish cakes with potatoes. I mean, you know, so, so in Cuba, where you're starting off at maybe what appears to be zero, you're forced to be tremendously creative as we are now in this pandemic, we are forced to go back to zero and be creative.

00:45:55.650 --> 00:46:04.200 Jeff Goodman: Wow. Well, we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Medina Sadiq, she's the executive director of the Bedford Stuyvesant gateway.

00:46:04.470 --> 00:46:10.350 Jeff Goodman: Business Improvement District and we will be talking about Bed Stuy again on the other side of the break we'll be back in a moment.

00:46:14.520 --> 00:46:15.000 And my

00:46:16.920 --> 00:46:18.060 Jeff Goodman: Edge came and

00:48:27.810 --> 00:48:40.110 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York in our episode on Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. And my second guest is Medina Sadiq Medina is the executive director of the bedside gateway Business Improvement District

00:48:40.470 --> 00:48:49.830 Jeff Goodman: And speaking of Business Improvement districts where we've been journeying through your career. And now that lands us at the bid in bed Stein.

00:48:52.560 --> 00:48:54.660 Jeff Goodman: You get involved with Business Improvement districts

00:48:55.770 --> 00:49:13.290 Medina Sadiq: You know, once again, you know, our communities are based on relationships and people knowing what other people not to do. And Dr. Richard he scared, though, a prominent community activists and medical doctor

00:49:14.490 --> 00:49:33.630 Medina Sadiq: In the Bronx, who recently passed away. He acts me, you know, he invited me to work on a small bit in the Bronx, that was being started Southern Boulevard Business Improvement District in 2008 and I was doing it you know as a consultant, and I never thought of it as, you know,

00:49:34.740 --> 00:49:45.810 Medina Sadiq: I didn't know that how intricate the work of a bid could be that it was a specific type of nonprofit, you know that it has a quasi governmental type of

00:49:46.530 --> 00:49:57.540 Medina Sadiq: Mission and and so once I got involved with it. I fell in love with the work. I love the ownership of the community and being responsible

00:49:58.440 --> 00:50:05.310 Medina Sadiq: For the community in a way that is above the regular responsibility that we have, so that a bit is like up

00:50:05.640 --> 00:50:14.370 Medina Sadiq: An experiment and social responsibility, where property owners take care of their property, of course, but they pay an extra assessment.

00:50:14.970 --> 00:50:33.420 Medina Sadiq: An extra text to be in a particular area to get some additional services like additional sweet STREET SWEEPING more than what the Department of sanitation would give. And so I found it to be very exciting and and so I've been doing big work now since 2008

00:50:35.400 --> 00:50:42.270 Jeff Goodman: Virginia. Were there any special challenges that you faced when you took over the leadership of the bit in Bed Stuy

00:50:44.190 --> 00:50:47.730 Medina Sadiq: I'm of course they were of course the where I think

00:50:48.900 --> 00:50:56.520 Medina Sadiq: That bids are interesting. It's a very interesting in that there are very few black women it's worthless.

00:50:57.060 --> 00:51:08.070 Medina Sadiq: Um, there are very few black people bid directors in New York City. Very few. We have I'm almost at bids and if there are five

00:51:08.970 --> 00:51:22.350 Medina Sadiq: African American directors, I will be surprised. And so although that size up known to be a black community and always had black big directors. I think being female was

00:51:23.580 --> 00:51:25.170 Medina Sadiq: A challenge in the community.

00:51:26.190 --> 00:51:28.230 Medina Sadiq: I think it was a challenge in the community.

00:51:29.340 --> 00:51:41.490 Medina Sadiq: And I think coming from outside of the community was a challenge. It's a very insulated community and a lot of things have happened that cause for distrust of outsiders and so that took a while.

00:51:42.810 --> 00:51:47.430 Jeff Goodman: Were there any special initiatives that you undertook with with with the Bed Stuy bed.

00:51:48.750 --> 00:51:55.950 Medina Sadiq: For me, you know, um, you know, Bed Stuy, of course, you know, this whole issue of gentrification.

00:51:58.530 --> 00:52:17.280 Medina Sadiq: Is delicate and and i think my vision of gentrification is that it's not about. It's not the problem is not that new people are coming in the problem right now in Bed Stuy about the new people that said they come in with access and with

00:52:18.390 --> 00:52:35.070 Medina Sadiq: Ability to to get more incomes to redo their buildings to redo their sidewalks. There's that feeling like why do these new people have more than we do. Why are they able to get the city to respond to them better than us. And so you do have that conflict and

00:52:36.300 --> 00:52:46.530 Medina Sadiq: Eat throughout the pandemic. I was doing a study funded by the New York Urban League to look at the impact of just of gentrification in our commercial district.

00:52:48.450 --> 00:52:56.160 Jeff Goodman: Well, that brings us to the feeling and the vibe of Bed Stuy describe the five of Bed Stuy but Gina, what is it that you like about it.

00:52:56.880 --> 00:53:03.690 Medina Sadiq: I love it. I feel like even when there's no music. It feels like this. MUSIC PLAYING in Bed Stuy

00:53:04.320 --> 00:53:09.000 Medina Sadiq: Um, it's rhythmic it's it reminds me of the feeling that you get when you're in Cuba.

00:53:09.450 --> 00:53:16.830 Medina Sadiq: That the culture is screaming off of everything. It's in the clothing. It's in the buildings. It's in the food.

00:53:17.250 --> 00:53:37.950 Medina Sadiq: It's in the way people express themselves and what's unique about that style is that even in the institutions, even in the hospital there the bank's chasing me. The people who work there are mostly African American. Um, and so there is, it's a community that

00:53:38.970 --> 00:53:44.160 Medina Sadiq: One. Like it doesn't exist any place anywhere near so it's very, it's unique

00:53:46.350 --> 00:54:05.400 Medina Sadiq: And there is a sense of home. I think for just about any African American in the country that comes there is that feeling of home. And so I think it's unique, but it still has its problems and needs to be maintained and better taken care of.

00:54:06.660 --> 00:54:15.180 Jeff Goodman: Well, you've worked in different communities and neighborhoods around the city. Is there anything that you feel that makes Bed Stuy unique compared to other neighborhoods.

00:54:15.570 --> 00:54:26.760 Medina Sadiq: Well, of course, the population, but the architecture, you could spend your whole. I mean, you can spend months just walking up and down the streets looking at the buildings.

00:54:27.330 --> 00:54:43.620 Medina Sadiq: They are so beautiful and inviting even if they're not in their best condition. They are beautiful. And so that is something that is soothing, even in a rough day in a rough time that the architecture is just really beautiful.

00:54:44.790 --> 00:54:51.930 Jeff Goodman: Little bit of a trick question. I've asked us sometimes. Is there anything that that surprises you or recently surprised you about bed size and neighborhood.

00:54:54.180 --> 00:55:06.150 Medina Sadiq: Yes. Well, actually yes the fact that we have a black lives matter mural in Bed Stuy for over three months and where I feel

00:55:06.900 --> 00:55:11.160 Medina Sadiq: And I'm going to say publicly, I feel that, you know, it's, it came from outside.

00:55:11.700 --> 00:55:17.880 Medina Sadiq: The, the movement, though it belongs to everybody throughout the country came from outside. And it's kind of

00:55:18.210 --> 00:55:28.140 Medina Sadiq: Planted itself in Bed Stuy, and I'm very surprised at the residents and the leadership of in the community that they haven't addressed it in

00:55:28.650 --> 00:55:43.410 Medina Sadiq: A more aggressive way that we have Wall Street closure for almost four months where people complain and have not taken further action and that's been very surprising to me.

00:55:44.910 --> 00:55:51.990 Jeff Goodman: Well, someone who's involved in the business community in Bedford Stuyvesant Medina, is there and see businesses that

00:55:53.100 --> 00:56:05.460 Jeff Goodman: Want to succeed and maybe complement each other. Is there anything that you wish were in Bed Stuy right now that's not that may be a signal to someone thinking about with an idea of opening up a business.

00:56:07.350 --> 00:56:19.770 Medina Sadiq: We have so many beautiful independently owned businesses that I think we could take some more national chains. We could take a little bit of variety from the national chains.

00:56:21.720 --> 00:56:23.790 Medina Sadiq: Because most of our stores are independently owned

00:56:25.590 --> 00:56:32.580 Jeff Goodman: Is there any special advice that you would have for someone and maybe even a small business owner, not like you know

00:56:33.810 --> 00:56:40.620 Jeff Goodman: Someone sitting behind a desk and a national chain of someone with thinking about opening up a business in Bed Stuy, what advice would you have for them.

00:56:41.910 --> 00:56:49.140 Medina Sadiq: The same advice that I would have for anybody right now getting ready to open a business and that's due to a serious business plan.

00:56:50.040 --> 00:57:05.460 Medina Sadiq: Before you get into business. A lot of times in bed study, what you see is passion so people open businesses because of their passion and I invite people to really do good business plans to go alongside of their passion.

00:57:06.450 --> 00:57:12.780 Jeff Goodman: If someone wanted to contact you. Just to bounce ideas off of us or seek you out as a resource. How could they do that.

00:57:13.440 --> 00:57:26.700 Medina Sadiq: They could go to the Bed Stuy gateway bids website which is um WWW dot bedside

00:57:27.150 --> 00:57:28.350 Jeff Goodman: With a V on the front of it.

00:57:30.960 --> 00:57:31.260 Jeff Goodman: That's

00:57:32.310 --> 00:57:32.790 Medina Sadiq: Right.

00:57:33.270 --> 00:57:39.390 Jeff Goodman: And for everybody bed sties BD st you why, short for short. And for Stuyvesant

00:57:41.010 --> 00:57:44.220 Jeff Goodman: Great. Well, Medina Sadiq, thank you so much for being a guest on the

00:57:44.250 --> 00:57:44.820 Medina Sadiq: Program.

00:57:45.420 --> 00:57:50.940 Jeff Goodman: It's great to meet you, and I hope we can actually meet face to face. One day instead of

00:57:51.390 --> 00:57:54.600 Jeff Goodman: Each other through these through the cameras and the miracles of technology.

00:57:55.350 --> 00:57:55.980 Medina Sadiq: Thank you.

00:57:56.280 --> 00:58:01.230 Jeff Goodman: Well, everyone. We've just finished this week's journey we've been visiting Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

00:58:01.800 --> 00:58:09.990 Jeff Goodman: Our guests have been David Griffin, the special consultant. The show in Medina Sadiq, the Executive Director of the bedside gateway Business Improvement District

00:58:10.470 --> 00:58:16.620 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York that NYC.

00:58:17.220 --> 00:58:22.500 Jeff Goodman: You can like us on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman NYC.

00:58:23.220 --> 00:58:33.540 Jeff Goodman: Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsor is Chris pappas mortgage banker at TD Bank and the law office of Tom sciatica focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.

00:58:34.200 --> 00:58:39.120 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I'm Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent or brown Harris Stevens in New York City.

00:58:39.510 --> 00:58:45.480 Jeff Goodman: And whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting my team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate.

00:58:46.020 --> 00:58:55.680 Jeff Goodman: To help you with your real estate needs, including in Bedford Stuyvesant, you can reach us at 646-306-4761 our producer is Ralph story or

00:58:56.190 --> 00:59:05.820 Jeff Goodman: Our engineer is Sam Leibowitz our special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding, our first guest tonight. Thanks so much for listening. We'll see you next time.

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