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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On the Way Home, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Pequena, Fort Greene
Photo by myself at Bergen Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

Prospect Heights is a small neighborhood in Brooklyn. It is bounded by Fort Greene, Park Slope, Clinton Hill and Crown Heights. Often, Prospect Heights is not located on Brooklyn maps (!).

The streets look spooky and desolate in the above photo, but it's pretty safe. It was taken around 9pm from the back of a cab.


Okay, okay, once in a while I will do something really stupid flakey, like something I have warned other people not to do.

Tuesday night, I ran onto a train, thinking it was the D train. I didn't look at the sign, just ran on, like a dummy. It turned out to be the A train. Just a few letters away in the alphabet, but very different. D'oh.

When I finally noticed I was on the wrong train, we were way out of Manhattan, out in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (Bedford-Stuyvesant). The A train is an express train and is super fast.

I don't think it is really dangerous out there per se, but it is not a warm and fuzzy place. It is a little rough around the edges. There are no yellow cabs there, not even car services, which are little offices on the street that are open 24/7, where you can sign up for a cab.

There are only gypsy cabs there, and the ones there are really beaten up. The one I was in was an old Continental that had a ton of graffiti scribbled on the back seat.

On the sidewalk, people were on the streets selling tshirts (at 9pm!), and loitering outside bars. I left, wishing I had more time to linger and take photos. The photo above was taken several blocks from Bed-Stuy, on the way home to Park Slope, while stopped at a light. I hope to return to Bed-Stuy soon, when I have more time, and when my fiance Mark isn't starving at home.

The name 'Bed-Stuy' brings up elements of danger, for race riots that occurred there in the 60's. Currently, there's a lot of gentrification going on. Wikipedia says that real estate prices have doubled in Bed-Stuy since the year 2000.

For more about Bed-Stuy, click here.

Related posts: Commuting in the Hood, on the Atlantic/Pacific Platform, Near Misses, and Near Jay Street, Brooklyn.


Olivier said...

je m'y suis promené la journée, mais jamais le soir, c'est vrai que c'est (etait peut etre) un quartier qui semble dur.
Ah je suis pas le seul a me perdre dans le metro New Yorkais ;o))) et quand c'est un express, c'est long ;o))

Nils said...

Bed-Stuy; Home of Biggie Smalls

Anonymous said...

Wow Kitty nice pic, love the ambience and the colours, but PLEASE do be careful out there!

Banjo52 said...

Now that you've given me the bike in that spot, I can't imagine any object that would do as well. A fine, if not comforting, shot. And still more NY educational info. I've heard of Bed-Stuy forever, but didn't remember it was in Brooklyn.

Kitty said...

Thanks everyone!

Hi Olivier
Yes, a mistake with an express train quickly becomes a big mistake! I felt embarrassed but I don't think anyone else knew.

Thanks Nils, I didn't know that.
(Not surprising, since there is a lot I don't know)

Thank you Rose, and welcome!
Don't worry. The area was well-populated. If there are a lot of people about, things will be fine (lots of witnesses)

Thanks Banjo!
it was dumb luck that the bike was there. I'm just glad the cab stopped for the light!

liisamarja said...

i've ended up on "wrong" trains quite often in nyc. once i was going somewhere in upper west side and thought that a "red" train would take me there. it did, and past it very fast, it just didn't stop and i found myself somewhere where spanish was the main language. once i ended up being the only person on the train, i think i saw the old city hall station at that time, not that i was aware of at the time...