Map and Photos of Bedford Stuyvesant The neighborhood name, (which is not always officially hyphenated, i.e. it's not always listed as "Bedford-Stuyvesant" in City documents and publications), is an extension of the name of the Village of Bedford Corners (founded around 1670, and centered near present-day Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street) and it was later expanded to include the area of Stuyvesant Heights in the south-east corner of the neighborhood. The name Stuyvesant comes from Peter Stuyvesant, the last governor of the colony of New Netherlands. In pre-revolutionary Kings County, Bedford, which now forms the heart of the community, was the first major settlement east of what was then the Village of Brooklyn.
The neighborhood name is almost always shortened to "Bed-Stuy" by New Yorkers. Google incorrectly uses the old name for Tompkins Park, which is why you'll see a label over it with the new name: Herbert Von King Park. It was renamed in 1985 to honor community activist Herbert Von King, active for over 50 years and known as the "Mayor of Bedford-Stuyvesant". The former name honored Daniel D. Tompkins, an abolitionist who served four terms as governor of New York and two terms U.S. Vice President.
At Von King park you'll notice a photo of a tree: that's a Magnolia Grandiflora or Southern Magnolia, and it's the only remaining landmarked tree in New York City (the other was a weeping beech in Queens that died in 1998). It was planted there around 1885 from a slip brought to the city from North Carolina. We have a lot of trees in Brooklyn: a 2006 city-wide tree count found 142,747 trees in Brooklyn alone.
Bed-Stuy is world-famous thanks to former residents such as singer Aaliya, rap superstar Jay-Z, filmmaker Spike Lee, actress and singer Lena Horne, author Frank McCourt, boxers Floyd Patterson and Mike Tyson, and comedians Tracy Morgan and Chris Rock.
Our primary source for neighborhood names and locations is the
New York City Department of City Planning. Additional information is from Kenneth Jackson and John B.
Manbeck's book The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Brooklyn by Name by Leonard Benardo and Jennifer Weiss. Neighborhood boundaries, where shown, are approximate, and are often a matter of great local debate and dissent. You can send us YOUR opinion by using the feedback link below...
Some neighborhood descriptions are adapted from content appearing on Wikipedia.org.
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