BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — It's do or dine in Bed-Stuy.
This year, organizers say, it's all about the food.
"We are inviting the whole world to eat in Bed-Stuy," said organizer Brenda Fryson. "We have all the restaurants participating in our brochure — people can use it like a map to eat their way through the neighborhood."
Highlights include neighborhood hot spots Peaches Restaurant, Bedford Hill Coffee Bar and Bed-Vyne, among others, which have helped transform the neighborhood into a destination for discerning palates.
Fryson said organizers hope to draw a Harlem Week-style crowd to the festival, which kicks off with a street fair on Saturday, October 6 and closes on October 20 with the 34th annual House Tour, showcasing off some of Brooklyn's most beautiful brownstones.
It's a far cry from the Bed-Stuy of legend, where crime long overshadowed culture.
"It’s definitely putting a brighter spin on the community, going away from the 'do or die' mantra that used to be more prevalent," said organizer Wayne Devonish. "It’s a community where you can work, you can live, you can raise a family. It’s not a bunch of hooligans — it’s people from all walks of life."
But even as the neighborhood celebrates its hardwon spot among the borough's up-and-comers, organizers are at pains to point out that while the rest of the world may just now be waking up to it, Bedford-Stuyvesant has been blooming for years.
"We’re talking a long, long, long line of home ownership and pride and overcoming redlining and poor city services and all those things people take advantage of now," Fryson said.
Reading about Bed-Stuy, "it feels like the new folks that have come to the community have brought everything good, and that’s just not the case. They're coming to a neighborhood that’s in bloom."