Wow, what a difference a year makes! November 30, marks the one-year anniversary of Bed-Stuy Patch’s launch!
As the neighborhood’s first major news media source dedicated solely to covering Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bed-Stuy Patch has grown from an audience of a few hundred readers, to tens of thousands monthly visitors – a readership that extends beyond the neighborhood to across the country and even overseas!
Bed-Stuy Patch has provided for its readers everything from up-to-the-minute coverage on hurricane developments and gay rights legislation, to new business openings and business closings, from information on local whiz kids excelling in their classrooms, to unsung heroes who work tirelessly in their neighborhood to make a difference; from art gallery and play openings, to heated political rallies, from crime reports, event listings and community gardening initiatives to local dancing “stars.”
In total, BSP has provided its readers with more than 1,900 combined stories and posts in 365 days!
But we couldn't have done it without you, our loyal readers, sending us news tips, offering support, blogging, debating and sending in your own essays from time to time. Bed-Stuy Patch is a mirror into the community, an opportunity to learn, grow, engage, and in its finest moments, shine brilliantly!
In honor of this milestone, we’ve decided to dig through the archives and review a list the top-twelve stories that you, our readers, seemed to care about most, beginning with November 30, 2010, until today.
You can imagine that with 1,900 stories and so many great ones to tell, this was no easy feat. If you remember some of these stories, feel free to review them. For newer readers to the site, this is a great way to catch up on some of the great news and profiles you’ve missed.
1. What’s all The Hoopla With Landmarking? (Series), 1/15/11 – 2/17/11: This six-part series took the reader on a historical and educational journey, beginning with explaining landmarking, why some oppose it and why it can be beneficial. The series roused community support in participating in important upcoming hearings and climaxed with a successful community meeting with the Landmark Preservation Committee in which LPC decided to move forward in landmarking the Stuyvesant Heights Expansion.
2. Bed-Stuy’s Guinness World Record Holder, 2/2/11: Mrs. Adele Trapp, also known as “Mama Trapp,” has been the den mother for Cub Scouts Troop 263 for the last 53 years. Mama Trapp earlier this year was awarded the Guinness Book of World Records title for longest-serving den mother.
3. Sex Crimes Against Black Girls, 2/11/11: Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation broke the silence on the taboo subject of sexual violence and exploitation within the black Diaspora, with its bold introduction of “Sex Crimes Against Black Girls,” a multimedia art exhibit that debuted at the Skylight Gallery.
4. Pride of Bed-Stuy (series), 2/1/11 – 2/28/11: What do Jackie Robinson, Shirley Chisholm, Max Roach, Jay-Z, Earl Graves, Lena Horne, Mos Def, Michael Jordan and Stephanie Mills all have in common? The answer is, they either were born or raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant! Every day throughout the entire of month of February, Bed-Stuy Patch profiled a different Bed-Stuy history maker, in honor of Black History Month. Thought you knew all there was to know about the greatness of Bed-Stuy? Not so fast… not before you check out this series, and learn about a neighborhood that has spawned more scholars, business leaders, trailblazers and world-renowned entertainers than any one neighborhood in the world!
5. The Growing Socio-Cultural Gap Amongst Young People of Color, 3/20/11: BSP’s Education Columnist Reginald Richardson in his bi-monthly column examines and discusses various proposed ways to close the education achievement gap between young people of color and their peers. In this controversial article, Richardson asserts that in the need and subsequent pursuit by young people of color to carve out their own, authentic heritage and identity, they have unwittingly replaced it with debased urban cultural trends. Further, the adoption of these trends as culture, layered on top of a yawning academic achievement gap, has created a generation that is completely separated from the real world and the possible opportunities that exist in the world outside of their own insular realities.
6. Of Bibles, Crips and Bloods, 4/4/11: Bed-Stuy Patched received a tip about a rare, sit-down meeting between Crips, Bloods and Brower Gang members from Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, East New York and Brownsville and a group of neighborhood clergy. The “secret” gathering had been arranged by Bishop Gerald G. Seabrooks of Rehoboth Cathedral and included four other local ministers, Reverend David Craig, Dr. Cheryl Anthony, Bishop Riley and a handful of community leaders. This is their conversation.
7. Mr. And Mrs. Chafin Elliot Celebrate 60 Years of Marriage, 5/3/11: This is the heartwarming story of 81-year-old Chafin Elliott who wanted to throw a special party for his wife to celebrate their 60-year marriage anniversary. Mrs. Elliott suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. She is confined to a wheelchair, and in the last four years, she has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. But he couldn’t seem to pull it together. He contacted the local New York Dailies, but none of them answered his emails or returned his phone calls. So he reached out to Bed-Stuy Patch. This is their story.
8. For Half a Century, Love Endures, 7/23/11: This is the story of Jean who is in her 70s and Thelma who is 82. They are a gay couple that has struggled to love openly since before Jim Crowe laws were abolished in the United States. In this poignant love story, the couple contemplates same-sex nuptials after nearly five decades together, on the eve of the marriage equality act going into effect in New York State.
9. Cast-Iron Gates and Chicken Wire Surround Her House to Avoid Eviction (series), 8/18/11 – 8/30/11: In 1995, Ms. Mary Ward became the victim of a predatory lending scam after she borrowed $82,000 against her Bed-Stuy town home. This gripping and compelling series tells the tale of so many people-- not only in Bed-Stuy, but around the country-- following a decade of unabated predatory lending to the weak, elderly and other vulnerable populations. The series follows Ms. Ward, from the time the community rallies around her with an eviction blockade, until the housing speculator finally speaks out. Many people weighed in on who was to blame. This case is still ongoing. Where do you stand?
10. 5-Time Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres Makes a Splash at the Bed-Stuy YMCA, 9/22/11: Five-time Olympic swimmer Dara Torres visited the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA late summer this year to give the winning -- the center's swim team -- a few lessons in what it takes to achieve Olympic gold. Hear the giddy swim team’s reaction and see the colorful and inspiring pictures as many of these lucky, budding swim stars get their first big brush with greatness!
11. Bed-Stuy Alive Kicks Off! 10/9/11: The best of everything Bed-Stuy has to offer—from its beloved local shops, to its dedicated community organizations, to its delicious cuisine and unparalleled entertainment— came together during the 7th Annual Bed-Stuy Alive!, a week-long celebration of Bed-Stuy’s "renaissance.” If you missed it, shame on you! But don't beat yourself up too much: You can catch all of the highlights in this video.
12. An Invisible Thread Binds Two Strangers, 10/31/11: The book ‘Invisible Thread’ was written by Laura Schroff because a little boy named Maurice, from the Marcy Projects in Bed-Stuy, changed her life. Twenty-five years ago, 11-year-old Maurice was on 56th street begging for money. At first, Laura turned him down, but then she turned back and invited him for a meal at McDonalds. Maurice accepted the offer. The only time that Maurice felt he had enough to eat was during the school year when he had two meals a day, on the weekends and in the summer he had to fend for himself. This is where their ritual began and now, 25 years later, these two people share a bond unlike any other. The story is a true tearjerker. The two were invited on the Rachel Ray Show. Read their inspiring story, which Bed-Stuy Patch ran in advance of the broadcast.