Few neighborhoods see their reputations change as much and as quickly as Crown Heights has in the last couple of decades.
For years, this vibrant neighborhood was most closely associated with rising crime rates and a three-day riot in 1991, fueled by racial tensions between Hasidic Jews and African-American and West Indian residents. Today, it’s among the most in-demand neighborhoods in the city’s most in-demand borough — and even as it undergoes the often tense and always complicated process of gentrification, it remains diverse and has held on to plenty of its cultural history, especially in the food department.
Stroll along Eastern Parkway and you can slip down cross streets to find authentic West Indian food (and, on Labor Day Weekend, the colorful West Indian Day Parade along “de Parkway”), or kosher bakeries (and barbecue joints), and yes, hip new restaurants — many of which nod to the neighborhood’s history.
Here’s how to spend a day in Crown Heights.