Once upon a time in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn… A bodega once stood at 673 Nostrand Avenue. After remaining a vacant lot for an extensive period of time, it now has become one of the most shameless examples of gentrification in the neighborhood and borough to date. Becca Brenman, a “reformed corporate tax attorney,” from Toronto opened her “Summerhill” restaurant in June. Becca Brenman is selling her restaurant to gentrifiers by concocting up little hood myths about what went on in the bodega that once stood in her shitty restaurant/bar. BECKY Brenman was selling cosmetic damage as a “bullet-hole ridden wall.” Becky admitted to Gothamist that she didn’t know if the holes were from bullets but she used a comment posted anonymously on a community website about the building as historical fact. Allegedly, there was an illegal gun shop ran in the back of the bodega. On top of this fraudulent shit, she’s selling “Forty Ounce Wine” that resembles the cheap malt liquor forties people in the hood grew up drinking. Out of what? Brown paper bags. If you’re from the hood, you know damn well those brown paper bags are supposed to conceal the forties so cops don’t stop to make us pour the drink out and/or fine our asses for public drinking.

I grew up in Crown Heights for almost seven years, Utica & Sterling to be exact. Gun shots were of the norm for me throughout my childhood. I had to sit down on the floor because my father was scared stray bullets were going to spray through the windows of my bedroom. 1470 was the building next to me and it was REALLY BULLET-HOLE RIDDEN. How dare you open a restaurant in a neighborhood filled with oppressed nationalities and use the violence that stems from our poverty as a theme for your little trash ass restaurant? You and your little gentrifiers want to sneer at us when we walk around as if we don’t belong there and complain about us, but commodify our struggles? The same struggles you couldn’t survive in? How can you shamelessly employ the stereotypes that you even would sell those fake ass forties out of brown paper bags? After neighborhood locals dragged her racist, colonial ass she wanted to apologize as if she didn’t mean it “THAT WAY,” BUT we don’t believe you, you need more people. So what way did you mean it? You knew exactly what you were doing when you were trying to sell this yuppie hood oasis to your little yuppie friends that walk up and down Nostrand now. Cut the bullshit, Becky.


  1. OMG THANK YOU!!! I have a friend that I have to look at sideways sometimes because she lives in crown heights too. Her area specifically is pretty much completely gentrified but she’s always going on about how her block is so ratchet and ghetto. She says it in an endearing way so it’s basically like she wants some “edge” by telling people she lives in the “ghetto”.


    1. I’ve heard a few people who are from these neighborhoods who are actually okay with what’s currently going on. Its sad to hear this sentiment from fellow New Yorkers but they won’t get it until it directly affects them.


  2. I grew up in crown heights and this has become the norm where now we’re looked at as we don’t belong!! There’s no longer affordable housing in crown heights all the mom and pop stores are GONE. We need to demand affordable housing and real affordable housing and assisting families who are interested in purchasing property in the neighborhood we must demand our slice of the pie!!


    1. Wassup Karline? I definitely agree with you! As a community, we need to come together and organize against the housing crisis caused by gentrification. It’s hard to see the neighborhood being lost to gentrifiers while people who are from these hoods get displaced.


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