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The Death of a Lot: A Thriving Bed-Stuy Corner Killed for the Legal Tender

Once a garden with a clubhouse where cookouts and conversation were had, everything died the minute a developer stepped in to sell the lot.  Before the “Corn Lot” (as I called it) was destroyed, rows and rows of corn were planted each spring; the corn stalks were an incongruous, nearly surreal thing to see on a city street.  One felt elated walking by this busy, green place bowered under two tall trees.

The lot has sat derelict now for years and years, full of rats that plague the residents of the nearby apartment building. There should be a law against this kind of blind destruction of delicate habitats.

2015-07-17 • When I first moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2015, there was a garden lot on the corner of Lewis Avenue and Quincy Street; many stray cats considered it their home. Each summer, those who took care of the lot and its little clubhouse also planted rows and rows of corn. What a lovely sight on a summer morning to walk by and peek into this oasis.
2015-09-05 • The wabi-sabi beauty of the corn grove changed with the seasons. Sounds, smells, colors, plant growth and decay, seeds, humans, cats, birds, insects, worms, butterflies… all converged on this living lot.
2016-01-06 • I loved the plastic horse, the sunflower, the corn tassels, the squash plants, and the weeds. I loved the old men who sometimes invited me inside to sit with them.
2023-03-22 • One day, it was all gone. Premiere Real Estate Group Inc. tore down the clubhouse, and kicked everyone out. Vacant now for five years, a place where people had cookouts, talked, and laughed was rendered a non-place.
2023-03-22 • The lot devolved into a problematic rat lot, an ugly, neglected rubble yard.
2023-03-22 • A mural painted on the lot’s plywood construction fence quotes Notorious Big’s album Ready to Die, promising that Brooklyn is about love. This place was a place made of love and humanity; now it is a dead spot for sale.
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Regan Good

[b.1967] Regan Good is a poet and writer living in Brooklyn, New York.

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