When I moved to New York in 2005 my neighborhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was still an uncomfortable place to walk late at night. Now I bike past that old apartment and I can’t imagine that I could ever afford to live there. Almost every neighborhood in this city is going through gentrification all at the same time. But there is one exception: Brownsville, Brooklyn is New York City’s most dangerous neighborhood and that’s not changing any time soon.
Here is one of the images I shot while I was there:
United Postal Service driver Hakeem Basheer delivered packages without a security guard for about a year, until he was robbed at gunpoint while walking into a project building. As a Brownsville native, Hakeem had felt secure that he would be left alone, but it didn’t take long for reality to prove him wrong. The stolen package was left in the hallway, but the robbery motivated Hakeem to ask the company for an armed security guard. Retired NYPD officer Curtis Walston accompanies him during deliveries in Brownsville and neighboring high-crime communities. Curtis carries two guns, a .38mm and a .9mm, for protection.
Name: Reed Young
Preoccupation: Current events and reading fiction. They balance each other out quite well.
Place you live: Bed Stuy, Brooklyn — New York City
Place your photo was taken: Brownsville, Brooklyn
If someone was visiting for one day what must they do: Go for a bike ride. It’s the only way to see this incredible city
Your perfect day in the spot you live: A bike ride around the city during the day, and a movie in the park under the stars after dusk.
Your perfect meal in the spot you live: my favorite restaurant of the moment is Il Pasatore.
A little known fact about where you live: In 1936 the A/C subway train was completed. That’s when Bed Stuy became a predominately African American area because it was a direct route from Harlem.