Bed Stuy Gateway BID recently traveled where no other BID has gone and invited the entire Beford-Stuyvesant community to travel along, as they venture into the inner galactic realm of ANIME!
On Saturday, September 25, The BID in partnership with New York City Department of Youth and Community Development Young Men’s Initiative, hosted Bed Stuy ANIME-zing – a festive cosmic experience celebrating the world of Anime. Touching down at the Restoration Plaza complex, the fresh air affair served as a pre–New York Comic Con fandom affair for the local Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Hosted under Restoration Plaza outdoor tent, the outdoor affair provided plenty of safe spacing for cosplayers to embrace their inner geekdom and showcase and create creative costumes.
Activities include an outdoor game station where gamers of all ages line up to virtually complete and test their skills on the latest popular game platforms. For those into science, the BioBus made a special pitstop, providing an opportunity for local children to personally experience the excitement and wonder of being in a science lab. Fencing in the Park founder Nzingha Prescod and Coach Shomari Moore were also on hand to provide fencing lessons. The professional fencing duel was also armored up for a live dueling demonstration. Other entertainment included live DJ music popular DJ Barry Blendz, a Double Dutch jump rope demonstration from Ms. K Double Dutch, and live podcast recording from Black Nerds on the Low Podcast, hosted by Creator Steffon Polius who was on hand to interview other black cosplayers as well as New York State Assemblywoman Stefani Zinerman.
To create foot traffic for merchants throughout the Bed-Stuy Gateway BID’s vast business corridors, each registered attendee took part in a geocaching expedition. The hybrid experience provided them an opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the BID’s business corridors. BID merchants IV Pleasure and Brooklyn Burger House provided tasty samples from their menus to all patrons that participated in the BID’s survey.
In addition to a cosplayer contest (Cosplay, a mashup of “costume play”, is an activity and performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character,) interactive games, and a geocache expedition, the Anime-zing safe space soiree also offered onsite vaccination and testing. “COVID delivered a devastating blow to our small business community”, stated BID Interim Executive Director Lynette Battle. “The BID remains vigilant in seeking holistic solutions that safeguard our businesses and residents within the community.” According to data obtained by New York City Department Health and Mental Hygiene, zip codes in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the city.
Centrally located in Brooklyn, The Bed-Stuy Gateway BID has proudly stood as one of the borough’s most prominent commercial and cultural focal points. Since 2009, the agency has partnered with local neighbors, and stakeholders to enrich its community through economic development while promoting its rich history of cultural diversity. Through a wide array of programs and services, Bed-Stuy Gateway BID is committed to seeing the community thrive and blossom into the popular destination for all things Brooklyn.