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Exploring Fort Greene, Brooklyn

A statue of Gen. Edward Fowler, who led

A statue of Gen. Edward Fowler, who led a New York regiment during the Civil War, stands proudly at the square named after him. (Dec. 4, 2013) Credit: Linda Rosier

Fort Greene is a major draw for its many performance and arts venues -- BAM, the Theater for the New Audience, the Irondale Theater, the new BRIC House Art Center and the nearby Barclays Center. Next time you're there for an event, take some time to explore this classic Brooklyn brownstone neighborhood.


The boundaries of the neighborhood are Vanderbilt Avenue to the east, Flatbush Avenue to the west, Atlantic Avenue to the south and the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the north.


Madiba, 195 DeKalb Ave., 718-855-9190,

They say this is the first South African restaurant of its kind in the United States. The owners, Mark and Jenny Henegan, have re-created the feel of a "shebeen," an informal dining hall found in South African townships. Be adventurous: try amagwinya/ retkoek, fried bread with mince and mango chutney filling ($10), or amadumbe, a sweet potato quiche ($9).

Olea, 171 Lafayette Ave., 718-643-7003,

This cozy and friendly Mediterranean taverna is perfect for dinner before a show at BAM. If you're there for lunch, try the green eggs and lamb -- delicious merguez lamb sausage and eggs scrambled with cilantro, tomato and red onion ($13).


DSK (Die Stammkneipe), 710 Fulton St., 347-841-4495,

Fans of DSK, Fort Greene's first beer garden, love their bratwurst, great selection of draft and bottle beers ($6-$9), communal tables and weekly movie night. Some competition, the Black Forest, just opened across the street.

Hungry Ghost, 781 Fulton St., 718-483-8666,

Take a break from your wanderings for a cup of Stumptown coffee and a molasses spice cookie baked by a local chef.


Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., 718-246-0200,

This much-beloved independent bookstore was founded in 2009, partly funded by contributions from neighborhood residents. Greenlight is a central meeting place for the community, a town square with sing-a-longs, story hours, talks by local authors and discounts on titles recommended by staff members.


Fort Greene Park, DeKalb Avenue and Cumberland Street,

The sloping hills of this historical and geographical heart of the neighborhood is a perfect place for a stroll on a mild day. Along the periphery of the park, you'll see some of the fabulous brownstones that date from the 1850s and epitomize brownstone Brooklyn at its best.

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), 80 Hanson Place, 718-230-0492,

Part of the BAM cultural district, this is both a museum and a cultural and arts center. Its community space hosts workshops and performances, and until Jan. 19 its main gallery features "Six Draughtsman," an exhibit that highlights the drawing practices of six diasporan artists.

With Newsday staff reports

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