The mean streets of the borough that rappers like the Notorious B.I.G. crowed about are now hipster havens, where cupcakes and organic kale rule.
Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights: Referred to in Mos Def lyrics as an open-air drug market, it was most often cited by Buckshot of Black Moon, part of the Brooklyn-based hard-core underground Boot Camp Clik supergroup, who came from Crown Heights and represented the Franklin Avenue Posse.
There are still signs of the old Franklin Avenue: bodegas with the counter behind bulletproof glass and children playing basketball with a milk crate for a hoop. But now you can find, in one six-storefront stretch between Park Place and Sterling Place, Little Zelda, serving coffee and pastries, with an antique rocking chair out front; Rosebud Vintage, selling a muskrat muff from the 1880s for $128; the Crown Inn, offering “from the farm” sandwiches and a $9 cocktail made with pisco and elderflower liqueur; a real estate company named My Space; Owl and Thistle General Store, selling Brooklyn-themed canvas totes; and Stork, a baby-clothes boutique with a $35 onesie that reads, “MY CRIB is in BKLYN.”