You can’t miss it. The colors are blindingly bright and the beloved face of one of Brooklyn’s finest makes for profound public art. The Brooklyn Love Building located at the intersection of Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn preaches borough pride using the words of one of hip-hop’s brightest stars, Notorious B.I.G., Biggie Smalls, “Spread love/It’s the Brooklyn way.” The late rapper and true spoken word pioneer was raised and began his music career in this neighborhood.
The mural is painted on this wall which is owned by the restaurant, Habana Outpost, located across the street. Commissioned by the restaurant’s owner, Sean Meehan, it was envisioned it as an opportunity to unify the neighborhood when he took a famous photo of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and had it repainted with the image of rapper Notorious B.I.G., complete with the restaurant’s “H” logo in place of the red star on the guerilla’s cap. This iconic Korda photo of Che, is one of the most recognizable and marketable images in the world and is used to brand products such as vodka, ice cream, and T-shirts.
In this neighborhood joint, Brooklynites can not only enjoy a little taste of Habana, but, they can shop at the Saturday afternoon flea market and watch free movies on Sunday evening. I happened past one evening only to catch my favorite gang of all time, The Jets, getting ready for a rumble with the Sharks in my most favorite of musicals, West Side Story. Movies start promptly at 8pm, so if you’re in the neighborhood be sure to stop by grab a nibble and watch an old classic.
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