Stuyvesant Avenue (Do the Right Thing, 1989)
Neighborhood: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Address: Stuyvesant Ave. (between Lexington Ave. and Quincy St.)
The iconic Bed-Stuy block of Do the Right Thing remains satisfyingly constant over two decades later. Strolling down the block, you can run into folks who remember watching the film shoot from their windows and stoops. Gentrification approaches, a presence felt through the pour-over coffee shops and bohemian cantinas at the edges of the neighborhood, closer to Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, but the heart of Bed-Stuy feels like the neighborhood that Spike Lee captured in his most brilliant work. That said, there is some distance between the Stuyvesant Ave. that appears in the film and the one that greets you on a casual walk today.
Do the Right Thing is an expressionistic film, the tense heat of that Brooklyn summer evoked formally by the bright oranges and reds that comprmise the color palette. The block is greener, with more trees and plants, than what the viewer sees in Do the Right Thing, the buildings cooler, more neutral in color. Just like the Bed-Stuy location in Crooklyn, this block is largely unchanged. The major change: a parking lot where Sal's Famous once stood.