Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association

Our Mission:


We're focused on building community and beautifying the surrounding areas of Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.


  1. Bar Crawl

    The 5 0'clock Somewhere Collective as part its Carnival 'N Brooklyn series is sponsoring a Bar Crawl near or on Nostrand Avenue, Saturday, Sept. 7. The following bars will be included at the hours given: Branch Office, 225 Rogers Ave. 1-3pm Q's Tavern 761 Nostrand Ave. 3-4pm Super Power, 722 Nostrand Ave. 4-5pm Savvy, 710 Nostrand Ave. 5-6pm Suite 704, 706A Nostrand Ave. 6-7pm Sweet Brooklyn Bar, 608 Nostrand 7-8pm. Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association will be participating with the aim of publishing an article on “Places to Drink” in the October issue. If you would like to get to know managers, owners or the clientele of these bars and write about them, you should come along. Also we need photographers to take pictures for the article. Or if you just like to have good company over a drink, we look forward to seeing you at one or more of the places listed. Hoping to meet up with you then - John DeWind, Director, Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association, 917-797-1010

  2. Film Showing

    The Black Lady Theatre, Thursday, Sept. 19 at 6pm

    Sponsored by: the Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association

    No admission charge

    Crown Heights

    See the 2017 film with:

    Lakeith Stanfield as ColinWarner

    Nnamdi Asomugha as Carl King

    Natalie Paul as Antoinette

    Directed by Matt Ruskin, “Crown Heights” tells the true story of Colin Warner, falsely imprisoned for murder in 1980 when he was 18, and his friend Carl King, aged 17, who spent 20 years working to prove Colin's innocence and finally succeeded in 2001. This moving story of unbreakable friendship also shows how a terrible system tried to destroy a young man's life and how Colin and Carl fought back and finally won. It raises issues that are as current today as they were then.

    The film will be followed by a panel discussion with:

    Carl King, the man who fought to free Colin

    Colin Warner, the victim of prosecutorial misconduct

    Esmeralda Simmons, director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College

    David Keenan, former Federal Public Defender

    (Food will be served at the showing)

  3. Editor's Notes

    Taking a summer break, with no issue for July or August, turned out to be a good idea. It allowed for planning ahead, to put together a strategy for the coming year. Several ideas emerged from taking the long term view.

    First, I believe that we are in very important time politically. Something went wrong in this country that allowed for Trump to become the Republican candidate and then the President. The hopeful development is the reaction to Trump. The elections of 2016 created a genuine opposition and now one can sensibly look forward to him being succeeded by someone better. Those elections also seemed to crystalize the idea that rather than going back, we need to move forward and do so dramatically – on climate change, promoting democracy at home and abroad, creating an economically just society, on undoing the on-going damage to race relations, on removing money from politics and encouraging participation in the political process.

    Second, in Crown Heights, two pressing issues have emerged that we cover in this issue. Home ownership should be a reality for all Americans. What we have seen is that past gains are slipping away. The census in 2020 is a cornerstone of democracy; counting who lives in this country leads to political representation and the distribution of government funds. In our next issue in October we will weigh in. And finally, marijuana legalization signals a partial end to the Drug Wars and mass incarceration. One wonders how the damage done in the past will be undone. Also how will this new industry be structured? Will it be dominated by small local businesses or large corporations? In this magazine we raise the issue of criminal justice in the story of Carl King, who spent twenty years getting his innocent friend out of prison on a false murder charge.

    Third, aside from large pressing matters, we know local and daily life goes on. We are glad to celebrate a book of writings, mostly by young people, at Shiloh SDA Church, the victory of PLANT in the Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest, the fight of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to prevent the building of towers that will significantly block its sunlight, the large number of excellent places to eat on Nostrand Avenue. We also have established a poetry section edited by Katherine de la Rosa. We present Crossword no. 7 and have twelve photos by four Crown Heights photographers.

    One can see those photos best on our website:

    As usual we are always in need of money. Please consider sending a check made out to Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association to Justin Dupree, Treasurer NAIA, 996 St. Johns Place, Brooklyn NY 11213. We also need writers, photographers, people to sell ads and do distribution. In addition we do litter pick up and tree care (which involves planting new trees); we need people to help with both.

    Staff for the September issue:

    Editor: John DeWind Features Editor: Louise Kurshan Poetry Editor: Katherine de la Rosa

    Writers: John DeWind, Louise Kurshan, Jessica Wachtler, Sam Wood, Jr., Tze Hoong Tan, Muhammed Abdullah, Sarah Booth, Andre Simon, Katherine de la Rosa, Blair Sanders

    Photographers: Gloria Salgado Gispert, Andre Simon, Megan Gay, and Monica Farrell

    Graphic Design: Rachelle Vagy

    Interns: Christopher Dukes, Ronald Despinosse, Raymond Pullum, Alika La, Polly Logan

    Board of Directors: John DeWind, Oshun Layne, Justin Dupree, Beverley Hall, Laci Chisholm, Kareem Doulah, Omar Hardy, Justine Magariel, Carla McAlary, Stephen Stallard, Sam Wood, Jr.


Updates from NAIA


Elders of Crown Heights




Our Statement of Principles

The Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association is formed around our Statement of Principles.

Learn More


Our Programs

The Nostrand Avenue Improvement Association organizes numerous day-to-day activities for the benefit of the community.


Litter Pickup

Our interns help clean up litter on Nostrand Avenue from Empire Boulevard to Park Place three times a week. They also pick up on St. Johns Place between Nostrand and New York. We now cover 12 blocks.


Free Street Flowers

NAIA offers free flowers to new merchants looking to plant on the street, and NAIA will take care of the flowers. The first set of flowers recently were delivered to Fit For Dance (778 Nostrand Avenue) and Maxine's (736A Nostrand Avenue).



NAIA now has three “Adopt-a-Basket” garbage cans (at St. Johns and Nostrand, President and Nostrand, and Montgomery and Nostrand). This means NAIA is now cleaning up 12 blocks from Park Place across Eastern Parkway to Empire Boulevard. With more volunteers we will move even further north until we reach Fulton Street.


Volunteers make it all possible

NAIA's efforts are largely powered by dedicated and hardworking interns and volunteers from our community. Thank you to all of NAIA's interns and volunteers for your invaluable contributions!


Our Projects

NAIA's signature projects encompass its long-term vision for the future of Nostrand Avenue.


Big Bench Project

NAIA's long-term vision is to build a series of up to 20 benches along Nostrand Avenue to build community and beautify the commercial strip.

Liane Fredel built the first bench in front of Happyluckyno.1 gallery, which actually served as the inspiration for our Big Bench Project.

This bench was designed by Karine Duteil and Nadej Hocini of KaN Landscape Design.  The association is looking for partners in the community to build more benches.

Our first bench was successfully funded - we raised nearly $2500 for the project!


Photo Project

NAIA is currently working with local photographers to promote the association's work by photo-journaling our daily activities and key projects. Our goal is to showcase the results when completed at a local neighborhood gallery.


Our Partners

NAIA works closely with various neighborhood partners, without whom our work would not be possible:

  1. Lincoln Place Block Association

  2. Friends of Brower Park

  3. Mosaic Baptist Church

  4. Popular Bank

  5. Harvest Home

  6. Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly


New Merchants & Ventures


Our Established Merchants & Ventures