7 Celebrities You Probably Didn’t Know Lived In Clinton Hill

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226 St. James Place, home of the Notorious B.I.G. (Courtesy Google Maps)
226 St. James Place, home of the Notorious B.I.G. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Clinton Hill was the home of Dutch settlement and is the home of Pratt, but in the meantime it’s played host to all manner of people, famous and otherwise. Formerly the home of tobacco plantations, Clinton Hill became a fashionable and wealthy enclave in the 19th century, and thus came to stand a bevy of marvelous mansions, fabulous townhomes, and more. You can find examples of the Federal style, Victorian architecture, brick rowhouses, and everything since.

All this great housing stock has seen quite a bit since it was erected. I bet you didn’t know these celebs called Clinton Home!

Whitman at 35 in timeless fashion. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)
Whitman at 35 in timeless fashion. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)
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The “father of free verse” called Brooklyn home for most of his life. Our favorite son’s name now adorns the Walt Whitman Library. Granted, Leaves of Grass was published in Brooklyn Heights, but you can’t win ’em all. Whitman’s house on 99 Ryerson Street is still standing.

Patti and Robert
Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe called Clinton Hill home. (Courtesy Flickr/Nik Stanbridge)

Artist Robert Maplethorpe and rocker/author/poet Patti Smith met at a bookstore in Manhattan, but they lived together in Brooklyn.

Smith was born in Chicago and grew up in South Jersey, but came to Brooklyn after a brief spell in Manhattan. Robert Maplethorpe briefly attended the Pratt Institute, where he majored in graphic arts before dropping out. Once he left school for that great big world, he moved in with Patti Smith.

They lived together on 160 Hall Street. What they paid $80 a month for recently listed at one million dollars.

Rest In Peace Notorious B.I.G! ???
Sometimes your words just hypnotize me.(Courtesy Flickr/Duy Nguyen.)

Christopher Wallace a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G., was a revolutionary and innovative force prior to his untimely early death. His childhood home was at 226 St. James Place and there’s been some question about whether or not it was in Clinton Hill or Bedford-Stuyvesant. Biggie said he was from Bed-Stuy, but we’re laying claim based on geography.

Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) at Soulfest Brisbane 2014
(Courtesy Flickr/Beaver on the Beats.)

Yasiin Bey, better known by his former stage name Mos Def, hails from Clinton Hill. The politically charged rapper has been outspoken about his early life.

Rosie Perez
Rosie Perez lives in Clinton Hill (Courtesy Flickr/UrbanWorld Film Festival)

Actor Rosie Perez is New York City through and through and she calls Clinton Hill home. Born in Bushwick, the successful actress overcame a tumultuous childhood that included a stint in foster care to emerge as a star.

Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is also politically outspoken. Also, didn’t really live here. (Courtesy Flickr/International Labour Organization ( ILO – OIT – BIT))

OK, this one is cheating a little bit. Actor Susan Sarandon’s son Miles Robbins lives in an apartment his mom bought in Clinton Hill. Before giving it to her son, Sarandon had tried to flip the fantastic pad at 334 Grand Avenue for quite some time. However, it’s basically impossible to separate a conversation about Clinton Hill from its real estate prices.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m in a playground on Classon Avenue in Brooklyn with my brother, Malachy. He’s two, I’m three. We’re on the seesaw…. –p. 19, Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

  2. Spike Lee’s sister lives on Grand Avenue and Fulton along with the main Actor from Entourage, and Stick Man from dead presidents. Russel Simmons older brother lives and has a art studio on Grand and Gates. You can also include Lil Cease from St. James.

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