Many people will only know Red Hook because it’s home to IKEA, the store known for it’s wide range of affordable furnishings. But this little neighborhood nestled in Brooklyn has many treasures with the recent influx of restaurants, retailers and artists. Many of its treasures that I’ve yet to experience…as my afternoon in Red Hook was on a Monday. Guess what happens on Monday? Nothing. Most stores and restaurants are closed. So it just means a return visit and a good lesson to read the fine print. But, what I did see is certainly worth sharing. Red Hook is unlike any other Brooklyn neighborhood that I’ve explored, so far. As mentioned, very industrial yet a touch of a New England feel. I’ve read it’s become home to artisans, musicians, beekeepers, rooftop gardeners and a host of creatives and entrepreneurs. It also boasts some of the finest views of the Statue of Liberty and of course its share of decay, which is what I’m drawn to photograph!
The little I did experience…
…Fort Defiance – a cafe/bar named after an American fort built in Red Hook during the Revolutionary War. Way back when the British decided to sail a bunch of ships through the harbor to finish off Washington and his troops, the intense fire from the fort discouraged the fleet…saving the day for the Americans. Good food, cute atmosphere, great beer.
…a warehouse home to the pull lever voting machines – yep they still exist or either it’s a industrial grave yard for them. Regardless, an interesting site to pass by.
…Baked – oh my…the sweet and salty brownie…to die for. Buy one and you’ll have desert for the next couple of days. The owners, Matt and Renato, “tend to think of themselves as dessert archeologists – digging and researching and eating their way through the regional desserts of America” according to their website. They definitely have it going on in the dessert department.
What I didn’t experience, but will next time…
…Metal and Thread – the owners must have been on vacation, but from the store front window…it’s a must on my return visit list. Local artisans with “hand-made” as their mantra.
…Home/Made – this was my restaurant of choice, but it was closed for the day. Small and quaint, one has the option of sitting on the couches at either a metal or wooden table, or in their little backyard garden.
…The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal – a must when the Queen Mary 2 is docked. That ship is a beauty!
…plus many more…Steve’s famous key lime pie, a chocolate factory of sorts, distilleries, and Red Hook lobster rolls. Oh my…can’t wait.
Red Hook was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but it’s amazing how this neighborhood has pulled together and returned in full force in such a short period of time. Living in the Upper West Side where I experienced zero impact from the hurricane…Red Hook is one of the many neighborhoods in NYC that I want to support. I’ll be back!