Lifestyle

A real vacation away from some neighborhoods

Compared to In many Brooklyn districts, Red Hook hasn’t gained a lot of visitors. Adjacent to the Buttermilk Channel to the west and Erie Basin and Gowanus Bay to the south, Red Hook is best known to New Yorkers as the only IKEA store in New York. This area is just a few minutes drive from the bottom of Manhattan, but is not easily accessible by public transport. The nearest metro stations (Smith and 9th Street) take a 15-minute walk under the unpretentious shadows of the Brooklyn-Queens motorway. There are two ferries in the neighborhood, one of which has been suspended since the pandemic began.

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I woke up to the sound of a fog signal (the bridge pedestal was nearby) or the barking of seagulls.

But despite being relatively inaccessible, or because of that, I’ve fallen in love with my neighborhood as long as I’m an adult. A few years ago, I happened to discover it when I went to see an experimental play at the Waterfront Barge Museum in what used to be the Lehigh Valley Barge in 1914. Lost on the way from Carroll Gardens, wandering around the nearby community gardens and still-operating warehouses, we finally arrived at the pier at dusk to watch the sunset over the Statue of Liberty. It’s much closer to it than it is from Manhattan. Since then, despite trekking to enjoy brunch (and the acclaimed “best in town” Irish coffee) at the local restaurant Fort Defiance, I’ve taken my disliked friends to the neighborhood as much as possible. For me. Or tear the whole lobster with Red Hook Lobster Pond, listen to live music at Sunny’s, a vague voyage bar just off the waterfront, or spend six nights with musicians from Ireland, bluegrass, folk, klezmers, jazz, and more. To do. one week. The eclectic and eclectic Redhook feels more like a New York neighborhood than the city I loved or the crazy harbor of Trieste, Italy. One of the seemingly residential windows on Van Brandt Street is a mysterious exhibit of Betty Boop dolls. The local Cresh in the vacant lot has become the de facto home for stray cats in the area.

The Sunny’s Bar is a neighborhood facility where Irish, bluegrass, folk, klezmer and jazz bands perform several nights a week.

At the worst of the pandemic, when I completely avoided the subway, I redhook from my Morningside Heights home via the waterfront bike path, which was safely separated along the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn waterfront. I went by bicycle. I was working my laptop outdoors in a local cafe or in a pizzeria Hoek. There, I could see the dawn of Manhattan from the table outside the Valentino pier. Listen to musicians at Sunny’s improvisational concert on Conover Street.

I took it when my husband and I had the opportunity to move to the neighborhood temporarily. A few days later I had a routine. I woke up to the sound of the foghorn — the pier was just a five minute walk — or the bark of a seagull. I spent the morning in the backyard of the Black Flamingo Cafe with my adopted neighbor, Billy.

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Lunch was dirt across the street towards Mark’s Red Hook pizza. The owner remembered my order and called it darling and insisted on opening the door across the floor. We then cycled to one of the many waterfront picnic spots in the neighborhood. I worked on various benches, occasionally stopped to listen to the ever-growing vinyl music (a $ 3 book in an outside cart) from the Red Hook Record Store, and to buy groceries at Fort Defense. -Close the general store.

In the evening there was a choice. Still full of industrial areas, the area has a waterfront winery (Red Hook winery, $ 25 per person tasting is surprisingly affordable), two breweries (Keg and Lantern and Six Points), and two. There is a distillery (Botani Cover Widow Jane). It is temporarily not open to the public. At Van Brandt, you can drink old fashioned outdoors in still images). Often I drop in at the more casual sidewalk table in San Pedroin. This is a Mexican dive bar and restaurant that alternates between hot todies and frozen hibiscus margaritas during the volatile spring weather.

Red Hook’s Luis Valentino Junior Park and Pier.

The night was for Sunny. The start time of the music was not fixed. (“After 7 o’clock,” the bartender says and shrugs.) The band played in an almost isolated back room with windows open towards the garden. We sat outside, sipping dollar warmers and hot wine, listening to jazz riffs and folk harmonies, snuggling up between the space heater and the statue of St. Francesco in Assisi, until closing time.

The neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Gowanus were only 10 minutes by bike, but I rarely felt like leaving Red Hook.

Liberty Island is directly opposite Luis Valentino Junior Park and Pier.

I grew up in New York City. I was or thought I was used to building a house in my neighborhood. But after spending a few weeks at Red Hook, even my childhood hangout made me feel more relaxed than I’ve ever felt in the city. The relative isolation of the region has created a clear solidarity. Living in Red Hook has never been completely divorced, but I felt it was part of a different community than the entire city.

I have returned to Upper Manhattan so far. But it’s the Red Hook that feels like home. Currently it is 90 minutes by bicycle. Work in the Black Flamingo in the afternoon, supper in San Pedro, and return in the evening when you can spend the night listening to Sunny’s jazz. After all, I’m a regular now.

Lowdown

Find your own corner with a red hook

directions

During peacetime, there are two regular ferries operating between Manhattan and Red Hook. The NYC Ferry’s South Brooklyn Line runs approximately 30 minutes during peak commute hours and then every hour thereafter from Pier 11 / Wall Street, an 18-minute drive from Clinton Wharf. (Ferry.nyc, $ 2.75).. “IKEA ferry” operated by New York Water Taxi (paused due to pandemic). The fare is $ 5, but you can buy IKEA for $ 10 for free one way on weekdays.) It takes about 30 minutes and runs to the south bank of the neighborhood. On land, the nearest subway stops are Smith and the elevated F / G at number 9.

Eat and drink there

Due to its relatively small neighborhood, Red Hook has many restaurants and bars. Waterfront view and wood-burning oven (117 Ferris St., hoekbrooklyn.com), Or for Isan style Thai food (380 Van Brunt St), go to Somtum Der. If you’re looking for a more casual takeaway lunch, you can easily get two at the eggplant Parmesan sandwich at the neighborhood’s flagship store, Defonte’s (379 Columbia St., defontesofbrooklyn.com). Red Hook Lobster Pound offers reasonable voyage fares (284 Van Brunt St, redhooklobster.com). For drinks only, a $ 25 per person tasting at Red Hook Winery offers one of the best bargains in the city (175 Van Dyke Street Pier 41, redhookwinery.com). For cheap cash-only drinks and live music, Sunny’s (253 Conover St., sunnysredhook.com).

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A real vacation away from some neighborhoods

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