Red Hook, the south Brooklyn neighborhood stretching below Atlantic Avenue to the Hudson River, is a place of contrasts. Sleek minimalist condos sit inside 19th century red-brick warehouses. The smell of salt water is halted by sewage reeking from pipes un-repaired since Hurricane Sandy. Construction cranes hum alongside dilapidated buildings. Wildly reviewed restaurants buzz just a few paces from the local bodega.
One of the neighborhood's distinguishing characteristics is the open sky. The buildings are short compared to the city, especially across the river in Manhattan. The proximity to the water gives Red Hook the feel of a beach town, but definitely not a resort. It's just the kind of place artists and young urban famlies crave--cheap rent (until a couple of years ago), parks, plenty of real estate to renovate.
|Red Hook Impressions|
We visited Red Hook this year to celebrate the one year anniversary of Hometown BBQ. I wrote about their opening in a post last year. This year I had some time to explore and do some sketching in the neighborhood. I stood on the streets and did my thing. Here's a map of the neighborhood (I took small license to use this even though it's a sketch from a map):
Van Brunt is the main street running from Atlantic, a main thoroughfare in Brooklyn, to the water. I started with the Ice House and its neighbor, Bait and Tackle, the local watering holes and the places to find people who know Red Hook.
|The first two buildings on the right -- The Ice House and Brooklyn Bait and Tackle, Van Brunt Street, Red Hook|
"If you ask an outsider what makes Red Hook special, they'll talk about the parks and open spaces, the waterfront views, the cobblestone streets, the great businesses, churches and agencies that creat the fabri of the community. If you ask someone from Red Hook, they'll tell you the secret: It's the people who live here."
From Images of Red Hook, by Thomas Rupolo