Red Hook Travels
Last Saturday I was laying around my apartment feeling increasingly despondent about, well, laying around the apartment all day. It was a really gorgeous day and I was on the couch playing stupid Monopoly on my stupid Ipad. When I reached a point where it seemed my two options were to begin quietly sobbing on the couch or putting pants on and actually doing something, I did something. On came the trousers, I gathered up my traveling materials and hopped on to the subway.
Some forty minutes later I was standing near Borough Hall and after another forty or so minutes I was meandering around Red Hook. It’s a great little neighborhood. Well, maybe not great, but interesting and appealing (I’m talking about the non-projects half).
The explosion of construction over the last 10-15 years seems to have largely bypassed Red Hook; architecturally, it probably looks like a lot like it did 10 + years ago. That’s a look I like: fading, old, industrial, lots of brick, lots of low buildings– warehouses, single family houses, small apartments. The place has a very open feel to it, and when you add in a surprising number of empty lots, and a bunch of cobble stone streets–not quaint cobble stone, but more nobody ever bothered to pave them in the first place, or repave them when they started to fall apart– you end up with a very distinct sort of vibe And it’s quiet. Amazingly quiet, it has to be the quietest neighborhood in the City, at least on a weekend.
Not to go all Marty on everybody, but when I was talking to the bartender at Red Hook Bait & Tackle and mentioned how much I loved the quiet he responded, “Thanks a fucking lot, I’m trying to run a business”. If you’re down in the area I’d stop by, it’s a nice, laid back neighborhood place with live music some evenings, as I was heading out a member of the Mekons was setting up for a small show. One small word of warning: if you have a taxidermy problem you might want to skip, he’s got ferrets, deer heads and other dead stuffed animals all over the place.
Later that night, I lost the Monopoly game.