|The infamous Red Hook rocks, proof of Red Hook’s vibrant artist community.|
This weekend I spent some time in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The piers, wharves, and warehouses offer a glimmer of Red Hook’s nautical past. Although it’s relatively small, there are a lot of really cool things to do and see.
One of the first things you’ll see in Red Hook are the public housing complexes. Originally built during the Depression to house dock workers and their families, the complex eventually became notorious for crime and drugs. Just a few cobble-stoned blocks down is the alleged birthplace of “Public Enemy Number One,” Al Capone.
And then there’s the Red Hook Community Farm. Opened in 2003 in lieu of a rundown playground, the farm now provides fresh produce to local restaurants and sets up its own farmer’s market, providing Brooklyn residents with organic, locally grown food and access to agricultural job training.
|The view from Valentino Pier.|
Valentino Pier offers views of the Verranzano-Narrows Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. It’s the closest you can get to the Statue of Liberty on land. It really does look close enough to swim to.
|Also at Valentino Pier. Street art is abundant.|
Red Hook is also home to some pretty amazing food, including Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies, the Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Home Made. I was fortunate enough to meet the owners of Home Made several years ago, and their recipe for spiced figs cooked in white wine is still my favorite. Their honey pie is pretty amazing also.
|A sidewalk garden.|
While waiting to cross the street, I watched a grown man burn rubber at a stop sign. He left us laughing in a cloud of smoke, but most importantly, he was another of the many unexpected discoveries Red Hook has to offer.