More Red Hook

Sunday, May 6th, 2007 | All Things, NYC History

What a great place for a walk!

Red Hook Waterfront

The Red Hook Fairway Market is housed inside a beautifully restored pre-Civil War era warehouse on the waterfront at the end of Van Brunt Street.  Above the market, the building is used as office space for businesses and local non-profits, artist work space and luxury residential units.  Fairway arrived in Red Hook in May 2006 to much fanfare and enormous crowds.  This afternoon, strolling through the clean, spacious aisles, along the well-stocked displays and colorful chalkboards touting store specials — such a stark contrast with the cramped, combativeness of the Upper West Side location — I could not help but be a little envious.

Red Hook Fairway

A view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (and a few ducks) from the red-brick Beard Street Warehouse at 499 Van Brunt Street, which now houses over 40 businesses, including the offices for the New York Water Taxi (which maintains a dock just outside the Fairway), a glass-blowing studio and gallery, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist’s Coalition (Red Hook’s premier art venue, and the largest artist-run, not-for-profit art organization in Brooklyn), and the set and costume designers for Blue Man Group.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

More walking, along the Beard Street pier, on streets scattered with bars, restaurants, galleries and shops, including Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie, touted endlessly on the Food Network.

Our group’s numbers dwindled as the gentrified streets gave way to warehouses and desolate looking stretches until we reached the Red Hook Container Terminal, which sprawls along 80 acres of waterfront.  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey leases the terminal in part to American Stevedoring.

Red Hook Terminal

We wound past a couple of community gardens, crossing paths at the BQE with the 5 Boro Bike Tour.

5 Borough Bike Tour

And nearly four hours after we first met, our final stop: the stark contrast of the stately brownstone rowhouses of the Carroll Gardens Historic District — once considered part of Red Hook.

Carroll Gardens

We broke away from the group as they made their way to the subway station, to explore the annual Court Street Fair, sponsored by the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation (GCCDC).  By summer’s end I’m usually in full-grip of street fair fatigue, but on this brilliantly sunny spring day, I was happy to wander among the stalls, taking in everything from the curious (not a tube sock or mozzarepa stand in sight!) to the unconscionable ($4 for 6 zeppole?!)

Lunch at the newest Carroll Gardens location of Mexican mini-chain Mezcal’s, after which we made a dessert of some more reasonably priced (but still messy) zeppole from one of the Court Street pizzerias.

Court Street Fair

Court Street Fair

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