Must-See Red Hook
by Michael Hsu, 07/16/2013
(From left) Mai Tai at Fort Defiance photo by Daniel Krieger • New York Water Taxi photo by Joe Buglewicz
With its sweeping views of New York Bay, the occasional cobblestone street and an industrial vibe (a holdover from when it was one of the country's busiest shipping centers), Red Hook has a character all its own. It's the big city infused with the flavor of New England, and it's become home to artisans, musicians, beekeepers, rooftop gardeners and a host of creatives and entrepreneurs.
While the neighborhood was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy (an estimated 100 businesses had to close temporarily in the hurricane’s wake), residents and businesses from the neighborhood and city at large banded together to get this Brooklyn jewel back on its feet. Its shops and restaurants are on the rebound.
Getting to the neighborhood is easier than ever. Every weekend until Labor Day, the Destination Red Hook Summer Ferry runs free water-taxi rides from Lower Manhattan. Hop on at Pier 11/Wall Street, enjoy a scenic 15-minute journey over the East River, and jump off at the piers at either Red Hook’s Fairway supermarket or IKEA. The ferries depart every 25 minutes and run from 10:15am to 8:40pm.
If you’re traveling by public transportation, the B61 bus does a loop through the neighborhood, and it's an easy connection from many subway lines. Get on at Jay St./MetroTech from the A, C, F, N or R trains; at Borough Hall from the 2, 3, 4 or 5 trains; or at 4th Ave./9th St. from the F, G or R. There are free shuttle buses to IKEA from the subway stops at the corner of Smith and 9th Streets, 4th Avenue and 9th Street and from Brooklyn Borough Hall. Many of the spots in this roundup are within walking distance of IKEA.
With its stellar food scene, eclectic shopping and stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Red Hook is filled with treasures. The resourceful will be rewarded.