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Neighborhoods to Know and Go: Brooklyn's Red Hook

Where: Red Hook [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States
May 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | ()

The main aspect that makes the Red Hook neighborhood so interesting is that no one discovers it by accident. Located at the far southwest corner of Brooklyn, it is completely inaccessible via public transportation, meaning that no one passes through and no one gets there any other way than car, bike, or on foot.

And because it is about a 30-minute walk from the Brooklyn Bridge Park, you won’t see many tourists finding their way to this developing neighborhood. And as the irony goes in the realm of travel, a lack of tourists is exactly what makes an area so appealing for tourists. We spent an afternoon exploring Red Hook this past weekend, and here’s an overview of what you can expect:

Get a feel for the place

Every city has one of these neighborhoods, where old warehouses give way to creative new concepts. Red Hook is Brooklyn’s version, and one of the best parts of the lack of public transportation is that you absorb its character and see how it all fits together as you enter and walk through (as opposed to coming up in the middle of it via an underground subway). Take in the mix of old and new as the area goes through the beginning of its gentrification process after being completely punched in the face by Hurricane Sandy.

Pull up a beach chair

We spent the afternoon hanging out at a restaurant bar called Brooklyn Crab. Seafood is obviously on its menu, but it’s really the beached-themed, beer-garden neighborhood vibe that makes it worth a stop. It’s family friendly atmosphere (complete with a sand box and mini golf) attracts a wide range of locals looking to pass an afternoon with their feet up and a beer in hand. You should do the same, whether it’s up on the rooftop patio, at the sidewalk bar, or in the back at one of the picnic tables, and bring a pair of sunglasses to discretely take in the local flavor.

Follow the signs to try pie on a stick

When you’re walking through Red Hook, you might see some strange signs on the telephone poles, one reading “Don’t Pass By” and another “Awaits You Ahead.” Turns out they aren’t totally random, they just lead to a random place at the end of Van Dyke Street – a key lime pie shop. Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies features a unique treat called a “swingle,” which is a small, dark chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick ($6). We know. Sounds even crazier than a cronut.

Get a new view of the Statue of Liberty

Just behind Steve’s Key Lime Pie is Louis Valentino Jr Park, right on the waterfront and a good place to enjoy a pie or swingle. The park provides an lesser seen view of the Statue of Liberty from the south east, and you should time your visit with the sunset for the full effect.

[Photos: Will McGough/Will McGough/Flickr/Flickr]

Archived Comments:


You've convinced me to try Brooklyn Crab, as it's only a 10 minute walk from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Looks like a great way to spend some time before my late afternoon flight from JFK.