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Thread: Red Hook, Brooklyn

  1. #46

    Default Fairway opens its doors Wide

    On the waterfront…

    A former Civil War-era warehouse in Red Hook has become home to a new 52,000-square-foot supermarket with high hopes of transforming the once-deserted riverside area into a thriving commercial corridor.

    The grand opening of the borough’s first Fairway at 480-500 Van Brunt Street, was marked by a program of welcome and celebration by the close-knit community, much of which hailed the $25 million partnership between the store and local developer Greg O’Connell, which boasts a five-story building and spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, plus the Manhattan skyline.

    O’Connell played happy host to a steady stream of shoppers and well-wishers, who poured in throughout the day – among them Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and area firefighters from Ladder Company 202.

    “We’re really thrilled to be coming to Red Hook and we think we can become an anchor to this community and bring about a renaissance in Red Hook,” said Dan Glickberg, a junior partner in the supermarket and great-grandson of Fairway Founder Nathan Glickberg.

    Glickberg, who loaded a cart with items as he shopped at the store with his father, Howard, added that about 150 people from the immediate area had already been hired.

    Nathan Glickberg opened the first Fairway in 1940 as fruit and vegetable shop at West 74th Street and Broadway where it still stands. The Brooklyn Fairway offers a large selection of high quality fish, meats, baked goods, fresh produce, cheeses, coffees, plus gourmet and organic foods, at lower prices than its competitors because of Fairway’s policy of buying directly from the farmers and producers.

    The store is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

  2. #47


    New York Daily News -
    Red Hook drug trade $50M a yr.
    Friday, May 26th, 2006

    Red Hook drug dealers were making as much as $140,000 a day - $50 million a year - until an undercover sting brought them down this year, District Attorney Charles Hynes said yesterday. Despite the real estate boom in Red Hook and the opening of a new Fairway market and a cruise ship terminal, drug dealers were terrifying tenants of the Red Hook Houses.
    "Despite all the changes, the residents were under siege by drug gangs," said Hynes, describing the booming drug business. "The numbers are astounding."

    Flanked by Red Hook residents, Hynes announced a 374-count indictment against 143 people, saying he would seek maximum sentences of up to 25 years to life in prison for dealers who used minors to sell crack, heroin, marijuana and powdered cocaine.

    "We're not going to tolerate people in our community to be treated as second-class citizens," he said. "They are the real victims.

    "It's not going to be permitted for drug dealers to hold them captive."

    The flourishing drug trade run by more than 150 dealers is four times the $12 million take estimated last month at a news conference by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly when he announced the massive Police Department-district attorney's office bust.

    But residents were not so sure the benefits of the drug busts, though appreciated, would stand the test of time.

    "There's a slight difference," said Andrea McKnight, 61, who described how she saw youths grow up in the houses and turn into drug dealers during her 37 years there.

    "After a while, they stop looking at you. It's sad for us also," she added.

    "I don't know if it's going to last. Drugs have always been there."

    She and other residents described having to dodge gunfire and violence to avoid getting harmed in drug disputes, and having to bypass areas where drug deals were going down.

    Hynes said the gangs divided the houses into 17 sections and 32 buildings to conduct business.

    He said the dealers collectively decided who was allowed to sell drugs, where, the cost and how lower-level dealers would get paid.

    Frances Brown, a patrol officer at the houses, said the area is much less dangerous since the arrests.

    "It feels much better," she said.

  3. #48


    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    Here is a family who seem to enjoy living in Red Hook...
    An Unlikely Paradise, Right Around the Corner
    A lot of people like to live in their own neighborhoods, but do they get reported on the news about it? No. The only reason they are getting media attention on it is because they know that Red Hook is a bad area.
    Last edited by Edward; June 12th, 2006 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Quote too long

  4. #49
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Yale on Hook: Park and park

    A vision for Red Hook designed by Yale architecture students E. Sean Bailey, Shelly Zhang and Jacob Reidel.

    By Dana Rubinstein

    The Brooklyn Papers

    What do you get when you put the future of Red Hook into the hands of some of the Ivy League’s brightest young architects? A big parking lot.

    Sadly, that’s what happened when a Yale professor asked his School of Architecture graduate students to plan the future of the historic neighborhood.

    The CarPark plan — one of a handful of ideas drawn up by the students — calls for turning 143 acres of Red Hook into a parking lot and another 143 acres into a park (together, that comes to almost half of the neighborhood’s 680 acres). The plan would create an additional 31,021 parking spots, or 3.4 spots per dwelling unit.

    The plan is one of a handful on display at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition’s Summer art show.

    Those with a personal stake — rather than academic curiosity — in Red Hook were dumbfounded.

    “Wow, is that what they’re teaching at Yale?” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6. “I can’t imagine worse public policy.”

    Other student suggestions for the Hook included a theme park, a “naturalistic recreation park with camping,” an animal preserve, and big box stores spread evenly throughout the Hook, rather than congregated near the waterfront.

    BWAC’s Summer art show (499 Van Brunt St., between Reed Street and the water) continues on weekends through Aug. 20, from 1 to 7 pm.

    Professor Edward Mitchell and his students will be on hand on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 4 pm for an artists’ talk.


  5. #50


    Drawing from Yale School of Architecture
    Teams of Yale architecture students have envisioned the Red Hook shoreline as a center for ecotourism.

    August 12, 2006
    Yale Students Imagine the Future of Red Hook

    The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, based in Red Hook, operates one of the rawest exhibition spaces in New York City: a corner of the Beard Street Warehouse, an 1869 complex of storehouses built of rough-cut schist on reclaimed marshland. The galleries have no air-conditioning or heating. Light enters through arched iron shutters and bounces off wooden ceiling beams and support columns. Electric fans provide feeble ventilation.

    The space is a remnant of Red Hook’s long-faded status as one of the country’s busiest shipping centers. Settled by the Dutch in 1636, the area exploded with maritime activity after the completion of the Erie Canal, which established a connection between the New York harbor and the Midwest, in 1825. In the warehouse dock workers once carted raw sugar, spices, flax, hemp, jute, rubber, leather, dried fruit, seeds, coffee and cocoa.

    But by the 1950’s, with the decline in grain traffic and the completion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which cut the neighborhood off from the rest of Brooklyn, Red Hook began a long demise, which has only recently been halted by gentrification.

    A new show in the coalition’s gritty exhibition site tries to reimagine the future of Red Hook, taking account of the area’s waterfront location, on Upper New York Bay, and of trends in urban planning and architectural design. It is on view on weekends through Aug. 20 as part of the coalition’s summer show, “Food for ... a Feast for the Eyes.”

    The Red Hook exhibition arose from a spring-semester studio class at the Yale School of Architecture that was organized around the theme of urbanism, but unlike other academic exercises, it focused on more than the merely theoretical.

    Like other gentrifying neighborhoods, Red Hook is in the throes of rapid social and economic change. In April a terminal for giant luxury cruise ships opened on Pier 12, which had been part of the last remaining container-shipping terminal in Brooklyn. In May a 52,000-square-foot Fairway grocery store, with a 300-space parking lot, opened at the foot of Van Brunt Street. Ikea, the Swedish furniture company, plans to build its largest store there, on a 22-acre site that was once a shipyard and dry dock.

    At the mouth of the Erie Basin, on a pier next to the warehouse’s pier, a developer wants to replace a long-shuttered sugar factory with loft-style apartments, offices and stores.

    In 10 proposals the Yale students, who are entering the last year of a three-year master’s program in architecture, responded to those developments in varying ways. The results are on view in the form of computer renderings and paper models.

    One team tried to disperse and integrate the big-box stores into the historic neighborhood, rather than reject them — although that was an option. In its proposal a doughnut-shaped Wal-Mart has a public square at its center, connected to the street by a colorful archway. Nearby, a giant self-storage building has a running track and a park on its roof, within view of the expressway overhead.

    “Most people see these stores as a negative when they come into their neighborhoods,” said James Tate, 26, who developed that proposal with Harris Ford and Sini Kamppari. “By taking those types of stores and combining them with other kinds of large-scale public space — everything from parks to gardens — you could create a new form of public space, which could actually benefit the city.”

    Another proposal envisions using new paving materials that allow vegetation to grow between the pavement’s squares, to create an adaptable landscape that could be used for sports fields, farmers’ markets and parking for 31,000 vehicles.

    “There is a great potential for big-box stores to do good, to be a positive force in urban areas, to move from the fringe into a place in the urban fabric, as long as it’s handled in a sensitive manner,” said Neil Sondgeroth, 24, who designed the proposal with Weston Walker.

    (Mr. Sondgeroth cited Le Corbusier as an inspiration, but he admitted that he was also influenced by his current part-time job in the hardware department of a sprawling Lowe’s home-improvement store on the outskirts of New Haven.)

    Perhaps the most fantastic proposal conceives of Red Hook as a “self-contained world that operates on its own logic,” according to Jacob Reidel, 27, who collaborated with E. Sean Bailey and Shelley Zhang. The three were fascinated by model-railroad hobbyists, who create neatly ordered worlds.

    “It’s not a far stretch to see those impulses guiding not just Robert Moses, but more contemporary planners as well,” Mr. Reidel said.

    Their proposal would preserve a core of historic buildings but erect a thin “curtain” of high-rise buildings directly to their east. On the other side of the curtain, the Red Hook Houses — one of the city’s oldest and largest public housing projects, built in 1938 — would be reconfigured into suburban-style “bungalows” reminiscent of those in early streetcar suburbs. Farther east and south would be an “agricultural zone”: community gardening on a grand scale.

    Edward Mitchell, who organized the exhibition, praised the students’ willingness to indulge in the implausible. “They have the advantage of being able to be visionary, and not getting caught up in the real-world stuff too early,” said Mr. Mitchell, an adjunct assistant professor of architecture at Yale. “The interesting part of any urban vision is it rarely gets built, but that vision may feed the thinking of the public over a longer term.”

    The Bloomberg administration, which has been squabbling with the operator of the Red Hook container terminal over the city’s plans for redevelopment of the waterfront piers, seems to have taken no notice of the exhibition, but it has drawn some buzz — not all positive — since it opened on July 22.

    The exhibition was featured on Curbed, a blog at that focuses on real estate, prompting several residents to express alarm. “As an architect who lives in Red Hook, all I can say is ... please stop!!!” one person wrote on the Web site. Another asked: “Do they teach context in architecture school anymore? Or do they just teach people to pursue an egotistical vision no matter what the impact is on people?”

    Steve McFarland, who runs a blog called B61 Productions, at, named for a bus line that serves Red Hook, said that the griping was understandable, because both longtime residents and urban pioneers feared being engulfed by big-box stores and the resulting traffic — or displaced by rising rents. “Nobody is taking into account the history of the place in their plans,” he said.

    Others saw the show in a different light. Anna M. Hagen, a sculptor who lives in Ditmas Park and is a vice president of the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, said the students’ proposals would have been preferable to what she sees as the haphazard development now taking place.

    “If Yale had presented these drawings three years ago, and Red Hook had a possibility of choosing among them, it would have been a beautiful thing,” she said.

  6. #51


    Two articles on the same phenomenon. You'd never know it if you left out the names.

    Were the two reporters looking at the same exhibit? Were they on the same planet? What was one of them smoking?

    I don't have any trouble deciding which one to believe.

    The other is yellow journalism.

  7. #52


    How is this a relaxing place? One of the worst ghettos in NYC and one of the ugliest areas of the city. I'd much rather be in Central Park relaxing by the lake. You wouldn't cath me walking through there much less sitting there waiting to get shot.

  8. #53


    Red Hook’s not so bad. A close relation lives there. He showed me around.

    After I saw it, I advised him to get together a down payment so he could invest in a place with a lucrative future. Truth is, to my eye its present is even better than its future. Reason: you can still read so much of its past.

    RED HOOK: a village in the city.

    Almost a ghost town. When the port died, the longshoremen left:

    On cobbled streets, brick rowhouses freshened with vinyl amid disused warehouses:

    Working class taste.

    Other houses departed, leaving gaps:

    Artists arrived seeking cheap space. An artist’s stash:

    Recycled junk, like Red Hook itself:

    Best way to arrive is New York Water Taxi. Too bad it only runs to Red Hook on weekends:

    A scene of tragic decay waits to greet you. Rusting streetcars and Civil War warehouse:

    Appalachia in Brooklyn. Battered, beat up, crumbly, damaged, decayed, decrepit, dog eared, faded, fallen in, injured, marred, neglected, old, ramshackle, rickety, run-down, seedy, shabby, threadbare, tumble-down, unkempt.

    But not: broken-down, crummy, decaying, dingy, impaired, ratty, raunchy, rinky-dink, ruined, ruinous, shaky, slummy, tacky, uncared for, unimproved, used up, worn-out.

    Where else can you find Christmas lights strung across the street in August?

    At once forlorn and funky.

    Streetcars are exactly what subwayless Red Hook needs; its underpopulation can be partly explained by how hard it is to get to. One resident realized this, formed a small collection of PCCs, and even laid some track. But the regulators would have none of it. So here, picturesquely and tantalizingly, they rust on the pier where you arrive by water taxi:

    Last edited by ablarc; October 12th, 2006 at 06:59 PM.

  9. #54


    To keep them company, the adjacent Fairway supermarket has set out picnic tables where you can eat your deli fixins. Here on the ground floor of a Civil War warehouse is ensconced the biggest and best supermarket I’ve ever seen…and it’s in Red Hook!

    Those streetcars arrived at the ferry dock on these tracks. They should be in use:

    Also in Red Hook, you’ll find another form of transport:

    And there’s even a small container port, last remnant of a once bustling waterfront:

    Downtown Brooklyn skyline tantalizes. So near and yet so far…

    Inauspicious surroundings for disembarkation:

    Welcome to New York!

    Van Brunt, the main street, is well equipped with trees and cobbles. You can tell the yuppies are arriving by looking at the cars:

    Though other vehicles might make you think you’re in Durham:

    Other yuppies sell things to their comrades:

    Last edited by ablarc; October 12th, 2006 at 07:10 PM.

  10. #55


    Gentrification caught in the act:

    Some can afford to build themselves houses. Concrete block, double-height piano nobile, spiral stair, security fence and ramp in place of stoop:

    Check out the plywood portico next door, and the industrial-grade graffiti.

    Directly across the street, the look of prosperity comes all the way from Italy:

    How more of it used to be before the big depopulation. It once so greatly resembled Hoboken that On the Waterfront –supposedly set in Red Hook—was actually filmed in Hoboken. Carpetbagger’s Benz:

    Walled-up storefronts await re-opening:

    Waiting for a building. Mr. Scarano, where are you?

    View from the Red Hook ferry:

    Red Hook with two skylines:

    (Maybe really a skyline and a half.)

    All in all: Red Hook is pretty nice. I'd live there. But I would need a car.

  11. #56
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Thanks for another wonderful photo tour, ablarc.

    Did you happen to pass by this block? It was voted 8th best in New York City by Time Out NY:

    8 Coffey Street between Conover and Ferris Streets, Red Hook, Brooklyn

    Red Hook isn’t everybody’s thing, and that’s a huge part of what draws people here. The combination of community, sea air, the bustling waterfront and, in recent years, plenty of cool places to eat and drink offset the distance to the subway—especially if you call this stretch of Coffey Street home. The quaint townhouses are nestled amid peace and quiet (and birdsongs!), and the warehouse on the block adds to the industrial vibe without being grotty. Granted, life is easier here with a car (or at least a bike), but residents get a singular New York City flavor in a highly unusual setting. Bonus: +3 points for the amazing view, especially at the end of Coffey Street on Valentino Pier—where you’ll find people fishing, launching canoes and kayaks, or taking in fireworks, with Lady Liberty’s front side about as close as you’ll see it from land.

  12. #57


    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Did you happen to pass by this block? It was voted 8th best in New York City by Time Out NY: 8 Coffey Street between Conover and Ferris Streets, Red Hook, Brooklyn
    One side of this block is factories. It's like much of Red Hook: a highly refined but acquirable taste --like eating kidneys.

    TimeOut cultivates that kind of worldliness.

  13. #58


    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    ...plenty of cool places to eat and drink...
    Filled to the brim with good vibes, Hope and Anchor dispenses vittles as warm and comforting as the surroundings they're served in. Whatever their provenance the customers all morph seamlessly into old shoes. You'll find geriatric hippies in grey ponytails, artists in animated conversation, and dudes in dreadlocks hunched over heaping breakfasts and overflowing lunch plates; a New York rendition of Alice's Restaurant.

  14. #59
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Light surface rail with connections to the subway system should do wonders for this area - and frankly, any neighborhood without good subway service in this city. The Westside of Manhattan is another one of those areas.

  15. #60


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Light surface rail with connections to the subway system should do wonders for this area
    Well, that's what all those old PCC streetcars were all about. The guy who collected them tried for twenty years to get the city to allow him to run them as you describe. Brooklyn would have had its version of San Francisco's F-Line, the historic streetcars that rumble from Fisherman's Wharf via the Embarcadero and Market Street to the Castro.
    Scroll down.

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