Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Red Hook Ramble

On Sunday, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I worked on the schooner & it was the most perfect of sailing days. Saturday I had free. It was an absolutely beautiful day, one that made me want to be out & about, but a little windier than ideal for kayaking. Besides, every now and then I like to make a weekend day a Brooklyn day, one where I don't leave the borough - that still leaves plenty of territory to explore if I'm in the mood to wander!

Usually my wanderings end up somewhere in the Brighton Beach or Coney Island areas - but I've been meaning to head to Red Hook one of these days. Red Hook has been quite the talked-about area lately - cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by the BQE, it's retained a lot of the flavor of the old port neighborhood that it is & hasn't been subject to the same kind of development as many other parts of Brooklyn. That's all changing now & it seems that Red Hook is the next DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, for the non-locals!) - an underdeveloped neighborhood full of interesting old industrial buildings just ripe for conversion to expensive lofts. However, there are lots of people already living there who like it just fine the way it is, thanks - lots of human interest there along with the developer interest, and that means plenty of articles about the tensions that arise as the character of the area changes.

Having read plenty of those articles, I'd been wanting to go wander the area for a while - I finally got the impetus when I read in Friday's New York Times that the nonprofit group Dancing in the Streets was offering a free Caribbean dance performance in Coffey Park. The perfect excuse (not that I needed one) on the perfect day - grabbed my camera & off I went!

Ase Dance Theatre Collective

The performance was great fun. Afterwards I wandered around to places I'd heard about but never gotten around to visiting - the cruise ship terminal, the Waterfront Museum, the Beard Street Pier, and Valentino Pier being the main spots I wanted to visit. It's an interesting old neighborhood, and a fun one to explore with a camera & no particular timetable.

These three photos are just a sample of the results. I've posted quite a few more over on a new buzznet gallery. Today's are mostly buildings & street scenes, I'll finish off with the dancing later this week. Hope you enjoy my ramble in Red Hook - I suspect you'll be able to tell from the pictures that I did!

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