In consideration of this weekend’s red-themed holiday, I wondered what Red Hook, Brooklyn had in the offing. The relatively remote section of the BK was named the descriptive “Roode Hoek” (red point) by Dutch colonists in 1636 for its ruddy soil and peninsular shape. Today the in-flux waterfront area boasts an IKEA and Fairway Supermarket while remaining home to the tenants of the 30-building Red Hook Houses. Streets like Columbia, Van Brunt and Conover are dotted with shops, cafes and bars. Some are neighborhood mainstays, like Sunny’s (holding it down on the drink front since the late 1800’s) but more likely are recent additions like Botanica, great for elegant adult libations.
The ever-present truck at Sunny’s
Botanica at twilight. Photo by Melissa Hom.
Though I have my concerns for the area re: over-gentrification and displacement, Red Hook, how can we love thee? Let me count the ways.
Get your caffeine fix with a fresh cup of Joe and a pastry nod to good St. Valentine at Baked (359 Van Brunt). Stroll the cobblestone streets and take in the the signs of Old Brooklyn.
The inviting interior of Baked. Photo: bakednyc.com
Cobblestones of Van Dyke St. Photo by Wooden Designer
Abandoned trolley car on the waterfront. Photo by Flatbush Gardener
Keep the sexy quotient on high with a stop at the charming Winkworth Ladies Goods, (119 Columbia Street at Kane) where owners Sonya Wells and Susie Plaisted play great music, proffer affirming sartorial advice and offer well-priced, pretty underthings from Princesse Tam Tam as well as the popular in-house line, Pie Bklyn, replete with its lace-trimmed chemises, sultry booty shorts and embellished thigh-high stockings.
Steps away, enjoy the tactile experience of combing the shelves of Freebird Books (123 Columbia) for gently loved books now freed to become part of your library, then head to Main Street Ephemera (205 Columbia) to pick up a vintage card for your beloved(s).
With a wink, the ladies of Winkworth show how it’s done; lyrical reading; Princesse Tam Tam demi cup and the Valentines of yore.
Check out the special Valentine’s Day menu at the well-reviewed The Good Fork. (391 Van Brunt Street)The cozy restaurant proudly uses fresh produce from Added Value Farm’s Red Hook Market run by local youth.
Photo by Julian Bushman-Coop
Cap off the night at Botanica (220 Conover) with the legendary Hemingway “Death in the Afternoon” decadent cocktail of champagne and absinthe that hints of of the forbidden. How alluring…
Photo by Kayaoko Akabori