by kristen bartley

Today launches our Brooklyn neighborhood photo series by the Bartley sisters. Over the next month and half we’ll present you with photo profiles of the bountiful cultural townships within the great borough of Brooklyn. To start us off, we head south on the BQE to the home of Six Point Craft Ales. Once named the “crack capital of America,” Red Hook is better known these days as the home of the cheap Swedish furniture superstore, IKEA.  Oh yeah, and also the cast of the very un-Brooklyn Real World Brooklyn.  It’s safe to say, this neighborhood has come a long way since its darker days.

Artist: Little Boots
Song: New In Town

I like to think of Red Hook as a more laid back, less pretentious Williamsburg (sorry if I’m offending anyone). With a mix a industrial warehouses, artist studios, residences, waterfront views, and a green conscious, you’d think the hipster invasion would have already hit.  Limited public transportation to the Hook has helped to preserve the unique character of this modest hood. Pardon my cheesiness, but strolling the streets on a weekend evokes quite a tranquil feeling.  Red Hook’s my secret escape when I start feeling a bit bogged down with city life.  Rather than retreat to the Hamptons (which I probably couldn’t afford anyway), I hop on the bus to Van Brunt St. Head down Van Brunt and you’ll stumble across some great restaurants and watering holes  All are probably half the price you’d pay for the same quality elsewhere in the city and you’ll also leave the crowds behind.  There are a couple interesting galleries as well and open studios on the pier, but personally I prefer the neighborhood’s street art.. which is worth the trip in itself.  If that’s not enough, then I guess there’s always IKEA.

Transportation: F, G, or R to 9th St.  B77 bus to Red Hook or the IKEA shuttle, whichever comes first.  Water taxi from Pier 11 in Manhattan.

Eat & Drink Up: Brooklyn Ice House (Beer, BBQ, and an awesome backyard, Hope & Anchor, Rocky Sullivan’s (roof deck!), Sunny’s (Summer reading series hosted every Sunday night), Fort Defiance, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies


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