Red Hook

Destination Red Hook, on the Bay Ridge ferry

Eye on Real Estate: Warehouses, whiskey and wonderful art

June 14, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Red Hook is full of art lovers, as this photo from art studios Pioneer Works attests. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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Art. Whiskey. Key lime pie. What’s not to like?

NYC Ferry’s newly launched South Brooklyn service has turned trendy Red Hook into a convenient weekend hangout spot — for folks who live in Bay Ridge.

It’s just a 19-minute ride from Bay Ridge’s 69th Street Pier to the Atlantic Basin ferry dock in Red Hook. The ferry ticket costs $2.75, just like a subway ride.

This is a quick list for our Bay Ridge neighbors of things to do in Red Hook — besides shopping at IKEA for furnishings for our kids’ college dorm rooms.

Those of you who live elsewhere might find this helpful, too.

* Pioneer Works: Practically the first building visitors see after stepping off the Red Hook ferry dock is a former ironworks building from the Civil War era at 159 Pioneer St. It’s a cultural center with art studios, gallery space and a great garden. It’s the creation of high-profile artist Dustin Yellin.

Pioneer Works is open to the public on Wednesday through Sunday — plus it hosts monthly events called Second Sundays with open studios for artists in residence plus live music and exhibitions. (It’s obvious when these events take place because of their name.)

By the way, the Jacqueline Yellin Trust — that’s his mother — bought the property for $3.7 million in 2011, city Finance Department records indicate.

* The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition art shows: BWAC, as it’s called, has a 25,000-square-foot gallery in a Civil War-era warehouse at 481 Van Brunt St. The space is donated by the O’Connell Organization, which is the building’s landlord.

Across the street there’s another fab building, Red Hook Stores, where Fairway Market is located.

BWAC is presenting terrific art shows that run through June 18. One of them features art made of recycled materials.

* Record shop: Vinyl records are trendy again. Ask your kids if you don’t believe us.

There’s a record store at 360 Van Brunt St. that will make you kick yourself for getting rid of your old turntable, and possibly inspire you to buy a new one.

It’s one of many intriguing shops, galleries, bars and restaurants on Van Brunt Street. Speaking of bars and restaurants, if you’re planning on staying out ‘Til The Midnight Hour, as the Wilson Pickett song goes, at famed Sunny’s Bar or Brooklyn Crab, plan to summon Uber for a ride home. The ferry doesn’t run late at night.

* Cacao Prieto and Widow Jane: One’s a chocolate factory, the other’s a whiskey distillery. Both are at 214-218 Conover St. There are weekend tours. You get to taste different types of whiskey. Need we say more?

* Kayaking at Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier: The Red Hook Boaters offer free kayaking sessions on summer Thursdays and Sundays. The park is at the end of Coffey Street. Its beach has iconic concrete blocks with letters on them that (more or less) spell out the words “Red Hook.”

* Shoreline sights: There are remnants of historic Todd Shipyard at Erie Basin Park behind IKEA, plus there are a boatload of other nifty spots for shoreline walks. We recently posted a story about these places to stroll.

* A taste of Florida on Red Hook’s waterfront: The pies sold at Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies at 185 Van Dyke St. are the real thing. They are a startling discovery for ex-Floridians, as if a flock of flamingos suddenly landed in New York Harbor.

We know these pies are perfect from serious research. (As far as we’re concerned, dessert is a deeply serious subject.) Earlier in our career, we helped a major metropolitan newspaper’s food critic taste-test Key lime pies in the Florida Keys.


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