Friday, August 19, 2016

Adventures in Red Hook

There's an H.P Lovecraft short story entitled 'The Horror at Red Hook' which I almost stole for this blog title but I decided against something so misleading.
It is a weird place though - it's empty industrial spaces alongside busy industrial spaces occupied by the likes of Stumptown coffee and Lagunitas brewery alongside abandoned lots and properties alongside yuppy refurbished buildings and project housing complexes, empty streets, slightly neglected park space, 15 odd eateries/coffee shops/bars, seafood, a beautiful pier with an unparalleled sunset view and err...Ikea.
It's not the best place to visit - its inconvenient for most trains and the two that do serve it are far.  Several businesses have early closing hours during the week or are simply shut on say Tuesdays because its not worth their while to be open.
But as I discovered during the last of my three weeks living there while looking after Bobby and Bitbit, it's a pretty nice place to live. I say the last week because the first two weeks were kind of difficult - one I was not well for a good portion of it, two I was schlepping back and forth from Manhattan to Red Hook at least twice a day most days to walk Bobby in between work and rehearsals. Even with my beloved bike to speed me to the subway - and I truly enjoyed the ride every time - it was really hard going to go back and forth so much. If you live in Red Hook, you either have a car, have enough money to spend on taxis and Uber or stay in Red Hook.
Also I'll say its a nice place to live in the glorious height of summer I'm not so sure about winter - the streets were empty enough I imagine they're pretty barren when the cold winds blow.
As I mentioned the first week I was still suffering from being knocked on my ass over the weekend - my body just went 'nope, had enough, I give up' and rendered me pretty useless for a few days. I was fairly pitiful, dragging myself to work at Troy's, dragging myself out to walk Bobby and in between mostly being prone on the sofa in front of the TV.  I certainly needed the rest. The worst of it passed and left me with only the terrible cough, not improved by the air conditioning necessary in an apartment with no real ventilation and two animals, but the temperature abated. Woeful me. My bike (Frances) however brought me great joy as did being around a dog and  cat. I also got some reading, music listening and cooking done.
I also had an awesome girls night pyjama party with Lauren and Ali - we literally got in our PJs, ate pizza and chips and chocolate, ploughed through wine and talked about boys. Absolute joy, I am such a big fan of these gal pals and we had a lot of fun.
During week two I was hard into final rehearsals for two dance pieces.  'Cool', an updated all-female version of the iconic piece from West Side Story was being performed twice that weekend in the Choreographers Canvas showcase and the other, a reprise of I Could Never Love Anyone as part of New York Theatre Barn's monthly new works series, being presented as the second in a double bill of new theatre pieces that address addiction. Super cool stuff.
So I had to add those to my animal juggling - luckily I have fabulous friends called Maite, Anel and Lauren all of whom stepped up to take Bobby out for me when I couldn't make it back in time. And that's no short order because they all live in upper Manhattan so they are good friends indeed.
I'll do a little separate post about the dance pieces but it was a successful and fulfilling weekend of performing.
And this brought me to my final week in Red Hook during which I had time to explore a little and discover some of the delights.
My Red Hook Top 5:
1) Valentino Pier. The best view of the Statue of Liberty and at sunset it's truly beautiful, that majestic visual greatly enhanced by the lapping of water and passing of boats. It looks put over the whole of the harbor from Governors Island just in front of Manhattan to Staten Island
Also there is a little park where I enjoyed some great sunbathing next to the water and they show outdoor movies on Tuesday nights - I saw Indiana Jones with my Aussie friends Rosi and Jeff and Purple Rain with Lauren.
2) Steve's Key Lime Pies. I finally know that it's a Key Lime pie because the limes come from the Florida Keys. Like the fjords of Florida. At Steve's you can get a little key lime pie for one...or you can get a frozen chocolate covered raspberry key lime pie for one on a stick. You can and you should.
3) Riding a bike everywhere. It feels so wonderful in the summer to hop on my bike and go sailing to wherever the fancy takes me and because Red Hook is low on traffic you can cruise around pretty carefreely. Sadly my poor bike has been there since July 25th because I couldn't get my three weeks worth of stuff and bike home simultaneously and there hasn't been a time since - either they aren't home or my day finishes late or I have too much stuff. I'm coming for you Frances!
4) Dolce Brooklyn, a delicious gelato/sorbetto place that opened the day I arrived (July 4th) and sells handmade that day frozen goodness.  Cucumber mint and strawberry basil are my recommendations.
5) Brooklyn Crab - huge multi-floor open air bar and seafood with games, trestle tables and views.  Lobster roll and a frozen margarita, hellooooo.

A short bike ride away in the neighborhood of Cobble Hill is Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain where one can, if one chooses, get a retro classic giant ice cream sundae.  Lauren and I had a Red Hook staycation fun day during my last week - we rode bikes around, ate brunch, ate said ice cream sundaes, watched Purple Rain and generally lolled around and it was pretty much the greatest day!

If you'll now turn your attention to the next post you can enjoy The Illustrated Red Hook Adventures.

It's not illustrated but the photographed adventures doesn't sound as good.

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