12. Red Hook
Why You Should Move Here
Red Hook has evolved unlike any other neighborhood thanks to its relative seclusion—the subway only goes near it—and its proximity to the hip parts of South Brooklyn. The heart of Red Hook is the sprawling Red Hook Houses; the rest of the neighborhood is dotted with the kind of homes, low-rise apartments and vacant lots you also see out on Mermaid and Neptune avenues. But unlike in Coney Island, artists and other creative types have moved into many of these homes, creating a diverse neighborhood with a real sense of community that maintains equal parts old-world charm, 20th-century renewal, and 21st-century reinvention. Plus, there’s the IKEA, the Fairway, and those famous seasonal food trucks.
What the Future Holds
Smith-Ninth Street will re-open in 2012 and it’ll be nicer than ever. Local artist Dustin Yellin has purchased an enormous warehouse he’s working to turn into an exhibition gallery with artist studios and a sculpture garden.
Where You’ll Find Us
Behind the Fairway, leaning on a decommissioned trolley. Eating key lime pies at Steve’s. Looking for Michael Shannon. Having pre-dinner drinks at Fort Defiance. Singing karaoke at Hope and Anchor. Enjoying after-dinner drinks at Bait and Tackle. Passed out on Ben Sutton’s couch.
You’re going to pay too much money because, despite the lack of amenities like subway service, the finite supply of housing and high demand among the hip inflates prices. The nearest subway station, Smith-Ninth Street, recently closed down for renovations. Plus, a footbridge over Hamilton Avenue is closed for repairs. Red Hook is not easy to get to, and it recently got more difficult. (The sign at a local diner—”Welcome to Red Hook. You made it!”) There’s also something discomfiting about the Van Brunt strip’s disconnect from its public-housing neighbors.
Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment:$2,600