12. Red Hook

by |
09/28/2011 4:00 AM |

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.

Second Thoughts

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.

How Much

Average rent of a two-bedroom apartment:$2,600

Greenpoint | Fort Green/Clinton Hill | Ditmas Park | Cobble Hill | Williamsburg | Gowanus | Bushwick | Park Slope | Carroll Gardens | Brooklyn Heights | DUMBO | Red Hook

4 Comment

  • When people say it’s hard to get to Red Hook (and they say it all the time), I realize what they usually mean is “Riding the bus is below my social status. I don’t ‘do’ the bus.”

    It doesn’t take a super-genius to figure that the B61 brings you in from 4th Ave – 9th St (D,N,R,F,G trains). Same bus also comes in from downtown (near Borough Hall, Metrotech, Hoyt-Schermerhorn).

    I usually just walk in from the Carroll St ‘F’ station. A pleasant trip west on 1st Place – Summit Ave, then south on Van Brunt. About 1 and a quarter miles.

    Really, it’s only hard to get to The Hook if you don’t know how to read a map.

    There is definitely a socio-economic and cultural divide between residents of the Red Hook Houses and residents of The Back. That is a dynamic which exists all throughout this city and, for me at least, it doesn’t have the tone of menace that I have felt in other neighborhoods. Not yet.

    Our full-floor one bedroom garden apartment is about half the price point you’ve listed. We’ve been here less than 2 years.

    Oh yeah. A 2011 James Beard award winner says he’s opening a restaurant here soon.

  • Hmmm… I think you’re being a little hasty with the snide socioeconomic judgment, ebmerc. I don’t think it’s that people think they’re above the bus — they’ll gladly take it if it’s fast and efficient. The problem is, the bus is a lot slower than the train.

    1.25 miles walk in the freezing cold of winter is not ideal. I wouldn’t recommend any out-of-towner friends move to Red Hook in their first year in NYC if they work in the city. It seems more like a breaker-inner neighborhood that you move to later, like Ditmas. And like Ditmas, it ain’t cheap.

    Red Hook is really secluded — and that’s part of what’s so charming about it. Aren’t you glad everybody ISN’T moving to your neighborhood, ebmerc?

  • Limited housing stock and M1 zoning keeps the hordes out.

  • no, not hasty… formulated from over a year and 100+ conversations with strangers on the subject.
    Seriously. There is an irrational aversion to bus riding. Also a widespread unfamiliarity. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t even know that their MTA card can work on the bus.
    Most know that they can get on the subway, go over on the AirTrain , then board a plane to anywhere in the world without issues. But tell them that they can transfer to a bus and ride a mile or two and they act like it’s a trip to Mars.
    Entitled, soft, or both?