Friday, February 27, 2009

The Atlantic Basin letter

In a recent post, I mentioned a letter that is circulating throughout the community which will be sent to various public officials regarding the Atlantic Basin. That letter, as well as the description and instructions that pertain to it, are now below. I urge everyone to read this carefully and, if you agree, please follow the instructions to add yourself to the list of supporters before March 2nd (this Monday).
Dear Neighbor,

The Pier 7/Atlantic Basin discussion originally scheduled for the February 23rd CB6 committee meeting at PS15 has now been rescheduled for March 16 at the request of both the Port Authority and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Please put March 16 on your calendar. When the details of the location and time are made available we'll send out an email with that information.

Meanwhile we are urgently working to communicate--to our representatives, elected officials, press, etc.--our concerns about NYCEDC's approach to the process of leasing Pier 11 on the Atlantic Basin.

Embedded below you will find the text of a letter that will be sent out to the officials listed therein. Please take a moment to read the letter. If you'd like to have your name or business name added to the bottom of the letter, please SEND AN EMAIL <<>> by March 2, and type--in the subject line--your full name or business name followed by the words, "Add Me." Additionally, if you'd like further information or have any questions, comments or suggestions, let us know by using the same email link above.

Thank you for your interest. Together, we can and will demand a voice in whatever large-scale large-impact plans are proposed for Red Hook.

P.S. Click on the following link to see a map of the Brooklyn waterfront from Atlantic Basin to Atlantic Avenue:


Christopher Ward, Executive Director, Port Authority of NY/NJ
Seth W. Pinsky, President, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor City of New York
Amanda Burden, Director, NYC Department of City Planning
Robert Walsh, Commissioner NYC Department Small Business Services
Sarah M. Gonzalez, NYC Council Member
David Yassky, NYC Council Member
Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President
Charles E. Schumer, US Senator
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, US Senator
Nydia M. Velazquez, US Congresswoman
Jerrold Nadler, US Congressman
Velmanette Montgomery, NYS Senator
Felix Ortiz, NYS Assemblyman
Joan Millman, NYS Assemblywoman
Brian McCormick, Meg Fellerath and Milton Puryear, Co-founders Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
David Reiss, Co-Chair Economic Development Committee, Brooklyn CB6
Jeff Strabone, Co-Chair Economic Development Committee, Brooklyn CB6
Greg O'Connell, Chair Waterfront Development Committee, Brooklyn CB6
Brad Lander, Chair Community Housing and Development Committee, Brooklyn CB6
Craig Hammerman, District Manager Brooklyn CB6

March 2, 2009

We, the residents, families, workers, property owners, business owners and patrons of Red Hook, Brooklyn are asking for a better outcome concerning the development of our unique and historic neighborhood waterfront.

The issue at hand is the use of Pier 11 in the Atlantic Basin, whose 17 acres of protected water lie a few short blocks west of Van Brunt Street, roughly between Pioneer and Bowne Streets. We support development around the Atlantic Basin that maximizes the potential of the working waterfront and creates new economic opportunity for the small businesses that are proliferating throughout our neighborhood. We also seek development that will strengthen the connections between the waterfront, the local community and the adjoining neighborhoods, while also reinforcing Red Hook's unique maritime identity.

Late last year the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced that Pier 11 would be leased to Phoenix Beverage, a beer distributor whose operations would be relocated to the Brooklyn waterfront from Queens. Community members expressed their opposition, insisting that Phoenix would make more sense at the foot of Atlantic Avenue on Pier 7—a much more appropriate location with better access to the BQE, less impact on residential populations, and the added benefits of putting to use an underutilized pier and giving more work to the stevedores.

With Phoenix at Pier 7, the entire Atlantic Basin, the harbor within, and Pier 11 could be fully activated by uses specifically suited to the protected basin area, which is unique on the Brooklyn waterfront. NYCEDC has reviewed proposals for ferry expansion, boat repair, a marina, much more open space and public waterfront access, as well as space for maritime cultural and community based activities. This kind of plan would have a great positive impact on the small businesses and micro-entrepreneurial ventures upland of the Atlantic Basin and would create working waterfront activity that responds to the needs of New York's under-served maritime community.

Unfortunately, NYCEDC is now suggesting that it would grant Phoenix Beverage a 20-year lease at Pier 11 regardless of the disposition of Pier 7. This move comes as a surprise to Red Hookers, who have been led to believe that NYCEDC and the Port Authority would be open to working out a solution that benefits both Phoenix and the local community.

We urge you to work for an outcome that puts Phoenix Beverage solely on Pier 7 and secures the possibility of exciting new jobs and opportunities in and around the Atlantic Basin. Red Hook is prepared to work with you to create a better future for the Atlantic Basin and for the entire neighborhood.

[insert list of local supporters]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Some other news......

1) Local company NY Water Taxi has completed its deal to acquire the lower Manhattan operation of Circle Line. Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports on it here (short article).

2) NYtimes reported on Brooklyn's New Culinary Movement, some of which takes place right around here. They also wrote about new nearby restaurant Buttermilk Channel.

Interview featuring RH Community Justice Center

I'm a little late on this, but the Red Hook Community Justice Center was recently (late January) featured on a podcast by a progam called DC Public Safety.

Hearing about the program from the people that started it and have been involved for a long time is really interesting, and I definitely recommend listening to it to people who live in the neighborhood or anyone else interested in community development or criminal justice issues.

Check it out here.

Sandwich Day made easier for Manhattanites

We recently caught up to the rest of the world by watching the series 30 Rock on DVD. In the series, there's an episode in which Union members that work at the 30 Rock building bring sandwiches for everyone else from a secret Brooklyn shop for "Sandwich Day." While watching this episode a while back, we remarked that perhaps that secret shop was Defonte's, the sandwich shop on Columbia, just South of the battery tunnel entrance.

If it was Defonte's, sandwich day just recently became much easier and less secretive for Manhattanites, because Defonte's has opened a Manhattan location in Gramercy at 3rd Ave. and 21 St, about 30 blocks South of the Rock.

While i'm very excited to hear about a longtime local business expanding operations, I'll personally still opt to get my sandwich fix right here on Columbia St.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Panel discussion on raising your child bilingual

Whether you want to preserver your heritage, nurture your child’s brai, or teach your child to appreciate the world’s rich diversity of cultures, there are many reasons for kids to learn a new language.

Join other like-minded parents for a discussion with a panel of local bilingual experts and special guest Barbara Zurer Pearson, author of “Raising a Bilingual Child.”

Information, classes and practical advice about how to raise kids bilingually will be shared followed by Q&A.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Playspace @ Christ Church Cobble Hill

326 Clinton Street at corner of Kane

$10 advance registration, $15 at the door

Register online at

No childcare is available. All proceeds will be used to cover event expenses.

For more information contact Angela Long at 917-609-9899 or

Please pass on to other parents who might be interested.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Get familiar with the local waterfront - and make your voice heard

View Larger Map

As I'm sure everyone knows by now, there is a major ongoing debate among residents, businesses, and city/government entities about what should become of our neighborhood's waterfront. No matter which plan is chosen, the implications for the community will be huge - as projects of this scale undoubtedly have impacts on traffic, transportation, the local economy, recreation, culture, historic preservation, public space, environment, neighborhood character and identity, and more.

A group of local residents, calling themselves Red Hook Info, have put together the Google Map above so that people can get a better sense of the space in question, what it is used for, and what might become of it. Since the development (or not) of this space is so important, people should not only get involved in voicing their opinion on the matter, but should also be informed when doing so. This map is a great tool to do just that. Keep in mind that Pier 7 and Pier 11 are the two most important pieces to the current debate.

Red Hook Info has also put a letter together asking for a better outcome in this ongoing story, and are distributing it to local residents and businesses for signature. The letter will be sent to pretty much every public official and media outlet before the upcoming CB6 meeting regarding this topic, which is on March 16th, so the idea is to get as many signatures as possible

I'll be posting this letter here once I get clearance from them to do so. Anyone interested in reading it and/or signing it beforehand can email us and we'll put you in contact with them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Red Hook WInes to open soon

Red Hook Wines, which has been highly anticipated since being announced about a year ago, is finally almost ready to open. While we've only been able to gaze in at the barrels from outside, the Broolyn Paper was actually lucky enough to get a sneak taste last week.

This new business is part of what seems to be a movement towards Red Hook becoming a beverage production center and destination - with Six Point Craft Ales across the street (pictured below with Rocky Sullivans), the arrival of a Stumptown Coffee roasting plant and cafe, and the long discussed potential move of Brooklyn Brewery (and its infamous tastings and tours) to the area.

Wine, beer, and coffee - three of my favorite beverages. I'm getting thirsty.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hello from Deluxa!

As some of you may have noticed Go Fish on Sackett st closed in the Fall, however another vintage store, somewhat different, has opened: Deluxa.

Here is an excerpt of their press release:
Deluxa, a sweet vintage store tucked into a charming Carroll Gardens block, has just launched a new website at The site features Deluxa’s vintage fashion, furniture, and home goods, styled both editorially and in store.
Deluxa owner Kristen Stocks orchestrated the concept, look, and styling for the site, using a cast of friends to help with everything from modeling to photography to web design. Using her experiences from working at Martha Stewart and freelance styling, both the fashion and interiors shoots were produced entirely with Deluxa merchandise, demonstrating the loveliness, versatility, and uniqueness of a vintage lifestyle.
The site also features the small independent music section available in store, featuring local bands like Soundpool, Dead Leaf Echo, and Elika.
Specializing in late 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s vintage, the fashion selection includes clothing for him, her, and baby, along with accessories, shoes, and jewelry. The ever-changing furniture ranges from items like Eames chairs, Danish teak tables, Steelcase desks, and button tufted couches. Nostalgic home wares in the store incorporates items like glass Pyrex percolators to Lucite ice buckets to Fire King mixing bowls to Syrocco starburst clocks—in all providing a mini-department store of Midcentury Modern treasures.

From the website:
Deluxa opened in October of 2008, to share and promote a lifestyle of heritage, beauty, individuality, and sustainability. We love and adore things with pasts, things with life, and want to share these things with you to give them a future. We believe in our clothing, home wares, and furniture, that they will make you a more stylish, friendlier, and happier person.

We happily welcome Deluxa in our community and wish them the best!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Live Nude Girl @ Freebird tomorrow

Get your mind out of the gutter! Live Nude Girl is a book, by Kathleen Rooney, which will be the subject of a live reading at Freebird tomorrow night (2/19) along with another book, In the Devil's Territory by Kyle Minor, as part of the Live Nude Girl in the Devil's Territory Tour.

The reading will be given by Rebecca Barry - who's blog has more information on the event. The event starts at 7:30. Freebird is located at 123 Columbia Street.

Freebird's Post-Apocalyptic Book Club on AMC

The AMC Network recently featured Freebird Books, owner Peter Miller, and members of the store's Post-Apocalyptic book club in a feature about upcoming movie The Road, based on the book by Cormac McCarthy.

Check out the video above for great local shots as well as expert post-apocalyptic analysis. And if the video isn't enough for you, head on over to the store at 123 Columbia St.

Taste of Red Hook: Eat local and support the Red Hook Initiative

Gothamist called Van Brunt St. a potential new "Restaurant Row" this week, with 5 new restaurants scheduled to open soon - but don't wait for the new restaurants to go out and get a taste of Red Hook! Over the next month, there is a great program that offers you the chance to check out the great local restaurants that already exist while helping the Red Hook Initiative raise money for its building campaign:

As of February 17, 2009, five local restaurants will take part in TASTE OF RED HOOK TUESDAYS. For the next four weeks, participating restaurants will donate 10% of their Tuesday night proceeds to the RHI building fund.
So come out to Red Hook for dinner or a drink and show your support by eating at these great restaurants on Tuesdays: 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, and 3/10. Be sure to mention that you're there as part of Taste of Red Hook Tuesdays.
For more information, call RHI: 718-858-6782.

Participating Restaurants:

The Good Fork
391 Van Brunt Street

Hope & Anchor
347 Van Brunt Street

Kevin's Restaurant*
277 Van Brunt Street
Note: Kevin's will participate on Thursdays

Rocky Sullivans
34 Van Dyke Street

Tini Wine Bar Cafe*
414 Van Brunt Street
Note: Tini will participate on Wednesdays

Diving in Red Hook

I know absolutely nothing about diving, but I love the fact that there's actually a diving scene in our area. On 2/24/09, head to the Red Hook branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to learn all about it:


DEMONSTRATION of The Urban Divers human undersea exploration technology and equipment used in exploring the abyss on NY Harbor's urban estuary. UDEC, a not for profit environmental & cultural organization facilitates various conservation research projects along NY Harbor including an Oyster Reef Monitoring Project, Benthic Surveys of The Gowanus Canal, Newtown Creek, Harlem River, Jamaica Bay, Hudson River, and Long Island Sound. UDEC operates a unique urban nature center and micro-maritime museum on the Harlem River upstream, and marine station downstream in the south brooklyn harbor area. Presentation follows with a Q/A with Staff of The Urban Divers.

PRESENTATION & DISCUSSION about educational, and career opportunities in the Maritime Industry. College, Internships, and Career opportunity pamphlets will be available for parents and HS School students to take home.

* The Urban Divers" original Underwater Video Documentary "CREATURES & FEATURES of NY HARBOR ESTUARY
* The award winning video documentary "COMING CLEAN... RECLAIMING THE GOWANUS CANAL "
* And the Short Video Documentary- The AMAZING ADVENTURE of CAPT. BILL PINKNEY -Capt Bill Pinkney of one of 7 americans and the only African-American that successfully sailed solo to circumnavigate the Globe via the longest route of the cape. Get on board the vessel "Commitment" with Capt Bill Pinkney and experience this historic journey of perseverance, challenge and commitment. Video documents his day to day experience o this fantastic journey and his interaction with students from around the world via satellite. A spectacular and must see video.

AT BROOKLYN LIBRARY- RED HOOK BRANCH- TUES FEB 24th 3:30-5pm, & 5:30pm-7:30pm . Library is located at 7 WOLCOTT Street, Brooklyn: F or G to Smith & 9th St. station, transfer to B77 bus to Wolcott at Dwight St or the B61 to Van Brunt at Wolcott, walk two blocks East to library.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Last Week at Lenell's

On February 20th, from Noon-Nine, Lenell's will be hosting a goodbye party for its last day of business at the current location, featuring a big bowl of punch. Head on over and wish her luck in her travels and in finding a new space for her store.

Also, in the meantime, check out a good interview with her at the NY Drinks Examiner that breaks down the details of what happened and more.

Suburban Red Hook (and its not the one upstate)

The site of the old Revere Sugar Refinery, pictured above, has been rumored for months now to be the site of a future mall, including a large BJ's store. Well, just when some people thought that the rumor was dying down and that it wouldn't be happening after all, Curbed got a hold of some of the plans and posted them online this week. Head over to their site to view them.

While the suburbanization (big boxization?) of Red Hook and its waterfront isn't ideal in many ways, there are actually some redeeming elements to the plans including "artfully stacked shipping containers.....[that] will serve as public space for enjoying the waterfront views... 75,000 square feet of esplanade along the waterfront.....a green roof..... and public space."

Much of the remaining structure appears as if it is also being incorporated into the plans, which is also a good thing.

All of that being said, its still a mall.

A Family Affair recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to A Family Affair @ Botanica on Valentine's day. It was a good crowd, and everyone there seemed to enjoy themselves, including us! We'll definitely be doing events like this again sometime soon - most likely over the next couple of months. If you went and have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.

Below are a couple of pictures from the event. Unfortunately, pictures in the movie room didn't turn out due to lighting issues.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Family Affair @ Brooklyn Botanica (2/14/09)

Brooklyn Botanica and The Word on Columbia St. Present......

A Family Affair

A Valentine's Day event for the whole family

3-7 pm
all ages welcome

Free entry!

Location: 220 Conover St. (cross st. Coffey) in Red Hook, BK

- Kid friendly movies projected onto a large wall
- Fresh squeezed juices, hot cocoa, and snacks for kids
- Handmade cocktails and unique beer selection for adults
- Games and other activities

(and it ends just in time for you to drop off the kids with the babysitter and go out elsewhere, if you so choose!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Farm to Cafeteria: A Red Hook Lunch

The above video entitled "Farm to Cafeteria: A Red Hook Lunch," made by Kimberly Vargas, a former Added Value Youth Participant, has made it to the finalist stage of a video contest called "Real Food is Youtube."

Head over to the contest page and vote for Kimberly's video so that she can win! The
winner will receive $1,000 for their cafeteria food project, and one representative from the winning video entry and a select chaperone win an all expense paid trip (registration, travel, and lodging) to the 4th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Portland, Oregon March 19-21st, 2009.

This video not only highlights the great importance of the work done by Added Value and the Red Hook Community Farm, but also provides some insight into possibilities for school cafeteria food to be healthy, local, and tasty!

Learn more about Added Value here.
Learn more about the contest and its sponsor, The National Farm to School Network, here

Drama over Obama beer in Red Hook

Local food and beverage producers be warned - don't name your product after politicians. Local brewery Sixpoint Ale has had some major drama over their specialty brew "Hop Obama" in recent months, ending in a Federal raid. Shane Welch sent out the following message on Facebook today to explain:

People have been asking, so here is the deal:

Sixpoint was raided by the Feds and they put the kabosh on our Hop Obama. Naturally, I was infuriated by the censorship so I decided to do what I've done from the start - turn it into a story and allow the company to serve as a platform for delivering the story. However, this was quickly squashed by the Feds as well. Apparently, they did not want us making the beer NOR did they want me to create a story out of it.

Then, the plot thickens....The Department of Homeland Security gets involved. We recently received an official cease and desist letter from them claiming we must take immediate acts to shut down and exterminate our production, dissemination, and distribution of this brand or the Federal government will enact punitive fines and/or seize control of our brewery.

Don't worry though, the Hop Obama will live on, and be stronger than it ever was. We have a plan.... Kind of like Obi-wan Kenobi when he was struck down by Vader and came back as the guiding voice for Luke Skywalker. There will be a new reincarnation of the beer, along with many others.

Speaking of many others...the largest assembly of Sixpoint beers to date will be at Barcade this Tuesday, Feb 17th - I sent out an invite a few minutes ago, you most definitely don't want to miss this one if you're around...


Shane C. Welch

The Brooklyn Paper also publsihed a story on the matter here.

Update on Waterfront plans

Some things have been happening in the ongoing waterfront saga this week. For one, the NYTimes published an article on 2/10/09 stating that:

One of the city’s largest beer distributors has reached a tentative agreement to move to two piers on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the distributor, stevedores and government officials hope to revive and expand once-bustling cargo operations.

Phoenix Beverages, which distributes Heineken, Guinness, Brooklyn Beer, Smirnoff Ice and other brands, plans to move its operations from Long Island City, Queens, and Elizabeth, N.J., to Pier 7, at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, and nearby Pier 11 at Atlantic Basin, which the city leases from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The company said it expected to unload about 20,000 containers a year from freighters.

Read the rest of the article here.

Also, one day before that, the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association released a letter to the EDC stating their opinions about the process that has lead to all of this. Read that here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Red Hook's Tini to move out!!

Yes, Anonymous, the rent WAS going to be raised at tini upon extension of the lease. You're probably going to deny that an extortion fee, I mean key money fee of $18,000 was also not demanded before any new negotiation of a continuation of lease would even be considered. You need to identify yourself if you're going to tell a lie. Would you like to see some documentation on the subject genius?
owner of Tini

We have just heard that Tini will be leaving their current location!
After Lenell's, yet another example of a landlord, or in this case the sub-landlord, outrageously raising the rent.
Thankfully they will not be gone for good. Tini will be moving up the block to Pioneer street (to their catering space), leaving the Good Fork to stand alone on Van Brunt between Beard and Coffey streets

But one may wonder what landlords are expecting out of this. By pushing out these businesses, are they really expecting others to open up in such times?

On Columbia street, Vayu Yoga was driven out by rising rents as well. This happened late last Spring. The space has been empty since then. Was losing almost a year of rent what the landlord had in mind?

Monday, February 9, 2009

CB6 Meeting on Wednesday, 2/11



TIME: 6:30 PM


See full agenda here.

Red Hook Ramblers and more @ Jalopy this week

While all of Jalopy's events look fun and interesting, i'm personally most interested to check out the show on 2/15 featuring the Red Hook Ramblers - who i've been reading and hearing about, but have not yet had the chance to see live! Check out the links of various groups below to hear samples of their music, and check out Jalopy's full calendar here.

Wednesday, February 11th @ 9pm $FREE$


A night of old time blues and folk. Hosted by Feral Foster

Thursday, February 12thth @ 9pm $5

Susan Hwang

Craig Chesler

Sweet Soubrette and the Regrets

Friday, February 13th 9pm $10

Two Man Gentlemen Band

Curtis eller

The Hunts

Saturday, February 14th @ 9pm $10

Sugar Shack Burlesque
Cabaret Set by

Lex Grey and Albert Garzon

Sunday, February 15th @ 8pm $10

The Mad jazz hatters

Red Hook Ramblers


Sunday, February 15th @ 2pm $20

Introduction to Music Theory

Taught by Doug Skinner

Moonshine and Tini featured on NY1 Zagat segment

Local bars Moonshine and Tini were featured on a NY1 segment about Zagat rated nighlife in Brooklyn today (called "Red Hook Hot Spots"). Unfortunately, the video doesn't have code for embedding, so people will have to go over to the NY1 website to check it out if they're interested......

See the video and related article here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Red Hook tv night pt. 2

Tomorrow night is another chance to see Red Hook on Tv. This time, it will be the featured neighborhood onBrooklyn Independent Television's "Neighborhood Beat" series (shown on BCAT). Here is a description of what will be featured from their website:

Neighborhood Beat: Red Hook
Monday, February 9 at 12:30pm & 8:30pm

On this phenomenal Red Hook episode, we examine even more of what this

cutting edge community has to offer. We explore the neighborhood’s

maritime heritage with Portside, headquartered aboard the Mary Whalen;

pick up some fierce finds at the Brooklyn Collective; take a historic walking t

our with guide Gideon Levy; and finally, turn up the heat with some glass

blowing at Pier Glass.

Here's how to watch:

You can watch a block of Brooklyn Independent Television productions on the BCAT Television Network every weekday beginning at 12pm and 8pm on Brooklyn’s Time Warner Cable channel 56, Cablevision channel 69, RCN channel 84, Verizon 44 and streaming live online at (channel 3).

Previous episodes of Neighborhood Beat in Red Hook can be found here

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Curbed: "We are pretty sure its sand"

EDIT (2/6/09): Curbed commented on their post on 2/4 saying "Salt it is. We stand corrected!" We also received the following picture today showing that they are starting to cover it up (but not completely?):

Finally, more info can be found on the COWNA blog here.

Original post below:

According to Curbed, the pile of mysterious material on the piers is most likely sand.

A reader of theirs submitted the following photo:

Here is there response to a reader emailed question:
Reader email number two included the beautiful photograph above, and this note: "Just wondering if you know what's up with all the sand being dumped on the Pier in Cobble Hill/Red Hook/Columbia St neighborhood? Its been non-stop for days." A set of follow-up exchanges with our tipster produced this:

"We are pretty sure its sand.... loads and loads of it. I believe they need to cover road salt... I could be wrong because that was our first thought but after watching it for a few days, we are pretty sure its sand and the trucks are now driving on top of it as you can see from the picture. It appears they intend to fill the concrete block perimeter you can see on the pic, that is ALOT of sand. I can't quite figure out where the sand is coming from. At first I thought it was from one of the ships, but I have since abandoned that thought. We thought maybe you would know."

To its credit, Columbia Street neighborhood blog The Word on Columbia Street has been tracking this story for several days now, and though they haven't yet tracked down the cause of this menace, it's agreed on this point: that's a big-ass pile of sand.
Full post here

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The pile keeps growing

More pictures came in of the salt pile on the Pier:

It literally grows overnight

More on the Piers and the Port Authority

Dennis Holt of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle sets a lot of the container port story straight, in an article published yesterday:

What Ward said that was not news but stirred the juices of some was when he asked the rhetorical question about the Brooklyn container port, “Is there we want our last working container port?” Of course it isn’t. Both the city and the Port Authority want it relocated to somewhere in Sunset Park. Its current location is a money loser, and it can never be profitable simply because it is too small and can never get bigger. So many other uses can be made of the four piers involved.

The emotional desire for some to hold on to the Columbia Street piers to keep the old days around is charming but impractical. A working Brooklyn waterfront does not mean the work has to be unloading cargo.

That kind of working waterfront should be located where the work makes sense as well as money. And when you’re talking about a an honest-to-God container port in Sunset Park, you have to also talk about an honest-to-God rail freight tunnel from New Jersey or Staten Island.

That it is simple to make sweeping conclusions about what should be done on parts of our waterfront underlies how tediously complex the planning process is.

The city, five years or so ago, was exactly right in its general conclusions about Piers 7 to 12. The facts that the city didn’t have enough pieces in hand — only the cruise line terminal; completely misunderstood the emotional sentiments associated with that space; and totally miscalculated the political prowess of the stevedores and the political help the union could call on, is why the issue is still undecided.

Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

New music video shot on Columbia St.

Something about our neighborhood must be appealing to people making music videos. First there was Cop Bar, and now there is this new one called "The Coolest Girl in Town" by the Señors of Marseille:

It has shots of Columbia Foods, Red Apple, the B61, and some other random Columbia St. shots. It also has footage taken at Brooklyn Social on Smith St.

Good video - keep 'em coming!

Worrisome pile of unidentified compound grows near Columbia St.

A neighborhood resident submitted this picture and the following description to us via Facebook:

I took this photo Sunday morning. Since Saturday evening, working 24/7, large dumptrucks have been hauling thousands of tons of road salt or some kind of road de-icing compound to the upland area from pier 9A, at the foot of Kane St.

The pile is already about 30 feet high and looks like it will cover about 2-3 acres. It seems very unlikely that the pile will be covered and will probably be there even after the winter is over.

As you can imagine, in heavy rains some of the compound is bound to runoff onto Columbia St. and damage or kill the newly planted trees there. Additionally, in high winds, you can imagine the damage that the windborn salt particles will do to trees, cars, buildings and people in the neighborhood.

This is worrisome indeed. Anyone have any more info about this?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Crowds come out for the Un-Superbowl!

We wish we knew about this in advance, but the crowds were big enough anyway at Tini today for their Un-Superbowl party featuring chick flicks all day....

People were waiting in line outside to get in. Luckily it was such a beautiful day out! (There actually seemed to be a lot of people all over Red Hook today, strolling around and taking advantage of the nice weather.)

Lenell's, Annabelle's, and more

Walking past Lenell's today, it looks like the final date is set for 2/21. She is actively looking for a new home.

According to other sites this week, it looks like Annabelle's/La Bouilllabaisse may also be closing - or at least having a change in management. We never got a chance to try it, but are really surprised that this is happening so soon as its only been open since this summer. Read about it (and more on Lenell's) on Gowanus Lounge here.

As for some good news - there are whispers about it being Six Points 4th anniversary this year, with a special brew to honor the occassion. According to a blog called Down by the Hipster:
They are rolling out a special 4th Anniversary Dubbel Trubbel, a Belgian Chocolate Dubbel featuring chocolate nibs from the Mast Bros. out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to the Pointers, "it's 9.6% ABV with hints of banana and lots of chocolate."

After everything thats happened, now the container port might move???

This past Tuesday, Brooklyn's Chamber of Commerce and Sovereign Bank sponsored an Economic Outlook Breakfast featuring a number of speakers, including Chris Ward, Executive Director of the Port Authority, who in his speech talked about the idea of moving our local container port entirely to Sunset Park near 39th Street.

Among his reasons for this were the Brooklyn Bridge Park development, the need for the Brooklyn waterfront to be integrated with planning for Governor's Island, the changing face of Red Hook, the larger industrial buffer of Sunset Park (as opposed to the residential area near the local site here), and the Cruise Ship Terminal.

While all of this makes sense in many ways, what doesn't make sense is that this announcement comes less than a year after the Port Authority signed a 10 year lease with American Stevedoring, the company that operates the container port.

Back to the drawing board? Does this mean that the EDC should wait to ink its deal with Phoenix Beverages for Pier 11, if Pier 7 may be back up for grabs? The fate of our waterfront has so many ups and downs....

Stay tuned for this ongoing saga and check out more details from Chris Ward's speech and the other speakers of the breakfast at Brooklyn Paper and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Speaking of the Port Authority, they also made news this week with plans of making the Cruise Ship Terminal more environmentally friendly by trying to find a way for cruise ships to get electricity from the land grid while parked at the terminal, rather than idling with their less efficient and much dirtier diesel generators. Read more about that here.

Metal and Thread on Van Brunt St.

We had the pleasure of visiting local shop Metal and Thread today at 398 Van Brunt St., chatting with the owners, and looking at the great selection of hand-made art, jewelry, and more.

The shop opened in March of 2008 and features items made entirely by local artists, most of whom live in Red Hook. The owners, Denise and Derek, focus primarily on items made of, you guessed it, metal and thread, such as quilts, jewelry, sculptures, mobiles, dolls, furniture, and wall hangings. The work of the other featured artists ranges in style, and they are always looking for new artists to feature, as long as what they do is handmade and local.

Prior to their move to Red Hook, Denise and Derek lived in the Lower East Side, but love their newfound home due to its quieter neighborhood feel and the fact that its close to the water. When asked what some of their favorite neighborhood hangouts were, they said Tini and Red's Produce. Some people may recognize Denise's hand themed pieces from shows she's had outside of the store at places like Margaret Palca Bakes or Hope & Anchor.

If you haven't ever been to the store, be sure to stop by. You can also see items they have for sale at Etsy or look at their website here.

Valentine's Day at Korhogo 126

On Saturday, February 14th, Korhogo 126 is offering a $45 Prix Fixe for four courses including a sparkling wine toast. Early Seating @7PM Late Seating @ 9:30PM. Reserve on or at or call at 718-855-4405.

Here is a sneak peek at the menu:


Accra of cod fish, baby arugula salad in a cumin carrot sauce

Rock Shrimp and Crabmeat salad served with tropical fruits, grated coconut and cashew nut

Korhogo Red and Yellow Endive salad with Anjou Pear in a truffle oil scented honey mustard dressing


Green Asparagus and Parsnip soup with crispy fried wild mushroom in a roasted red beet oil

Shrimp Bisque with fine brunoise of winter vegetables

Main Courses

Potato Encrusted wild Striped Bass served with multi-color of zucchini, carrot, yellow squash, sautéed spinach in a red pepper sauce

Rack of Lamb, au jus served with chick pea potato purée, medley of vegetables and roasting Jus

Bouillabaisse, with saffron sun dried fish stock, scallop, mussels, clams, tilapia and pistachio rouille

Vegetarian option available


Warm molten Chocolate Cake, vanilla Ice cream

Salad of Marjoram infused strawberries, saffron goat cheese cream

Happy Valentine!

Red Hook Playgroup Open House

The Red Hook Playgroup is hosting an open house to all parents interested in applying to the 2009-2010 school year.

The open house is Thursday, February 5, 2009 6:30-8:00. Please feel free to drop in, speak with the teachers, and learn more about the program.

The Red Hook Playgroup is located at 183 Richards Street, on the corner of Dikeman in Red Hook Brooklyn. We offer full day programming M-F 8:30-4:00 to children aged 2.5 to 5; 3, 4, and 5 day a week schedules are available. Please visit for more information or call Emily, the head teacher, at 718-797-4131.