Saturday, January 9, 2010

Red Hook

Now that I'm getting used to New York in January, today seemed quite mild, at just below freezing. So I didn't bother to wear a scarf.

We headed south, down Columbia Street, on the other side of the sunken and roaring BQE, Vince with camera and new tripod loaded, me with my little Canon in right coat pocket, as always.

On the corner of Columbia and Woodhull, we hit the motherlode: four Airstreams parked on a lot, apparently abandoned. Still equipped with gas bottles, air conditioners...We stood and stared, and dreamed. They make my heart beat faster. They're just a little smaller than our apartment; the cat would learn to like it...


At 2.30 we decided to have something to eat at The Hope and Anchor. We left, warm and fed, and walked down past Van Brunt's empty warehouses, and docks full of containers.

Close to the water, behind Fairway, the air became a little...brisk.

The splashes on the rocks were frozen.

But the air was blue and sparkly.

A part of Red Hook preserving the Red Hookness of the place.

On an empty wharf we found secret water taxi parking, accessible, and quite unattended.

While Vince took proper pictures, I made friends with a flightless goose. The wing feathers were all shredded. Then a white guy loading a van bellows at me. Hey! What are you doing???

Who, me? I reply, like a cartoon. I'm taking pictures of a goose!

Oh. Well, this is private. There's a sign round the corner. That's our pet goose. It can't fly, he says, thawing a little.

I was freezing, though, and trotted into Fairway (for the first time, only knowing the Upper West Side branch) and looked for lamb for curry for dinner. Post to follow.

Vince found me, bundled our goodies into his backpack and we rushed back out to catch a cold sunset.

The light was quite beautiful.

We turned north again, to move from the wilds of Red Hook to tame Cobble Hill.

Final stop for the photographer, a block behind our house - the six lane ( I think) BQE. It's really extraordinary that we are usually not aware of it. If a breeze blows towards us, it's a dull roar, but otherwise, not a peep.

Time? Just before 5.



  1. Those Airstreams make me think of "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."

  2. I had two family vacations in campers when I was a child. Very fond memories, but Michael refuses to even entertain the idea. I had lunch at the Hope & Anchor on Monday. I almost wept when they said they were out of the lamb burger.

  3. Ha, yes, and your neck of the woods, Dinahmow...

    Ellen - we are very in love with the idea at the moment, and are theenkeen', theenkeen'. Perhaps living in an apt. the size of a submarine helps. I can't think of better training. What were you doing in Red Hook? We didn't know about the lamb burger!

  4. Speaking of Airstreams ... our friend, Tom, who is retiring this month, bought a reconditioned Airstream in which he and his two dogs, Max and Paco, will have many adventures. Max and Paco do very well, and I'm sure Estorbo could adapt very nicely as well. Another friend and her husband take their black cad, Mickey, camping with them in the desert each winter. Mickey, from all reports, is a happy camper.


  5. What is it about those silver, streamy campers that gives us wanderlust? They are beauties...

    I thought of Priscilla, too.

  6. What kind of little Canon takes such incredible photos?

  7. I can only suppose that all those camper trailer companies in the middle of the US would see a whole new customer base if they took what's good about those ugly hulks they make and put it into a retro design airstream.

    But I do wonder if the visual style of the camper triggers nostalgia that would soon fade as you towed around? Maybe not, given all the great places you could go, like the Southwest in the winter time:)

    Hope and Anchor's burger is still my favorite burger lunch, blue cheese please, and somehow they've managed to keep it the same at the same price over 8 years of my stopping in for lunch. A great place to have a late lunch, cup of coffee and stay awhile to read.

  8. Beautiful pictures. You can feel the cold and breeze in them. There is hope for humankind when you know that some burly, manly river workers have adopted and care for a lonely, less than perfect goose.

  9. Hi Keli'i - really,? - wow. Maybe we can talk to Tom one day. The perils, do's, don't's...

    I wonder how many square feet :-))))

    Karen - they are such icons that I'm sure our imaginations kick into romantic overdrive just at the sight of their shininess...

    flwrjane - it's really very modest, blush: Canon PowerShotSD880. For the money and size (I like to be fairly unobtrusive), I like these little Canons best, and I had its previous incarnation before Estorbo retired it with a meaningful left hook.

    Yes, Frank, I was thinking about all the towing around yesterday, and all the gas...Then again, having a car separate from the 'house' is useful for exploring while the house is parked somewhere as a base. I was impressed by the prices at Hope and Anchor - deeply so.

    Hi Mountain Thyme - poor goose did look rather lonely, with no goose friends.

  10. Lovely pictures, Marie! I've had many fantasies of traveling in a trailer/customized van/small RV...but not giving up my house for one. The ex-governor of Maine bought a big RV and travelled the country in one with his whole family for a year, home schooling his kids as they went along. It was a wonderful story, great pics, etc....but an RV that size at that time cost more than my house! Even more than the price of gas, the fact that one of my cats gets desperately car sick has moved this into the "dream only" department.

  11. Paula, my brother just sent me this link: an Airstream park in Cape Town, on top of a(n) historic building.

  12. Before you borrow a truck with a hitch - I'm pretty sure those belong to Steve Tarpin - better known as Keylime Steve.

  13. Anonymous, what excellent info. Thank you. The guys at the car shop next door said they had no idea...

    I see a pie in my future. Did he ever find his dog?

  14. Just before 5?? You're lucky - in London this time of year that's the colour of the sky shortly after 4 - and earlier if it's overcast. Which it has been an awful lot lately :( Great pictures - those warehouses look so much like the ones on the London docks where I live!

  15. I was born in Red Hook in 1952. Lived at 3 adresses on Dikeman St. until 1962 the last one being 136 Dikeman St. Still dream about wanting to move back recurring dream for me . My father used to have a recurring nightmare about being chased through cellars in Brooklyn (he lived in Brooklyn from his birth also.) This was his youth in the 30's and 40's . Tough place then and he had a tough childhood.

  16. Hello, I want to leave my name .I forgot to with my comment about growing up in Red Hook from 1952 to 1962. My name was Patricia Clinton. My memories are wonderful and slightly mysterious as some childhood memories are. My father Allen Clinton would tell us about he and his friends having campfires on the docks in Red Hook(probably in the early 1940's. I loved going to the Red Hook ballprk at twilight and seeing the full moon.I loved Coffey Park and Visitation Church. My childhood was simple and spent just about exclusively on the block we lived on Dikeman St. My grandparents and my aunts and uncles ( most of them were teenagers at that time and beautiful and handsome) My brother s and i would play classical music albums in the evening after it got dark ( my mother worked evenings. sometimes my father would go around the corner to Gabe's Bar and Grill. )I want so much to see this neighborhood again someday. Recently my beautiful son Roland Salvatore was killed here in New Mexico tragically so life is very sad for me at this time. Please look at Youtube "Roland's Pictures" by 71blusky .My son , his music, his daughter A tribute to Roland .

  17. Hi Patricia - I am very, very sorry for your loss. I don't know what else to say. When I am there again I will visit 136 Dikeman Street for you.

    Sending you a big hug from Brooklyn...

    1. Thank you, Marie. I just found your comment as I found myself back at 136 Dikeman St. once again by way of the computer wanderings. Thank you so much for your kindness. It does mean a lot to me. Sincerely, Patricia Clinton ( or Patricia Salvatore, or Hollister. Haven't been married for many years, and want to take my maiden name of "Clinton" again, but I don't get much done these days). You made me feel very happy.

    2. Hi Patricia - if you click on the Find/Follow tab at the top right of my blog you will find my email address. If you send me your email I can send you some Red Hook pictures. I was there just yesterday, as we have moved nearby now. It is a 10 minute walk away. Sending you a hug from Brooklyn.

    3. Marie, thank you so very much. You have no idea how much your comment means to me; I've gradually become so unable to participate in life's everyday challenges and joys but how can I let this happen to me when I read such a caring comment as you've written. Tears are falling from my eyes as I write this. I don't navigate computers very well and get frustrated by my inability to understand even the simplest sites, like email. You're kindness in reaching out to me inspires me that I have to keep trying. Thank you so much.


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