Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More of Redhook

I can't seem to get Red Hook out of my mind. I didn't know until last weekend that Redhook marks the end of the Erie Canal. That families who worked the transport barges on the canal came down to Redhook to winter and put their children here in school. Then when spring came, they scooped the kids up and headed back north again.

We also learned last weekend that much of Red Hook is slated for demolition and development. The former clown who owns the educational LeHigh barge, (where he lives with his wife and two children) moored next to Fairway said that there are plans for a mall to go in between Fairway and Ikea. Apparently what had once been an historic working dry docks where battleships were still being serviced is now Ikea's parking lot.

So I keep going back to Redhook for more images and because I don't know how much longer it will be as it is now. In fact I have my own fantasies of living there, beside the water. But it seems that others do too. Some of the buildings, such as the long brick buildings on the pier, have been landmarked, but there are acres ripe for chain stores and high rises and then, as the former clown told me, the light will be blocked.

That is one of the things about Brooklyn. The low rise buildings, the light. This is the world of Elia Kazan and On the Waterfront. Soon the former clown said it will all be gone and he will be living in shadows.


  1. the light, the shadows and the former clown of Red Hook---cool!

  2. Oh Nan, thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments. Yes that poor former clown, left in the shadows...Mary