11 July 2007

Bad News in Red Hook

This item at Gowanus Lounge is very dispiriting, in that it involves some businesses I like and patronize often, as well as many of the storefronts that have made Red Hook a nice place to visit in recent years. It's sad to think of Van Brunt without destinations like the Pioneer bar, the restaurant 360 and LeNell's fine wine and liquor shop. Remove them and the strip would feel like, well, the nasty old Van Brunt of five years ago.

So, does this mean that Fairway and Ikea are not actually part of a rising tide that raising all boats? Does it mean that the Red Hook rebirth that the real estate hawks have been droning on about for a decade never actually took hold (aside from the rising rents and property prices, I mean)? Can it be that things don't happen just because you say them over and over again?

2 comments:

j$ said...

Ikea and Fairway draw people from out of the area. But nobody's going to stop off at a bar/restaurant/liquor store after they go food or furniture shopping. Red Hook gets a lot of visitors on the weekends (seemingly all with camera in hand) but it needs more of a local population to support these types of establishments 7 days a week.

Ed said...

I went down to Red Hook a few times when it was beeing hyped, and my verdict was that though there were some nice bars and restaurants there, it was too difficult to access via public transportation to be viable as an "up and coming" neighborhood.

One summer weekend the place seemed deserted, and when I asked why, I was told that everyone who lived there owned cars, and most people liked to drive out of the city on a weekend.

Columbia Street is still a great place to watch the 4th of July fireworks.