17 April 2006

Red Hook’s Ship Comes In

I was molding a hill for cucumbers in my five-by-three pod in my community garden on Saturday when a ship horn blast cut the afternoon air. Another cargo carrier, I thought. This part of Brooklyn, so near the last container port left in the borough, hears them all the time.

I should have been more curious. It was the freakin’ Queen Mary, docking in the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook for the first time, after a 38-day tour that took it around Cape Horn.

It is ironic, is it not, that this luxurious boat should find its new home abreast of one of the most distressed, unglamorous neighborhoods in the city: Red Hook. And how strange that Red Hookers will now periodically look upon the well-off tourists as they disembark onto the hardscrabble streets of Van Brunt and Islay, land of no Starbuck’s or subway service.

And odd, too, to think that, if I chose to (fat chance, at a few thou a room), I could wake up one fine morning, grab my case and hoof it down a few blocks to the Queen Mary gangway.

Next thing you know, the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier will be publishing “Shipping News.”

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