Sunday, 15 August 2010
After nearly a week in NYC, I was gagging for a bike day. Luckily Jenny had a bike I could borrow so I set off from where I was staying in Park Slope to an area called Red Hook, which I'd visited before and really liked. It's only a couple of miles away but it's always a bit hair-raising cycling in a different country. And you have to cross a really busy expressway and go through an industrial area to get there.
I liked how it looked, though. I had to cross the Gowanus Canal, which is apparently completely fetid; it's where mafia dudes used to dump bodies, but is now inevitably slowly becoming gentrified. Although it really is disgusting; they've just been granted Superfund status to clean it up.
The F train, which connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, runs on this really shonky looking elevated railway which had some kind of fabric stapled to it. And there was a playground underneath. Made me glad to have grown up playing in the rolling fields of Yorkshire.
Red Hook feels as though it's a million miles away from Manhattan. It's cooler as the breeze rolls in from the river and the streets are wide and airy. It's fairly industrial with lots of artists studios and little independent shops plus a huge supermarket called The Fairway. (Spent quite a lot of time browsing around in there, I love American supermarkets!)
After a week of late nights and no sleep because it was SO HOT, I happily spent most of the afternoon reading in this deserted park which overlooks the Statue of Liberty. 'Til it started raining.
I quickly stopped to take a few more pics.
Then stopped off in Baked, purveyor of fine cakes and whoopie pies, until the rain passed.
Passing the The Red Hook Lobster Pound, I was overcome with excitement. I had already ordered a lobster roll (the only thing on the menu) when I noticed the big vats the lobsters lived in. Felt extremely guilty and remembered David Foster Wallace's genius essay Consider the Lobster which, after reading, had made me vow not to eat lobster again. Felt more guilty. But decided hearty enjoyment of the roll was the only solution. It was delicious. Sorry lobster.
It was getting quite late at this point and I was thinking about the cycle back past the industrial estate and over the big road. But this bar Botanica looked so cute, I just stopped for one.
My view from the bar. So chillaxed. I felt as though I was in an Edward Hopper painting.
And then back home. It all looked even prettier at dusk.
[Photo of baked by vvvanessa]