11am I took FDR South toward the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (aka Brooklyn Battery Tunnel) and then took the Hamilton Street exit and a right onto Clinton Street. I followed signs for Ikea Home Furnishings on Halleck Street in Red Hook (40 minutes by car).
First thing you notice are vintage 1970’s public housing residential buildings to your right, 1930’s industrial buildings to your left and a gasoline terminal at the end of the road. As you get closer to Ikea, at the corner of Columbia and Bay Streets you will notice the newly constructed Basis Independent School (I assume it’s a charter school).
This unique building is clearly a post-Sandy-Storm construction: ground floor is a fenced car and bicycle parking lot; the second floor contains an outdoor fenced playground and partially covered areas. I can imagine all mechanical and other storm-sensitive infrastructure is housed in this level or above it.
Around the corner you will find Van Brunt Stillhouse Brewery, which produces small batch whiskeys and has a tasting room. I did not partake since I was driving. 😦
From there I drove down Dikerman Street and passed by a construction site of a 3 story building. While the house had no laborers and I couldn’t go inside, I can see how this could have been built out of containers and plopped in place. Exterior finishes make it look like a stick-built home.
I then drove by Supersmith, a shared workspace where artists create art pieces out of wood, metal, jean fabrics and much more and they have a store in the front that sell the artist work. I then walked a few blocks toward Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies (no, I did not partake!). The vibe in this area is cool: graffiti (corner of Van Dycke and Ferris Streets), a motorcycle shop, an old red-brick building and more. Make sure you visit the Liberty Warehouse next door with its collection of artist and one of the most incredible views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey!
I saw many 1950-70’s car, 3 trailers (all in great shape); decent graffiti walls; and a museum boat (the guy lives in it year round).
The latter one looks like a boat with an offboard engine!
By now I’m getting hungry and started looking for a place to eat: Fort Defiance, Good Fork, Hometown Barbecue all looked wonderful but I was looking for something a bit lighter so I settled for Brooklyn Crab. This 3-story restaurant has a deck on the 2nd floor overlooking Fairways Market and has decent water views. It is a perfect place to eat crabs with a pint on a gorgeous day like that day. The food was average but the service and ambiance were amazing.
I then stopped by IKEA (what was I thinking….maybe I wasn’t thinking). The mob was in full force. Make sure you check the various window openings throughout the 2nd floor. Getting back to Manhattan took no more than 40 minutes and I was home by 4pm.