If you have ever ventured to Red Hook, it was probably on an Ikea mission. But you might want to know that DIY Scandinavian furniture is not the neighborhood’s only high point. Steps away from chic Cobble Hill and just blocks from Park Slope, Red Hook is still positioning itself in the Brooklyn hipster microcosm. There are not a lot of bars and restaurants, but some of Red Hook’s spots are definitely worth checking out. Follow us!
First stop: Pioneer Works. Dustin Yellin’s collages and glass sculptures have made him a successful artist. At 40, he has a spacious studio in Red Hook where more than 20 employees are working for him. In 2011, he also acquired a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse which he turned into an art center. Pioneer Works is a polymorphic oddity: it is at the same time a museum, a concert venue, an artist residency, a magazine publisher, a recording studio and a playground for geeks with virtual-reality software and 3-D printing. Dustin Yellin created this space to be a utopian art center: a community space devoted to creation and representation. The building is magnificent. It has a cathedral-like exhibition space, a loft-like feeling, brick walls and visible authentic wood framework.
Every second Sunday of the month, an “open studio” is organized. All artists present their work and you’re free to stroll anywhere (yes, you can even play with the virtual reality helmet!). There is also a concert. Enjoy the music with a glass of wine while familiarizing yourself with Dustin Yellen’s universe.
But let’s continue our tour. Close to the warehouse, there is a lunch spot you shouldn’t miss called Brooklyn Crab. Built on two decks overlooking the New York Harbor, the restaurant looks like a fisherman’s house. You’ll eat amazing Maryland-style crab shacks and other East Coast regional specialties. And we promise, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
As for dessert, a stop at Steve’s key lime pie is absolutely mandatory. He’s the all-time key lime pie specialist – try the classic or the frozen option. Both insanely delicious.
A hidden artistic oasis in Brooklyn’s not most popular neighborhood, a crab feast and NY’s best key lime pies? Told you Red Hook’s gentrification is underway!
159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn
“Second Sundays”, open studio & concert every second Sunday of the month
24 Reed Street, Brooklyn
Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
185 Van Dyke Street, Brooklyn