Red Hook Day Trip, II

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While slightly challenging to get to on the bus or train, Red Hook is full of great spots, so much so that we’ve updated our original Red Hook Day Trip post to bring you a whole new day of Brooklyn fun. We also highly suggest this trip as a bike ride, on those warm sunny days we’ve been getting from time to time lately.

10 AM: Starting on April 30, free tickets will be available for sailing trips on the Clipper City Tall Ship, a topsail schooner, on select Friday and Saturday mornings. Set sail from from Pier 11, Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. Definitely worth playing hooky on a Friday. Details here>>>

11AM: Once you’ve worked up an appetite out on the water (or biking, or simply need to soothe a hangover) head to Kevin’s (277A Van Brunt St., 718-596-8335) for Saturday or Sunday brunch (until 3pm!) for Stumptown French-pressed coffee brunch and cornflake encrusted challah French toast. The orange juice is freshly-squeezed but there’s no liquor license so BYO champagne.

Noon: Although the cruise ships don’t come into the Brooklyn terminal often, when they do, they are quite a sight to see–it looks like the ship is an installation IN the neighborhood). Check here for the 2010 cruise schedule, the Queen Mary sets sail today.

1 PM: Next, head to the Look North Inuit art gallery,  (275 Conover St., 347-721-3995) run by Jim Clark, who spent 15 years in Alaska, including time spent on king crab vessels. Don’t let the “by appointment” scare you off. Jim is very friendly in this low-pressure environment. You could also head over to Pier Glass (499 Van Brunt St., Suite 2A, 718-237-2073) where you can gaze at the museum-quality glass pieces or you can get hands-on training with a $150 “glass experience” where you will be able to blow your own glass with guidance from Kevin Kutch and Mary Buxton, the owners.

2 PM: Head to the best couple of blocks in Red Hook for boutique shopping which includes Red Lipstick (390 Van Brunt St., 347-599-1550), Tiburon (392A Van Brunt St., 718-913-4484) and Foxy & Winston (392 Van Brunt St., 718-928-4855)?. We’ve also mentioned in the past how much we love Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt St.; 718-554-6147), named after the waterway just south of the Hook; the eclectic Metal and Thread (398 Van Brunt; 718-414-9651), and precious soapmaker and florist Saipua, (147 Van Dyke St.; 718-624-2929), home of the immensely popular Little Flower School. (Their color workshop on April 28 has 7 spots still.)

3 PM:  Grab a mid-afternoon coffee and pastry at Fairway (450-480 Van Brunt Street) and sit at their tables out back with the gorgeous view of the Verrazano Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. For an icey alternative on a hot and sunny day, Uncle Louis G’s recently opened an outpost at 414 Van Brunt St.

4 PM: Cross the street to The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, (290 Conover St. at Pier 44, 718-624-4619) which has been moored here since 1994. Hours are Thursday from 4-8pm and Saturday from 1-5pm. David Sharps, the director and owner who lives on the barge, will be happy to play you a video about its history and the story of how he bought the barge for just $1.00. Or see shows aboard it, like the floating fantasia, A Thousand Thousand Slimy Things, which premieres April 23. Next to the museum is the lovely Pier 44 Waterfront Garden where you can sit for a few moments, breathing in the salt-water air and watching all the boat traffic go past.

5 PM: For more greenery, go next door to visit the tropical gardens at Liberty Sunset Garden Center, (204-207 Van Dyke St., 718 858-3400) Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday 10am-6pm. It’s also a great place to stock your fire escape garden with herbs and flowers.

6 PM: After your day-long trek you’ve probably worked up quite a thirst. Stop into Red Hook’s newest (and, currently, only) wine and spirits store, Dry Dock (424 Van Brunt Street; 718-852-3625), owned and run by Ron and Mary Kyle, for one of their 50 wines for under $12, one of their 75 different whiskies, or for their tastings Fridays 5-8, and Saturdays 4-7. Botta di Vino just opened at 357 Van Brunt Street.

7 PM: Home/made (293 Van Brunt St., 347 223-4135, same owners as Tini), has an extensive selection of wines by the glass. Sit at the tiny bar or settle into a couch with your favorite red or white.

8 PM: Dinner! Try O’Barone (360 Van Brunt Street; 347 599-2758); order the faro salad appetizer and the ravioli with asparagus sauce. If you’re lucky, you may get a complimentary taste of limoncello at the end of your meal. Or check out Fort Defiance, another relative newcomer to the neighborhood. They have oysters, great cocktails and a seasonal menu.

10 PM: Cocktail time. Make sure you stay sober enough to ride home on your bike, or at least get it up the escalator at the Smith/9th stop on the G-train.  Start the late evening pub crawl at Brooklyn Ice House (no website, 318 Van Brunt St., 718 222-1865) for 2 for $5 pulled pork sandwiches and next-door neighbor, Red Hook Bait & Tackle for cheesy-charming décor, pinball, beer and no attitude.

11 PM: Though not technically Red Hook, end your evening on the tail end of Columbia Street listening to live folk music with a small cover charge at Jalopy. While there, sign up for a class in guitar, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and ukulele ($225 for 8 weeks; $25 instrument rentals). Head next door to Moonshine (317 Columbia St., 718 852-8057) for cheap booze, Big Buck hunter, and a game of pool at this laidback dive bar with friendly barkeeps and chatty locals (don’t let the hirsute masculine clientele intimidate–they’re a bunch of sweethearts). Play the piano, play the jukebox or BYOM to cook on the back patio grill in warmer weather. Leave with a buzz, a full stomach and a few new friends.

Getting there: The Ikea Shuttle bus departs from Court St./Borough Hall and the 4th Ave./9th St. stations every half hour M-F from 3pm-7pm, and every 20 minutes on weekends from 11am-8pm. The water taxi from Manhattan’s Pier 11 leaves every 40 minutes from 12-9 on weekdays and 11am-8:40pm weekends (check schedules here>>). At the A/C/F Jay St. stop, take the B61 bus, or take the Court Express car service (718-237-8888) from the F stop at Carroll St. for $7.


Read our original post: Red Hook Day Trip, Part I.
Text and photos by Danielle Cyr, sent by Annaliese. Photos courtesy of Brooklyn Based.

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