Saturday, April 10, 2010

Red Hook and pizza

Karen is staying with us this weekend, but she met up with her friends, so P and I headed out with our bikes and explored nearby Red Hook...

It's still a bit gritty, but Van Brunt Street shows signs of an emerging little community- young trees line the sidewalk, and cafes, shops, and bars cater to the diverse group of locals. The scale of the free standing homes is much smaller and "lighter" than other parts of Brooklyn- mostly 2 story wood frame and brick buildings, which contrasted with the towering brick projects several blocks away. Beautiful historic concrete and brick warehouses and giant steel cranes sit along the industrial waterfront, which used to be a major shipyard.

IKEA plaza was clean and shiny, its bright blue and yellow facade and massive parking lot a symbol of the changing neighborhood. We rode our bikes along the pristine, landscaped waterfront bike path, lined with streamlined galvanized benches and nautical remnants of its shipping history.

Maritime features (oooh! shipshape!) are everywhere in the neighbor- hood, from the names of shops and bars, to architec- tural and decorative elements of buildings, to the salvaged nautical features (bollards, ropes, winches, etc.) incorporated into the design of the brand new waterfront esplanade.

We poked around the shops on Van Brunt Street, drooled over all the plants at Chelsea Garden Center, filled up my bike basket with produce from Fairway Market, stopped at the Red Hook Lobster Pound for some lobster and shrimp rolls, and finally made it back home in time to do a little bit of plant tending and take a quick nap.

A few hours later, we were a bit peckish, and Paul suggested that we go down to Lucali's for pizza. I have never attempted to go on a Saturday night, but it was still *early* so we walked down there to find out the wait was like an hour. We walked around Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens for awhile, admiring the spring blossoms and beautiful brownstones, picked up some cookies to try to prevent my low-blood-sugar-irritability (didn't work), and sat impatiently on their outdoor benches.

The wait ended up being about 2 hours (argh!!) and we got shuffled around a bit when we were inside, but finally we were able to give our order and waited patiently for our perfectly-baked-pie-of-heaven to emerge. Mark, the owner, rolls out the dough for each pizza as the orders come in, on his candlelit marble countertop. Turns out the wait was exceptionally long that night because there were some unexpected special guests that threw everyone off- Gwyneth, Chris, Beyonce, and Jay-Z walked in about 10 minutes after we were seated and sat right next to us!

Just another day in the life...

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