The more I explore Brooklyn, the more I fall in love over and over again. It’s amazing how much diversity one place can hold. Bay Ridge holds a nice balance for me. It’s urban but still has a strong sense of community. It might be a bit further from the city (especially now that the R train doesn’t go into Manhattan–thanks Sandy), but self-contained, it holds almost everything I need. Good food, a tiny greenmarket, waterfront access, parks and best of all affordable living. That’s not to say I don’t explore. Park Slope holds some of the best food in the borough. Walk into almost any restaurant on 5th or 7th Avenue and you’re guaranteed a stellar meal. Head a little north and you have Prospect Park at your fingertips. To the west is Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and a diverse selection of beer, cocktails and bars. Go way north and explore a world of its own in Williamsburg. I’m not yet sure I’d be content spending the rest of my life in Bay Ridge, but if my some force of nature I was never able to leave the boundaries of Brooklyn, I’d be a pretty happy person.
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time in Red Hook. It’s become a second home. It’s hard to believe that while being a resident of Brooklyn for 6 years, just two months ago I had never stepped foot in quirky neighborhood. It’s truly a special place. On the east side of Brooklyn, it still feels like a small fishing town. Imagine a quiet harbor town in Maine, plopped down in Brooklyn. People are nice. In the morning, they search to make eye contact and reward you with a smile and good morning. Residents, business owners–everyone seems to know and look out for each other. The neighborhood is fairly isolated on the waterfront. It’s a mile walk from the F train or a looping bus ride that drives you past Ikea and Fairway. From Bay Ridge, it takes me just under an hour, about the same amount of time it would take to get to Upper Manhattan on an express train. By bike it’s less than 5 miles, but I haven’t yet explored that option. As suburban as it’s mannerisms might seem, the neighborhood is smack dab in the middle of a major truck route. The streets are generally quiet, except a few cars or tractor trailers, especially in the morning hours.
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Weekly Photo Challenge; none of the topics really spoke to me. However when Sea came up this week, I knew I needed to showcase some of Red Hook’s beauty. I thought Bay Ridge had a nice pier; it’s nothing compared to the first time I stepped out on the edge of Red Hook. Serene and beautiful, closing my eyes, I felt anywhere but Brooklyn.
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