Make the most of the best day of the week.
Mon Jun 7 2010
If you’re going to haul out to Red Hook on a Saturday, you should see everything at once. Since 2005, confectionery wizards Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have made glucose levels rise with the mere thought of their homemade pastries. We’d gladly make the hour-long trek from midtown to Baked (359 Van Brunt St at Wolcott St; 718-222-0345, bakednyc.com) just to taste the duo’s latest brainchild, the Brookie ($4). “Imagine if the brownie and cookie made sweet, sweet love,” says Poliafito. “I want to make it Brooklyn’s official cookie—I have high hopes for this little gem.” So do we, although only if a tall, cold glass of milk is involved.
Ride that sugar high over to The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge (290 Conover St at Pier 44; 718-624-4719, waterfrontmuseum.org; by donation), which is open for public perusal only on Thursdays (4--8pm) and weekends (Sat 1--5pm, special events Sundays in June). Seize this opportunity to view George Rhoads’s interactive gravity-induced ball machine sculpture, which whirls and plays music, and Rich Samuelson’s encaustic paintings of tugboats and waterfront scenes (on view through October 28).
It’s practically mandatory that you stop by Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies (204 Van Dyke St at Pier 41; 718-858-5333, stevesauthentic.com) for a frozen chocolate-dipped key lime pie Swingle ($5), otherwise known as heaven on a stick. The bright acidity from the freshly squeezed juice is addictive, so you might want to buy a mini pie ($4)—or ten—to cart home.
Owner Russell Whitmore carefully handpicks and restores all of the 19th- and early-20th-century jewelry sold at Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St; 718-554-6147, eriebasin.com), where the trinkets are given the same glass-case treatment as ancient decorative pieces at the Met. Try on Victorian cameo rings ($150--$350), followed by more indulgent items, like a 1960s platinum diamond band ($650).
While most day-trippers are spending their hard-earned cash over at Red Hook’s Goliath, Ikea, you can support local, emerging talent at Brooklyn Collective (198 Columbia St between DeGraw and Sackett Sts, 718-596-6231). A rotating lineup of photographers, painters and designers share the rent on the cooperative boutique and keep 100 percent of the profits—with that in mind, you’ll feel none of the usual guilt purchasing Jess Yam’s coral teardrop earrings ($50) and Created by Fortune’s metal-studded headbands ($28--$30).
Anyone can have magnificent arrangements from Saipua (147 Van Dyke St between Conover and Van Brunt Sts; 718-624-2929, saipua.com) sent to their door—for a price (starting at $150). But head straight to this family-owned floral shop, and those same seasonal buds will cost you from $20 for a bouquet and just $1.50 to $9 per stem. In June, choose from garden roses and peonies that kick the ass of wilting bodega flowers any day. Denise Carbonell’s boutique of items, mostly handmade by local residents, encapsulates Red Hook’s artisan spirit and industrial vibe—stepping into the rustic Metal and Thread (398 Van Brunt St between Coffey and Dikeman Sts; 718-414-9651, metalthread.com) makes you feel as if you’ve trespassed into someone’s private workshop. Be sure to hunt down Marsha Trattner’s forged-steel bowls ($110--$495) and Carbonell’s own chain-mail rings ($45).
The Good Fork may have put Red Hook on the culinary map, but St. John Frizell’s casual caf Fort Defiance (365 Van Brunt St at Dikeman St; 347-453-6672, fortdefiancebrooklyn.com) has ensured the neighborhood stays there. Order a muffuletta sandwich stuffed with soppressata, mortadella, and Emmentaler and provolone cheeses ($10), and wash it down with a dark and stormy (here called the Barbados Buck, $8). The bar turns out some of the borough’s best cocktails, which is all the reason you need to start boozing at lunch.
Stuffing your face with huaraches and pupusas at the ball fields in Red Hook Park (155 Bay St between Clinton and Henry Sts) has become an iconic summer experience. Now you can experience the same grub minus the lines at Red Hook Mercado (410 Van Brunt St at Coffey St, redhookmercado.com), Cesar Fuentes’s weekends-only seasonal bazaar. In addition to the traditional Latin American fare, munch on Spicy Bitches (deep-fried hot pork wieners, $6) from Grindhaus and Movie Theater cookies baked with chocolate chips, popcorn and gummy fish (three for $5) from FattyCakesNY.
Wandering around a Civil War--era warehouse would be cool enough by itself, but the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (499 Van Brunt St at Beard St; 718-596-2507, bwac.org; through Sun 13) also happens to be a 25,000-square-foot exhibition space. This is your last weekend to view more than 1,200 paintings, drawings, sculptures and mixed media by 225 local artists that make up the exhibition “Nailed,” including Janet Rothholz’s tribal masks and Faces, Ann Zuckerman’s psychedelic painting of abstract visages.
Even if you’re too wiped to take a tour of the Sixpoint Craft Ales brewery (40 Van Dyke St at Dwight St; Sat 1pm; free; e-mail email@example.com to reserve a spot), you can still get a taste of its Righteous Rye ($6) or Sweet Action ale ($5) on tap at Brooklyn Ice House (318 Van Brunt St at Pioneer St, 718-222-1865) a few blocks north. The triple threat of Big Buck Hunter, Batman pinball and a spacious outdoor patio outweighs gratis samples anyway.
Cap your day with karaoke (9pm--2am, free) hosted by drag queen Dropsy Desmond at Hope & Anchor (347 Van Brunt St at Wolcott St, 718-237-0276). Suck down a Red Hooker ($8), made with Maker’s Mark and peach puree, before you grab the mike to belt out Pat Benatar’s “Love Is a Battlefield,” or any of the other 18,000 songs on offer. We’re trapped by your love and chained to your side, Red Hook.
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Your perfect Saturday
It's the best day of the week. Here's how to make it even better.