Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - Red Hook Strong(er) In 2013

Red Hook is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that had seen better days, had seen a period of decline, and was starting on its way back up.   I had visited it a couple of times last year with friends, and found a lot to intrigue me.

Then, along came "Superstorm" Sandy last October, which hit New York City and surrounding areas full on.

If you think Red Hook was brought low by Sandy, fugetaboutit.  As I blogged about last year, neighborhoods can be "sustainable".  There is a lot of heart in this neighborhood and a lot of small businesses.  Those businesses, including one I visited in September, are struggling to recover.

Now, we are six months past Sandy.  What is Red Hook like?  There is a lot of recovery - and a lot of work still needing to be done. 

When you enter Red Hook, this is what you see-pure urban grit.

This shows some of the work that still needs to be done.  In a nearby area, I smelled a very familiar smell - flood smell.  It's a smell you don't forget, and I smelled a lot of it in my neighborhood in September of 2011 after Tropical Storm Lee.

A few blocks away, a garden center was open for business.
Beautiful plants for sale in the garden center contrasted with the gritty neighborhood surrounding it.

Nearby gardens I saw in September are gone for now, but progress in restoring them is being made.

I will leave you today with a picture of the Red Hook waterfront.

In the coming weeks in my blog- one Red Hook small business fights back, and a larger one that has been one of the driving forces in the Red Hook revitalization reopens.


  1. slowly and surely everything's similar to a place being devastated by bushfire I imagine....there is a smell, that never quite disappears, slowly things return and are rebuilt, people are resiliant

  2. I knew nothing of Redd Hook's plight. How awful. It's taken so long to recover. I bet the businesses will be even stronger when they finally reopen. It takes something like this to pull a community together.

  3. How heart-wrenching! But I have no doubt that restoration with come thanks to people with passion and love, like you.

  4. Oh how devastating.
    It is so great to hear that that there is real heart in the neighbourhood and obviously great community spirit like yourself xx


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