Red Hook feels like the edge of the world…or at least New York City. Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy, this New-England-harbor-meets-Brooklyn-industrial neighborhood is bouncing back, with reopened restaurants serving up lobster rolls and craft cocktails, and boutiques lining their shelves with locally made soaps and stationery. Hop a water taxi (the most fun way to get to Red Hook, we think), and get ready for a Saturday full of boozy brunching, poolside lounging, and lots of shopping.
Up your stationery game at Red Hook paper goods treasure trove Foxy & Winston (392 Van Brunt Street). And, while you’re there, pick up an arsenal of hostess gifts—from small-batch bath products to leather bags and scented candles.
The focus is on timeless vintage jewelry at Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt Street). Be sure to chat up owner Russell Whitmore while browsing Victorian diamond rings, Art Deco pendants, and Egyptian revival brooches—he’ll let you know if that opal bracelet you’re eyeing has a sweet story behind it.
The pull of Fort Defiance (365 Van Brunt Street) has been making Red Hook a destination since 2009. Its cocktails have been praised by both your best friend and The New York Times, and its brunch menu is the perfect complement to its drinks, with plates like huevos rancheros, Creole red beans on toast, and a sausage sandwich on a cheddar biscuit with sage gravy.
Nothing takes a Saturday from good to next-level quite like a pool. Stop by the Red Hook Recreation Area (55 Bay Street) for a quick dip, or to plop down in a deck chair with a summer read and some SPF50.
Before you leave, pick up the ultimate Red Hook souvenir— a bouquet from the flower arranging wizards at Saipua (147 Van Dyke Street). The shop also stocks a house line of beautiful, so-fresh-they-have-expiration-dates soaps.