We are taking a break from marketing communication topics this month to celebrate some hidden corners of Brooklyn, our home borough. These sites are best enjoyed by bicycle.
The Carroll Street Bridge
This is one of our favorite spots. Built in 1889, the bridge spans the Gowanus Canal, a peaceful although polluted remnant of industrial Brooklyn. It looks like a miniature suspension bridge, but like all Gowanus Canal bridges it is a drawbridge. It actually retracts diagonally along the shore on railroad tracks with a smooth undulating motion. It has an intimate feel, with a view of another bridge, some primeval looking shoreline, and a compound featuring large cylindrical storage tanks converted to dwellings with boats anchored on the banks. The bridge is located near Retrofret, one of the best vintage guitar dealers in NYC.
The bridge is close to the Carroll Street F train stop. Look for Carroll Street and head downhill — if you run into Court Street you are going the wrong way.
Beard Street Warehouses
Now that the Red Hook Fairway Market has opened, more people are finding out about this interesting corner of Brooklyn. Red Hook is an area across the Gowanus Expressway from Cobble Hill, an old brownstone neighborhood south of Atlantic Avenue.
The Beard Street warehouses are Civil War-era — they jut far into New York harbor. There is a promenade along the seaward side, with amazing sea level views of the statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and New Jersey. We were visiting recently and saw a storm raining down lightning bolts on the cargo cranes in Bayonne. The Fairway market nearby has an outdoor cafe on the water. There are beautiful water views all over Red Hook.
The warehouses are at the end of Van Brunt Street. By bike, start at the Union Street F station, head past Court Street towards the expressway. Cross the expressway on the Sackett Street Bridge; make a left on Columbia Street and eventually take a right on Summit Street. Left on Van Brunt St and ride to the end. The 61 and 77 buses go there as well.
FACT OF THE MONTH
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City hung a painting by Matisse, Le Bateau, upside-down for 47 days before an art student noticed the error.