Gowanus and Red Hook is in Brooklyn. In addition to Gowanus and Red Hook, this travel guide also covers Carroll Gardens.
- Red Hook is a formerly-bustling industrial area which is on the upswing. Although hard to access by train, it can be served by the F & G trains at Smith-9th Street or by taxi or by the B61 bus. Settled in 1636 by the Dutch, it has seen many a boom and bust is today caught between those who like it as the sleepy part of town that time forgot vs. those who seek to restore its crown as the Queen of Kings County Commerce. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, Red Hook is it. Many artists call Red Hook their home, so don't be surprised to see random sculptures, galleries, or creative gardens across from city housing or burned out buildings. It was also home to the MTV's Real World Brooklyn cast in 2007. While the property crime rate is higher than the national average, the violent crime rate is actually less than that of New York State. You have a 1 in 332 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Red Hook versus a 1 in 263 chance in New York as a whole.
- Carroll Gardens- Historians date the name to the 1960s and the real estate people like to enlarge its borders. It encompasses part of Smith St. and the nearby areas. In the 1950s and further back in time, this area was known, to the dismay of many, as Red Hook, and it still is called both Red Hook and South Brooklyn by many. Smith St. has a newly charged restaurant row, but there are still plenty of old school Italian-American gems to be found.
The F and G stop in Carroll Gardens at Smith-9th Street (The highest station in the system and an engineering marvel), Carroll Street, and Bergen Street for Carroll Gardens. The F, G, and R stop in Gowanus at 4th Avenue-9th Street. There are no subways in Red Hook, but the B77 bus goes there from Smith-9th Street.
The B57, B61, and B77 buses stop in Red Hook and Gowanus.
- 1 Gowanus Canal. The anchor of the Gowanus neighborhood is this famously polluted canal. The Carroll Street Bridge is the oldest retractable bridge in the US (and one of only four left). Recently, the canal and surrounding buildings has been considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
- 2 Kentler International Drawing Space, 353 Van Brunt St (B61/B77 buses to Van Brunt St/Dikeman St), ☏ . Th-Su noon-5PM. A small 2-room gallery divided by a bizarre door.
- 3 Statue of Liberty view. Red Hook is the only place in New York where you can get a frontal view of the Statue of Liberty from land.
- 4 Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, 290 Conover St, Pier 44 (at Reed; Subway: to Smith-9th Sts, then transfer to B77 bus to Conover St and Coffey St), ☏ . Th 4PM-8PM, Sa 1PM-5PM. Donations suggested.
- 1 IKEA, 1 Beard St, toll-free: . 10AM-9PM daily; restaurant hours 9:30AM-8:30PM daily. There is a water taxi (M-F $5, one way, Sa-Su free) from Pier 11 a few blocks north and east of the Battery in Manhattan's Financial District to the Red Hook IKEA store.
- 2 Retrofret Vintage Guitars, 233 Butler St (between Nevins and Bond Sts), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 12Noon-7PM. Retrofret Vintage Guitars shop in the Gowanus deals exclusively in vintage, antique and used musical instruments, it is reported to be the largest store of its type on the east coast. The customer base is fairly evenly divided between local/tri-state area, national and international clients. Owner and founder, Steve Uhrik, moved the business to its current location from SoHo, Manhattan in 1983.
- 1 Baked, 359 Van Brunt St (at Dikeman), ☏ . M-F 7AM-7PM, Sa-Su 8AM-7PM. A well-priced cafe and bakery. Midrange.
- 2 Home/Made, 293 Van Brunt St (between Pioneer and King), ☏ . W-Th 5PM-11PM, F 5PM-midnight, Sa 10AM-midnight, Su 10AM-11PM. A good place to go for homestyle brunch. You can even buy the decor! Midrange.
- 3 The Grocery, 288 Smith St (between Union St and Sackett St; Subway: to Carroll St), ☏ . Tu-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F 5:30PM-11PM, Sa 5PM-11PM. A tiny spot in the middle of Smith Street's restaurant row, with outstanding American food and caring service. Reservations highly recommended.
- 1 Botanica, 220 Conover St (at Coffey), ☏ . A not-too-cheap homemade liqueur and cocktail bar.
- Other Half Brewing, 195 Centre St. Small warehouse brewery in an industrial area of Carroll Gardens. Other Half has a big selection of beers on tap, 9 of which are IPAs. The taproom is small and can get pretty crowded. It has a funky vibe completed by the antelope head mounted on the wall.
Although New York is overall a safe city, Red Hook is known for having a high crime rate. In general, north of the Gowanus Expressway, in Gowanus and Carroll Gardens, is safe, while south of it, in Red Hook, is a place to be very careful, especially near the Red Hook Houses in the northeastern section of Red Hook, just south of the Gowanus Expressway.
- 1 Brooklyn Public Library (Carroll Gardens branch), 396 Clinton St (at Union; Subway: to Carroll St), ☏ . M-Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- 2 Brooklyn Public Library (Red Hook branch), 7 Wolcott St (at Dwight; Subway: to Smith-9th Sts), ☏ . M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.