So where was I?
So I let the blog go for awhile... and not just because it was too much time. As of late Red Hook as a place has had me at about at wits end. I still like it here and I still find it to be a great and interesting place, but I don't think it wears the winter well. Through January, February and March it seemed that the streets got dirtier and dirtier. The whole place just seemed to get grim and grimy. Let's put it this way, during the course of the winter I found three dead animals in the streets. Okay, actually four. That's pretty grim.
And I think that is probably the reason I'm more in favor of Ikea and the Imlay Street projects, than not. Its a simple matter of hoping that if Ikea comes, there may be more traffic, but maybe there won't be the big piles of trash on Beard St. that are there now. Sure, the derelict buildings might make a poignant photo that captures the tragedy and desolation of urban life, but ya know what? I'm not that keen in living in a set piece for tragedy and desolation. At let's be honest, you know why they found asbestos on the Ikea site? Because the whole freakin' place is tainted by industrial waste. Its great history to know that they built many of the landing crafts from the Normandy invasion in Red Hook, but all that shipbuilding leaves some pretty rough stuff - the dirty underbelly of industrial history. Ya know where you can find the most comprehensive history of the Todd Shipyards Brooklyn operations on-line? At the website for some law firm that specializes in Mesothelioma cases. The site has been poisoned for years. Good luck to Ikea if they want to clean it up.
Regardless, though, I'm here in Red Hook for a while. I do like the place. But I also want to see it get better. And by better, I mean that I want to see it become a better place to live. Yeah, I know... "What about the working waterfront?!?" I've got nothing against the working waterfront, so long as that doesn't mean garbage on the streets, and derelict buildings.