First stop: IKEA. Upon disembarking from the ferry, you’ll find yourself practically on IKEA’s doorstep. The crowded labyrinth and unfamiliar product names may cause a few moments of panic, but are well worth it for the affordable Scandinavian-style finds you’ll bring back to campus and the Swedish meatballs.
Being off the subway grid is what gives Red Hook its charm, and what has made it a pseudo-getaway from the busy metropolis across the river. Now, thanks to IKEA’s Red Hook store, you can easily reach this bustling Brooklyn neighborhood by water taxi (free on weekends) or shuttle bus (check out IKEA’s website for more transportation information). After a commendable post-Hurricane Sandy cleanup, Red Hook has re-emerged as a dining adventurer’s haven.
Just a few blocks east of IKEA are the Red Hook Ball Fields. Catch a neighborhood game of baseball and soccer as you make your way toward the irresistible smells of the Latin American food stands on the sidewalks of Bay and Clinton streets. From handmade Salvadoran pupusas (corn cakes stuffed with cheese or meat) to plate-sized Mexican huaraches (corn tortillas topped with salsa, cilantro, chopped onions, and ground meat) and arrays of fresh fruits and juices (try the horchata, a sweet drink made from rice), the near-endless parade of authentic foods may convince you to drop your patronage of Chipotle. Come hungry, and be prepared with an arsenal of napkins.
After a quick kayaking trip, indulge your maritime fantasies in fresh seafood at Red Hook Lobster Pound, where classic Maine or Connecticut lobster rolls are served in cardboard trays practically overflowing with delicious “lobstah” and house mayo alongside mouthwatering bisques and chowders. Also look for the Pound at the Brooklyn Flea, or find them around the city in their famed food truck.
Behind Baked’s orange doors on Van Brunt Street lies a haven for the sweet-toothed. This all-American bakery is brimming with fresh, handmade goods that will make you and your taste buds giddy with excitement. Ethereal marshmallows, better-than-Grandma’s pies, and brownies that Oprah calls her favorite are among the irresistible options. You might want to bring a few items home to campus so that you don’t feel compelled to dash back to Red Hook a few hours later.
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