Photo of the day: A STREETCAR NAMED FRANCET
– A trip Brooklyn go to the supermarket/grocery store is more of an unusual experience than you think! The local Fairway Supermarket chain has turned the Red Hook Brooklyn waterfront into an day-trip shopping experience. Built into an old industrial building and site, it has become a day at the beach.
On the back patio are three wonderful old trolley cars from a bygone era in New York. They were supposed to be part of a planned waterfront trolley from Red Hook to the Brooklyn Bridge that has been debated since the 1980’s. About a decade ago they were restored by trolley buff Bob Diamond, who hoped to run them on a line on Columbia Street and Furman along the waterfront for a proposed Trolley Museum and restoration project that has never happened. (He was also was the guy who found the first tunnel in NYC under Atlantic Ave.) He actually got some tracks built before the city pulled the plug. They have been left to deteriorate in back of Fairway since. Further ravaged by hurricane Sandy, their streamlined beauty remains.
As for Fairway – many were skeptical (and quite vocal) back when Fairway planned to open a store in Harlem. And then for their fourth store to be in industrial Red Hook, Brooklyn, well, people thought they were just plain nuts. But how could they resist the gorgeous waterfront with a view of the Statue of Liberty? The Red Hook location ended up being a diamond in the rough, having the advantage of space and size (the largest store at the time at 52,000 square feet), plus all of the qualities that made them a star in Manhattan – on premises-roasted coffee beans freshly ground to order, the largest artisanal cheese counter around, the best of the best deli and appetizing organic and natural foods at competitive prices, the highest quality USDA Prime Beef from their Butcher shop including our own USDA Prime dry-aged beef, the freshest seafood, the largest selection of daily-delivered produce, traditional groceries, kosher selections, and a made-from-scratch bakery. Oh, and the specialty imports – olive oils, exclusive artisanal oils and vinegars, tapenades and sauces, spreads to perfectly complement your perfect cheese, it’s the stuff you dream of. Red Hook is a one-stop-shop that holds a special place in the Fairway Market family of stores. The word ‘cavernous’ comes to mind – IT’S HUGE! !
With café seating for 50 and a waterfront view, Fairway Red Hook is a joy for people to come to shop and for lunch! Customers can set their carts aside, order a scrumptious meal, and in no time be sitting facing the Statue of Liberty having a nice chat with a friend. Surrounded by up-and-coming housing developments and an artist community, the Red Hook store has a unique opportunity to be involved with the community. They donated $30,000 to help rebuild the hurricane Sandy ravaged community. The store itself was completely wiped out inside – a total loss. But they are back stronger than ever in such a short time. Grab your flip flops, sun tan oil and go – – – to the supermarket!
THE RUM HOUSE: It’s been a long day. The train was late, Bergdorf’s was too crowded and the help was slow, the dress was no longer on sale, the family never called – perhaps it was yesterday’s argument over tea. Getting a cab was impossible. Must keep an eye on the watch, the cat at home will want dinner soon. Maybe there’s interesting mail today – maybe not. Maybe brunch with the girls tomorrow – maybe not. Here’s to the ladies who lunch. Does anyone still wear a hat? I’ll drink to that.
COFFEE SHOP STILL LIFE: Americana is the classic local coffee shop with the Coke machine, the cake tray bearing the last croissant, the classic pewter coffee shop water pitcher, the calculator to add the take-out order’s total. This little corner of Americana is the New Post Coffee Shop on Queens Blvd and 40th Street. It is comfort. Having stood still in time since the 1960’s, it is reassuring that the hectic pace of change can go away, just for that time you spend here. The classic ketchup bottle on the counter, those wonderful thick white coffee mugs, the cake trays with the plastic domes, the sizzle of the gridle, vinyl covered counter stools that twirl, laminate counters with plastic menus offering a wide variety of comfort food to make that awful boss, that annoying subway ride or that really bad day just go away.