You may remember the ivory-colored 1910 brick house on Dikeman Street from last Nov. 30, when it was featured in the New York Times Sunday real estate section.
I know the house caught my eye, with its attractive cornice, six-over-six windows, bright red door, and under-$1 million price tag.
I was curious, so today I took a ride to Red Hook — one of my rare forays not involving Fairway or Ikea — and I was reminded, once again, that context is everything.
Right: Spiffy house in gritty Red Hook
The Times picture didn’t show the vinyl-sided house next door or the boarded-up property across the street, the one with the chain link fence. That’s Red Hook for you: gritty. But to me, there’s excitement in those downscale neighbors; they look like they’re begging to be bought and fixed up.
The immensity of New York Harbor is right at the end of the block. The streets are cobbled, the sky is open, and the air is fresh, more or less. You can walk out on Coffey Street pier halfway to Manhattan, it seems. The enormous Sunset Nursery, LeNell’s quirky ‘wine & likker’ store, and Steve’s key lime pie all beckon.
Red Hook is definitely still on the upswing. This house was not at all a bad deal, at half the price of a similar building in Boerum Hill.
Provided you’re OK with gritty, for the foreseeable future at least.
Left: Dikeman Street neighbor
Below: Pair of oldies set back on Coffey Street
Bottom: “Best block” in Red Hook (Coffey between Conover and Van Brunt)