I held Crafts and Crumbs for the second weekend in a row and it was a nice turn-out of newbies and veterans. I think I managed to only make a few crochet stitches the entire time, but it was actually good to give my crochet hooks a rest for a bit, and watch everyone else craft and teach someone how to use a sewing machine. Brenda came early bearing gifts of farmer’s market apples and apple cider. I fired up the stove and got some spiced apple cider going, and we then made an apple crisp together. I really liked incorporating baking together into the afternoon and hope that we can do more non-craft (but DIY I guess) activities like that again. Girls arrived, and it turned out that Sarah brought an apple crisp too! You can never have too much apple crisp…

As I said, I have been crocheting so much lately for orders that I literally have to pull myself away from yarn and get outside to enjoy some fall weather. Many of my bike trips are to the post office and that ride is very urban, very trafficky, and not all that fun. On Sunday, I decided that we should bike to Red Hook, a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is known for its port history and waterfront community. I had only been there once before, but I don’t think I even got off my bike that time around or took any pictures. One website describes Red Hook as where “stunning waterfront views clash with urban decay.” I like the juxtaposition of beauty and so-called “decay” though, and you can really feel the history biking up and down the streets and alleys. Because you aren’t distracted by glorious brownstones, elaborate gardens, and fancy boutiques, you notice the subtle decorations on houses, the strange architecture, a small collage nailed onto a telephone pole.

Once Ian figured out how to get around the BQE and its ramps, we were greeted by a warehouse and yard, full of barrels, cats, broken fence, and roosters. What a sight!

img_4039.jpg

The sky was doing this pretend rain clouds + sunshine thing that was almost surreal. This is along the Columbia St. Esplanade, after biking past tons of housing projects and Red Hook Ballfields.

img_4052.jpg

This is the Revere Sugar Refinery that is in the process of being torn down, supposedly to make room for the IKEA being built. (We did indeed see the blue and yellow mammoth structure going up!) It became bankrupt in 1985. Gosh I would love to roam around inside, which was often Ian’s thought-process too when we came upon some old, decrepit building. My mind started to scheme, “How safe is it in there? How would I sweet-talk my way out of getting in trouble for trespassing?”

img_4071.jpg

A setting sun and Staten Island on the left.

img_4079.jpg

Yes, those are streetcars. There is a long story about why they are there and you can read more about it here, but basically, quite recently, a guy named Bob Diamond wanted to restore streetcars and have them operate in Brooklyn again, ridding the borough of so many cars. He couldn’t get enough funding, but the streetcars (not from NYC) were restored and tracks and cables were put in. There are even paving stones from Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Station (which I’ve been to!), dating back to 1906, near these streetcars.

img_4075.jpg

img_4077.jpg

No, you can’t go inside. 🙁 I mean, you aren’t allowed to go inside.

img_4085.jpg

The building in back is now home to a Fairway, but it was originally the “Red Hook Stores,” stores meaning stor-ING things.

img_4081.jpg

img_4084.jpg