Today was a day of extremes. From a quiet sunny walk around Red Hook, to the neon lights of Broadway.

Red Hook artist community

Red Hook has a reputation for being dangerous. There seems to be a section of the suburb that has high-rise 'commission' housing which might be, in part, responsible for this idea. Most of Red Hook isn't based around this commission housing. It's a port and shipping area, without any subway connections to the rest of Brooklyn and the cities of New York. The place is a haven for artists and creative types - which makes it strange and lovely, and a possibly a hidden gem.

Kiki took me on a walking tour of the area which included Steve's Keylime Pie shop, the piers and the park outside IKEA. The only IKEA store in New York, it is serviced by a water taxi that shuttles between Red Hook and Manhatten for those who require Swedish flat-pack furniture - which is no small number, by all accounts.

The cafes, restaurants and bars of Red Hook are friendly and off-beat, and quite excellent. There are community gardens and shared spaces - and while it doesn't feel at all like a sea-side town, it does feel like a close-knit neighbourhood.

From a quiet, fine day of walking around interesting streets, to one of the world's most famous: Broadway and Times Square.


We were off to the city: a dinner and a show. First eating a delicious meal at a China Town szechuan-style restaurant before making our leisurely way to the Minskoff Theatre to see The Lion King.

The show was extraordinarily good. Gorgeous costuming and wonderful voices - our front-row seats really did give great eyes and ears for both.

The Minskoff's windows look directly out at Times Square and all the neon signs and video screens. Leaving the show at after 11pm, the night was banished by the white unnatural lighting and it felt like midday rather than nearly midnight.

We weren't ready to go home yet, so we crossed the road to a very touristy Irish (cough) pub. It was lovely sitting there, supping beer and talking before grabbing a wee-small hours-taxi for home.

The evening was topped off by a rare celebrity sighting - forgive the unsteady camera - due to the New York cabbie and general excitement of seeing someone so famous: