A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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“You can’t tax your way to prosperity. You can’t bomb your way to security. And you can’t ban your way to liberty” (4/21)
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Entry from March 14, 2010
Dead Hook (Red Hook)

Red Hook was an industrial dock area of Brooklyn, but it suffered from years of disuse in the second half of the 20th century. In the 2000s, gentrification came to Red Hook in the form of a new IKEA store and improved transportation. Many thought that Red Hook would be New York’s next hot residential neighborhood.
The New York (NY) Post of August 13, 2007 put on damper on gentrification hopes when it headlined: “CALL IT ‘DEAD’ HOOK: BK’LYN NABE SLUMPS.” The nickname “Dead Hook” is sometimes used whenever a Red Hook gentrification deal sours.
Wikipedia: Red Hook, Brooklyn
Red Hook is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, USA. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 6. It is also the location where the last remaining transatlantic liner, the RMS Queen Mary 2, docks in New York City. It has also been ranked as one of New York’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
Before annexation into the 12th Ward of Brooklyn, Red Hook was a separate village. It is named for the red clay soil and the point of land projecting into the East River. The village was settled by the Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam in 1636, and named Roode Hoek. In Dutch “Hoek” means “point” or “corner” and not the English hook (i.e., not something curved or bent). Today, the area is home to about 11,000 people.
Rapeleye Street in Red Hook marks the beginnings of one of New Amsterdam’s earliest families, the Rapelje clan, descended from the first European child born in the new Dutch settlement in the New World, Sarah Rapelje. A couple of decades after the birth of his daughter Sarah, Joris Jansen Rapelje removed to Brooklyn, where he was one of the Council of twelve men, and where he was soon joined by son-in-law Hans Hansen Bergen. Rapeleye Street in Red Hook is named for Rapelje and his descendants, who lived in Brooklyn for centuries..
Red Hook is part of the area known as South Brooklyn, though it is northwest of the geographic center of the modern borough. It is a peninsula between Buttermilk Channel, Gowanus Bay and Gowanus Canal at the southern edge of Downtown Brooklyn.
New York (NY) Post
Posted: 5:00 AM, August 13, 2007
The once-hyped Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook is going through a down period this summer, with several prominent closures among the handful of restaurants, bars and stores on main drag Van Brunt Street.
New York magazine
The Embers of Gentrification
For the better part of two decades, the powerful force of affluence has swept across the city like wildfire, transforming neighborhoods in ways that have come to seem inevitable. But what happens when the fire goes out?

By Adam Sternbergh Published Nov 12, 2007
In fact, for all the heraldic attention, the neighborhood now seems to be going in reverse. The Pioneer bar has shut down. So has the bistro 360 and, just recently, the live-music venue the Hook. Buildings put on the market for $2.5 million have stayed empty and unsold. Landlords hoping to get $2,500 a month for a Van Brunt storefront—the rent that Barbara Corcoran was asking—have found no takers. In fact, Corcoran’s spot sat unrented for over two years, until a local business took the space at the cut rate of $1,800 a month. The perception of the neighborhood got bad enough that in August the Post ran a story headlined “Call It ‘Dead’ Hook.” Somehow the neighborhood went from “undiscovered paradise” to Dead Hook in just over a year.
November 13, 2007
‘Dead’ Hook: When Gentrification Doesn’t Take
New York mag has a provocative article about how Red Hook’s failed to live up to the substantial hype pegging it as Brooklyn’s next great frontier for gentrification. (Evidence of that failure, according to the article, includes the closure of the Pioneer bar, bistro 360 and the Hook, as well as the claim that real estate values appear to have peaked.)
Curbed NY
Live from Red Hook: A Short History of Degentrification
Thursday, November 15, 2007, by Robert
The chain of events that led to the dropping of the degentrification bomb on Red Hook can be traced back to the closing days of spring and early days of summer:
July 10, 2007. Red Hook resident Chris Curen posts a “quiz” on Gowanus Lounge, listing all the businesses that are failing, closing or moving.
July 21, 2007. Citing businesses like 360 that are closing or on the market, the Brooklyn Paper asks if Red Hook is “turning cold.”
August 11, 2007. The “uncertain future” of LeNell’s, a staple of Van Brunt Street gentrification, makes the Times. The paper asks if Red Hook is slumping.
August 13, 2007. The New York Post reviews Red Hook’s “down period,” including the prominent closures of some of the restaurants, bars and stores on Van Brunt Street and the slowing of real estate sales. It famously proclaims the neighborhood “Dead Hook.”
The Real Deal
Red Hook no Dead Hook
May 28, 2008 08:21AM
As Ikea’s long-awaited June 18 opening in Red Hook nears, many expect the quiet neighborhood to change dramatically.
The Brooklyn Paper
February 22, 2010 / News / Carroll Gardens–Cobble Hill
Call it the War of the Rosé! Red Hook wine shops battle it out
By Stephen Brown
The Bottas, on the other hand, see Red Hook as a neighborhood on the rise — despite the economic downturn that put an end to the over-the-top $1-million apartment deals and also resulted in the nickname, “Dead Hook.”

“We think there is a lot of potential for the neighborhood,” said Triciann. “Every summer, there are more moving trucks — it improves by leaps and bounds.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNeighborhoods • Sunday, March 14, 2010 • Permalink

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