Don't let the bleak transit situation discourage you: Red Hook, Brooklyn, is a hidden gem worth the visit. Still skeptical? Here are a few reasons (besides IKEA) to venture south of the BQE:
Eat Serving seafood sourced from the Atlantic to the Gulf of Mexico, new waterfront restaurant Brooklyn Crab boasts everything from fried Virginia oysters ($14) to 1½-pound lobsters ($29). Meanwhile, you can satisfy your sweet tooth at Cacao Prieto, a new bean-to-bar chocolate factory and distillery that serves up cacao rum and pistachio-apricot bonbons.
See Bryant Park isn?t the only place to catch a plein air film screening: Check out Red Hook Flicks? outdoor horror-movie series, which runs on Tuesdays through the end of August and features gourmet popcorn from Home/Made and stunning views off the Louis Valentino Pier. For a daytime jaunt, check out the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition?s series of free art shows. Up soon: the juried exhibition ?Color? (beginning July 28).
Explore After eating all that artisanal chocolate (not to mention Steve?s Authentic Key lime pie), work up a solid sweat by going for a free kayak trip courtesy of the Red Hook Boaters Association. Consider it a way to see the city and tone your upper body.