My assignment is Brooklyn. Within that assignment I have to choose 1 hood out of 3 possibles. Although I began my research mission in Sunset Park, I ended it in Red Hook. A couple of my fellow classmates scoffed when I mentioned the Hook. “It’s a dead industrial zone,” one said. “Oh, that’s where the Ikea is,” snorted another. Maybe they were both right.
My first time ever stepping foot in Red Hook took place this past Sunday. I got off the G train (I like the way that sounds…the “G” train) at Smith St. and 9th. It was raining off -and- on that day. A table was set up on the wet concrete outside the subway. Veronica, as she told me her name was, sold chopped fruit and agua de mango y de piña on a table covered with a red cloth. A man and two children, probably her family, played soccer with a plastic bottle as the G roared above. Veronica was even selling the pin wheel looking chicharron I snacked on so many times in Mexico City. Was I still in D.F.? Nah, I was in Brooklyn, baby.
Just a short 10 minute walk from the train, family day was going down at Red Hook Park. A local soccer league was kicking up dust, despite the clouds and drizzle.
Busting out my camera to snap flicks of the vatos playing futbol, I had to ignore the fact I was arousing suspicion. Who is this guy snapping fotos? I got dozens of the “who the f*** are you?” grills. But like my man Tone says about being a true reporter, sometimes you gotta be a dog.