Red Hook Ruins

Tone Johansen, who runs Sunny’s Bar in Red Hook, is not only a gifted singer but an extraordinary artist. A few months back she featured her own work in an exhibition in the back room, and I was so taken with one of the pieces that I had to have it for my own.

The piece is basically a combination of drawing and collage, on a wood background, depicting scenes from Red Hook. The top left is a view of the poles and wires from her studio window and the other three panels are depictions of the now-demolished Revere Sugar Factory, seen below in photos I took last April. The silhouette of the factory on the lower right is cut out of the vinyl seat covers on the booths at Sunny’s, some of which she re-covered a few months back.

The bottom photo was taken just around the corner from Sunny’s. The Van Brunt Stores building on the right side is now Fairway, and the building in front of the factory is where the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists’ Coaltion is headquartered. As ruined and collapsing as it was, the familiar dome of the sugar factory was a neighborhood landmark and will be sorely missed.

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