Monday, July 13, 2009

Free Water Taxi to Red Hook and Back

Ok all you "freeloaders," it's time to take advantage of the free Ikea water taxi to Red Hook before the multinational, anti-union mega-box store goes back on their word and stops providing free water taxi service between Manhattan and Red Hook for non-Ikea shoppers.

I joy ride the Ikea water taxi all the time for the view and hope that it won't soon be a thing of the past. I mean, it's a free open-air boat ride with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, Governor's Island, the Statue of Liberty the New York Harbor and the historic loading docks of Red Hook, which are unfortunately marred by the site of the big ugly blue and yellow building that houses overpriced cheaply made Swedish crap furniture designed for people with no imagination or real sense of style.

Ikea has sworn up and down in all the media that they would be providing this service for free, regardless of whether you were a customer of Ikea or not. This wasn't just a gift to Red Hook or to New York City, Ikea offered the Red Hook water taxi service to gain community support for the unwanted box store. This was intended to mitigate traffic concerns, and provide compensation for negative effects in the neighborhood, such as destroying historic structures and ushering in a tide of gentrification and displacement.

It's offensive enough that a big box chain that engages in union busting decided to move into a working class community against their wishes, destroying historic structures that were remnants of labor's past, now there's rumors of Ikea going back on their word of providing free water taxi service to and from Red Hook. Red Hook is one of many Brooklyn neighborhoods that is severely underserved by public transportation, so why shouldn't Red Hook residents and others be able to take advantage of the free water taxi service Ikea promised, especially given the fact that it is heavily subsidized by the City. You're not freeloading when you ride it, that water taxi belongs to you.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Ikea and corporate chains like Starbucks, CVS and Duane Reede are destroying everything that is unique and special about New York City. The reason I moved to New York in the first place is because it isn't just one big cookie-cutter strip mall like nearly every other major city in the U.S. However, New York is slowly losing its individuality, its uniqueness, its soul. It's the bodegas, street carts, the parks, community gardens, the small independent businesses, the public spaces that make New York City tick. It's the vibrant, unique neighborhoods with a culture and style of their own that makes New York one of the best cities on the face of the Earth. And New Yorkers aren't going to know what they had until its gone forever and we're living in one big sterile, corporate strip mall you can see from space. One street looking nearly indistinguishable from the next.

So while you still can, hop on the water taxi from Wall Street's Pier 11 and ride it to Red Hook. Enjoy the sights. Soak it all in. Check out historic Red Hook before the yuppies devour it like locusts. Walk along what's left of the historic waterfront. Grab yourself a bagel and check out the views of the Statue of Liberty from the outdoor eating area behind the Fairway. Just be warned, on the trip back they're letting Ikea customers board first. So you may have to catch the next water taxi out if they're all full up.

1 comment:

  1. I have taken ride of water taxi but not with Ikea. I have heard lot about Ikea and their serivces. Hope for the next time when I will go to Manhattan skyline I will take advantage of their free services and will enjoy myself.

    Luton transfers