North of Red Hook proper, along the industrial piers lining Upper New York Bay, is a three-block-wide strip of multi-family houses, community gardens, galleries, and graffiti, all bathed daily in salty air and soft, flattering light. Residents of the Columbia Street Waterfront District, mainly whites and Latinos more affluent than their Red Hook neighbors, peer over industrial containers and monstrously elegant cranes at the lower Manhattan skyline and (if they're lucky) a bit of the water, too. The shoreline isn't actually accessible from any point in the neighborhood, since industrial trade and the Port Authority have complete reign. Neither is the breathtaking view actually superior to the one in Red Hook. The geographical quirks fuel residents' two major debates: their locale's name and affiliation, and the fate of the coveted, vulnerable, and... More >>>