" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

July 15, 2018

The Real Horror of Red Hook?

I've been reading through H.P. Lovecraft's complete works and wondering just what future horrors he could sense coming down the pike and as I read his story about New York's Red Hook district it soon became apparent from a few of the words he used in
'The Horror of Red Hook' just what he could sense coming to the area as far as monstrous buildings were concerned...IKEA.
Loving Lovecraft?
'The Horror of Red Hook' begins with Detective Malone describing an on-duty incident in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that gave him a phobia of large buildings.
Lovecraft referred to the area's immigrant population by referring to Red Hook as "a maze of hybrid squalor";-)
"Lovecraft had moved to New York to marry Sonia Greene a year earlier, in 1924; his initial infatuation with New York soon soured (an experience fictionalized in his short story "He"), in large part due to Lovecraft's xenophobic attitudes.
"Whenever we found ourselves in the racially mixed crowds which characterize New York, Howard would become livid with rage," Greene later wrote.
"He seemed almost to lose his mind.""
I could imagine Lovecraft going completely bonkers walking around inside this Swedish monstrosity in Red Hook today:-)

"Malone enters Suydam's flat-(pack?-) to see what he can find.
In the basement, he comes across a door that breaks open and sucks him inside, revealing a hellish landscape."
"Red Hook has a large IKEA store (346,000 square feet (32,100 m2)) that opened on June 18, 2008, near the Gowanus Expressway.
The building of IKEA was controversial.
Opponents cited concerns including traffic congestion, a decrease in property values and destruction of this transit-oriented neighborhood and historically significant buildings in the area.
Brooklyn artist Greg Lindquist exhibited a group of paintings in February 2008 in New York City that depicted the IKEA site in process, juxtaposing the maritime decay with the new construction."
"As part of the IKEA development, a number of Civil War era buildings were demolished and the Red Hook graving dock, a 19th-century dry dock at 40°40′19.2″N 74°0′47.5″W still in use, was filled in and leveled for use as a parking lot.
A Maritime Support Services Location Study by the New York City Economic Development Corporation found that New York City needs eight more dry docks.
According to the report, it would cost $1 billion to replace the one sold to IKEA.
No schedule for replacement was announced.
In addition, IKEA's contractor was found to be in "violation for not having filed asbestos work, failing to monitor the air, not posting warnings, failure to construct decontamination protections before disturbing the asbestos-containing materials, and doing nothing to protect and decontaminate the material, as well as the workers and building waste."
"A once-free ferry service for shoppers from Manhattan proved more popular than expected.
IKEA charges a fare for the ferry but reimburses the fare at checkout with a minimum $10 purchase to deter would-be commuters from using the ferry for non-shopping purposes.
The ferry, operated by New York Water Taxi, is still free on weekends. 

"After Suydam's wedding, he and his bride leave on a ship.
Aboard, a scream is heard and, when the crew enter Suydam's stateroom, they find him and his wife dead, with claw-marks on his wife's body.
Later, some strange men from another ship come on board and lay claim to Suydam's body."
"The tunnels and chambers uncovered in the raids are filled in and cemented, though, as Malone recounts, Red Hook never changes."
Red Hook? IKEA's homage to cat lovers like Lovecraft?!
The Statue of Liberty faces straight towards the Swedish monstrosity
"Red Hook has been part of the Town of Brooklyn since it was organized in the 1600s.
 It is named for the red clay soil and the point of land projecting into the Upper New York Bay.
The village was settled by Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam in 1636, and named Roode Hoek.
In Dutch, "Hoek" means "point" or "corner," and not the English hook (i.e., something curved or bent).
The actual "hoek" of Red Hook was a point on an island that stuck out into Upper New York Bay at today's Dikeman Street west of Ferris Street.
From the 1880s to the present time, people who live in the eastern area of Red Hook have referred to their neighborhood as "The Point".
Today, the area is home to about 11,000 people."
"Red Hook is the only part of New York City that has a fully frontal view of the Statue of Liberty, which was oriented to face France, the country which donated the statue to the United States following the country's centennial."
Ha! That red hook (j) beckons at Red Hook?
How ironic that is today when the statue has to look past the Swedish retail maze as it faces France?
Lovecraft truly had a gift for seeing the horrors that would plague the world in the not so distant future, it seems. 
Red Hook sounds like something of a nightmare to me with its IKEA store waiting to greet me if I am ever crazy enough to visit the place.
After 24 years of slaving away in a similar building on the other side of the world I never want to step into that hellish place ever again. 

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