21 Jun 2008 6:34 pm   //   Filed under: Brooklyn

Erie Basin Park opens. Ikea too.

The new Ikea is the biggest and strangest thing to be built in Brooklyn since I moved here. This afternoon I rode my bike down the hill and over the canal to check it out. Seen above is the road in front of Ikea in March (top) and today (bottom).

Traffic is a mess, despite lots of buses and the free ferry. There are more security and police than you’d thought possible. On either side of the Ikea are large lots with signs advertising available real estate. The Red Hook neighborhood is fundamentally different now. It’s now a shopping center.

Also just opened is Erie Basin Park, a vast public space that envelops the Ikea campus on three sides. It makes use of old piers and cranes to commemorate the shipping heritage of this neighborhood. The park has an abundance of benches. The best thing I can say about it is that it looks like an awesome place to skateboard, assuming the cops allow it. Signs say bikes, skateboards and fishing are permitted in designated areas, but it’s unclear which areas those are. I did a lap around the park on my bike and nobody yelled at me. Of course, nobody was there. The Ikea was full and the park was empty.

More photos below.

Erie Basin Park

Ikea ferry

Ikea Brooklyn

Ikea Brooklyn