Let me come clean and say I’m guilty of paying whatever the going rate is for the promise of an amazing burger. What’s the going rate these days? $12? $18? $25? OK, fine, if we’re talking about a transcendent beef experience. But I have also learned that an open mind pays culinary dividends in this town, so when I saw the long line of people for the burger truck in the filthy covered parking lot of the Home Depot in Red Hook, my interest was instantly piqued.Sure, the backdrop is as shitty and gritty as a parking lot can get, but the fact is New Yorkers simply cannot resist a line. It is pure catnip to us. A line implies that there’s something great to be had, and if you’re not in line you are missing out. But eating in the Home Depot parking lot is not something to take lightly so I observed the line for a while. Most of the customers in line seemed to be ordering the same thing: a “cheeseburger with everything.” And when it came to be my turn to give the man in the window my order, I went with the consensus (you saw that coming) and then stepped to the side out of traffic to wait. 5 minutes later, I was handed a large tinfoil wrapped bomb. They have a picnic table set up in the neighboring parking space and as pastoral as that sounds I opted to go eat this thing sitting in my parked car. I never said this was a story about dignity.It was delightfully awesome. They toasted the sesame seed bun nicely, and the burger was a handmade patty, juicy and tender with some nice char from the broiler. “With everything” apparently includes fresh shredded lettuce, some dill pickles and old school American cheese slices. They also pre-ketchupped it for me. It was a tasty and satisfying burger, and set me back all of $3.50. What a surprise! I came for the weather stripping, and I left full and happy. I love New York.
Quite a few months ago, we scouted the Brooklyn Army Terminal (or BAT) for a possible new On The Real episode. We were amazed at the hulking immensity of this Cass Gilbert designed fortress and intrigued at what a critical role it played in our nation’s military past. Just an incredibly cool building with a million stories to tell, sitting quietly and without fanfare today on the Brooklyn waterfront. We loved that the BAT has evolved from serving the military industrial complex and today hosts thriving private sector businesses in dozens of different industries.
The cherry on top was that the life story of the Brooklyn Army Terminal dovetails into one of our favorite assertions: that the most consistent narrative of the Big Apple is the one of change. There’s no other place we have seen like the BAT, and it was a real privilege and lots of fun to have an all-access pass to shoot there. We hope you enjoy the results.
When we’re trying to come up with fun ideas for future episodes of Real Property, they generally have to meet certain criteria. The subject needs to have a real story. It should have a dynamic and compelling past, but it also needs to clearly have a future as well. It is usually off the beaten path. Most of all, it must captivate our imagination. So there was pretty much an audible click when we discussed going out to Sunset Park to take a look at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, or BAT.