Brooklyn Noir: Stunning Photos of Real Red Hook Locations From Ivy Pochoda’s ‘Visitation Street’


Ivy Pochoda’s Visitation Street is as much about the neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn as it is about the people she invented there. It’s the story of two young girls, one who’s been lost in waters off the neighborhood’s shores, and a cast of other characters drawn into the gravity of the accident in which she disappeared. These photos taken by performer and writer Brady Dale give readers a sense of what some of these neighborhood spots look like, and the quotes that go with them provide a feel for the way Pochoda describes her scenes.

At a reading at Brooklyn’s Book Court, near Red Hook, Pochoda said the only street’s name she changed was Pioneer, which became the eponymous “Visitation Street.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

The Erie Basin

“Out here he’s witnessed the secret underside of Red Hook. He’s seen a flaming car pushed into the water and what he would swear was a severed arm floating by, shriveled and blue like a sea creature.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Pioneer St. and Van Brunt Ave, Northwest Corner

“Jonathan usually wakes up when the bar quiets down. After the noise drains slowly into the street, he knows Lil is in there alone.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Pioneer St. and Van Brunt Ave, Southeast Corner

“Fadi wipes his brow, unlocks the padlock, and lets the iron gate roll back revealing the cigarette ads that cover the shop’s windows and keep daylight from bleaching his stock.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Pioneer St.

“The stoops are filling, some with newcomers dressed in secondhand clothes, others with grizzled men sucking air through their teeth as if this might cool things down.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church of Red Hook

“She taps the Virgin with a peachy nail. ‘You talk to her. You tell her to bring Juney back. You tell her.'”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Coffey Park

“Boys Val’s age move in a pack, assessing groups of girls in skimpy summer clothes. The girls tease them in a rich singsong chorus.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

The Houses

“Val tries to appear nonchalant as she looks for the building with the busted door. A couple of young punks whose waistbands ride below their hips circle her.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Coffey St.

“A few of them seem abandoned; others overstuffed with too much living — yards filled with stoves and baby carriages.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Red Hook Gospel Tabernacle

“He hoped they would take him along. But as the faithful lost themselves, Cree only felt more earthbound.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

Valentino Pier

“The water is darker now that the weather has gotten colder.”

Photo credit: Brady Dale

The Waterfront

“When Cree walks along the piers at night, he hopes to stumble on some new dimension, something to alleviate the frustration, the sense of being trapped by the only place he’d ever lived.”