The main character in Ivy Pochoda's amazing book, Visitation Street, is not human. It is, instead, a place the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. A place that is home to fifteen-year-old Valerie Marino; twenty-something music teacher Jonathon Sprouse; nineteen-year-old Cree James, a person of interest in the disappearance of young June Giatto; local bodega owner, Fadi; and finally to an elusive neighborhood tagger* known as RD or RunDown. These characters are shaped by Red Hook, a part-gentrified (and part-not) waterfront neighborhood named for its red soil and its point of land that projects into the river.
Pochoda describes it best. "Red Hook is a mile-long spit stranded at the southern point of Brooklyn where the East River opens into the bay." Coffey Park, she writes, "splits the 'front' with its decaying waterfront from the fortress of housing projects and low-...
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