Flickinger Glassworks Newsletter
Our brief monthly newsletter about Red Hook, Brooklyn...
and other people, places & things we think you should know about.

Welcome to the August edition.

This month we spotlight a tasty Red Hook treat that justifies its calories during these pandemic days, we acknowledge our landlord’s philanthropic bent, and Charles Flickinger gives a sneak peek of the exciting fused glass projects he’s working on.
It's Pie Time!
Yes, our crew did remove their masks before chowing down.
Chances are, if you live in New York City and eat out, you’ve ordered Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pie at some point. His luscious, graham cracker crust, tart but not too tart, key lime pie slices are offered in restaurants all over the place. Lucky for us at Flickinger Glassworks, he’s also a Red Hook neighbor. We’ve devoured more of his pies than we care to remember — a fact that you can fact-check yourself with this photograph.

Owner Steve Tarpin made his first key lime pie in his Miami hometown 27 years ago, because, as he puts it: “No one could make a decent key lime pie in Florida, so I had to do it.” He modestly adds, “And my pies just keep getting better.”

Rather than hoard his cooking secrets, check out these videos of Steve talking pies and his wife and chief chef, Victoria, showing how they’re made.

Videos: Steve shares a bit about his pie making business (left); Victoria making pies (right)
Watch Times: 00:54 (left); 00:36 (right)
Good Fellows: The O'Connell Organization
Waterfront property owned by The O'Connell Organization
"Back in the day, when most Red Hook storefronts were vacant and packs of wild dogs roamed the streets, I shook hands with the developer and former police detective, Greg O’Connell. As my new landlord, this was his way of sealing the deal on my shop rental on Pier 41. I was young, just getting started and could hardly afford the rent. But he took a chance on me. It was the first of many leases over the next 31 years. And for at least two of them, we only shook hands. Asking for something like a written contract was practically an affront to Greg’s integrity. He never let me down.
Over the years, however, there were plenty of ups and downs — the recession, Hurricane Sandy, the Covid pandemic shutdown — not to mention that being a manufacturer in New York City is not for the weak-hearted. My rent was sometimes late. But the O’Connells (first Greg, Sr. and then his son, Greg, Jr.) would always work with me. They are why Flickinger Glassworks remains on Pier 41 today, enjoying its fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, and those harbor breezes that are critical to a facility that operates red hot kilns to bend glass.

I’m not the only one who has benefited from the O’Connell’s largesse. They’ve helped other startups and nonprofits, giving people who make a living with their hands good spaces at a reasonable price. In the video below, Greg O’Connell Jr. talks about doing business on the waterfront." -Charles Flickinger
Video: Interview with Greg O'Connell Jr.
Watch Time: 01:05
Work We're Proud Of
It looks like porcelain, but it’s actually glass.

After taking a workshop with the internationally recognized glass artist Karl Harron, Charles was inspired to create his own fused glass pieces. In the video below , he briefly explains this technique of joining glass pieces under high heat, resulting in his whimsical bird nest bowl designs and some knockout deep vessels that defy what glass normally looks like.

If you get a chance, pack your mask and swing by the Flickinger Glassworks showroom to see these pieces in person.
Video: Charles explains how to fuse glass.
Watch Time: 01:24