From the 1920s there existed a shanty town in Red Hook, largely populated by underemployed sailors and dockworkers. With little money or hope some took to drinking a poisonous homemade brew called smoke. In 1932, a number of smokies, those addicted to the drink made from denatured alcohol, water and milk, were driven out of the Red Hook’s shanty town known in the press as “Hoover City” and to the Norwegians as “Orkenen Sur”. They relocated to a smaller encampment at the foot of 37th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; called “Saltsjobaden” by the Swedes who lived there. The police said they could not stay, but Minnie and Archie, two kittens brought over by the smokies could.
John Anderson, who collects coffee beans along the docks and roasts them as one of his chief duties as camp chef, promptly adopted both. He had started to munch a sandwich when he first noticed the kitten's. He opened his mouth, but something stayed his hand in midair. "Hell" he exclaimed." They look hungrier than I am," and Minnie and Archie had a regular banquet.
(Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 30, 1932)