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The South Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook borders Carroll Gardens and the East River. Located just 20 minutes from Manhattan by ferry, Red Hook is the only Brooklyn neighborhood with a full frontal view of the Statue of Liberty, which is positioned to face France.
Named for its red clay soil and the piece of land that juts into the Upper New York Bay, Red Hook was actually initially named "Roode Hoek" by the Dutch settlers who called the land home. Hoek means point or corner as opposed to the English definition of "hook." During the Revolutionary War, Red Hook was the location of Fort Defiance, deemed by Nathanael Greene as a "post of vast importance."
Today, Red Hook is a quirky nautical neighborhood that is home to many artists and small businesses. With a comparatively small population, Red Hook can seem quiet, but it's actually alive with diversity. The neighborhood features a mix of housing stock, which includes everything from large housing projects to converted artists lofts. Large stores are juxtaposed with smaller businesses, and waterfront parks offer dazzling views of the Statue of Liberty.
The past decade has brought quite a commercial boom to Red Hook, with the addition of a large IKEA that replaced a 19th-century dry dock. Another standout structure is the Fairway Building, which houses the popular supermarket on the ground floor and condominiums on the upper floors.
Red Hook is no stranger to pop culture. The film "On the Waterfront" was set in Red Hook, although filmed in Hoboken. It was also the setting for Arthur Miller's play "A View from the Bridge." Famous residents of Red Hook have included Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and rapper Busta Rhymes.
Red Hook is acclaimed for its ethnic food trucks, which offer the best of Colombian, Mexican, Dominican, Guatemalan, Honduran and Ecuadorian fare. The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge is probably Brooklyn's quirkiest museum; and the non-profit Added Value teaches young people about sustainable development through urban farming.