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Brooklyn Neighborhood Guides

Vinegar Hill

Vinegar Hill is a sleepy dimly lit industrial area, sometimes overshadowed by it’s trendy, always buzzing next door neighbor, DUMBO, which houses Brooklyn Bridge Park and thousands of tourists daily. Vinegar Hill is marked by its 19th-century Belgian cobblestones just south of the East River, with Bridge Street to the West, York Street to the south and Little Street as its Eastern border. Vinegar Hill gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill, in 1798, and was commonly known as "Irishtown" in the 19th century.

Because of its size, actually just a 4 or 5 block square, Vinegar Hill is one of New York and Brooklyn’s most walkable neighborhoods. According to research conducted by walkscore.com, a site that ranks New York City’s most walkable neighborhoods, residents in Vinegar hill can walk to an average of 3 restaurants per 5 minutes. A staple of the neighborhood is the acclaimed Vinegar Hill House, a warm and cozy all day café. Other popular spots include Bridge Café and Celestine, a Mediterranean tapas bar with amazing waterfront views of Manhattan. There’s a weekly flea market in neighboring Dumbo - under the archway - where summer movie screenings are held. The neighborhood also has its own live music and theatre venue, Vinegar Hill Music Theatre. Residents of Vinegar Hill also have direct access to the waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

For the most part, residents of Vinegar Hill have lived in the area for many years, although the area is now becoming more popular. Brownstone buildings mark the streets of Vinegar Hill and in recent years the area has seen an uptick in new development and conversions of its former industrial factories. Some residents say, “a smattering of new apartment buildings has made area streets feel safer, and foot traffic is likely to increase further.” At 80 Hudson, a 76,700-square-foot warehouse is on the leasing market for potential development as offices or for other commercial uses, possibly with ground-floor retail. New residents can expect a feeling of old and new. For example, a pair of old freight rails runs across the Belgian-block Street and right into the lobby of the Kirkman Lofts, a soap factory converted to condominiums in 2011. The median rent is around $2700, and the median sales price for the neighborhood is just over one million dollars.

The neighborhood is also popular because of its proximity to Manhattan. Although some residents do not support the new Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, which would create more bike lanes in the area, Vinegar Hill is still a very bike friendly neighborhood and many of its residents bike into the city right across Brooklyn Bridge daily. Those that prefer the subway, can access the F train at York Street, or the A train at Bridge St., both just one stop into lower Manhattan.


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