What is Vinegar Hill?

By Seth Fera-Schanes

An enigma among New York City neighborhoods,  Vinegar Hill is a small area of Brooklyn nestled between D.U.M.B.O and the Brooklyn Naval Yard.  Stand on a corner and face one direction and you are met with cobblestone streets and seemingly abandoned houses that could be straight out of the mid 19th century.  You wonder if this is a neighborhood that has been frozen in time.  Then you turn your head the other direction and are staring at modern day lower Manhattan across the East River.  Towering skyscrapers jolt you back to the present day.

As with many other former hidden New York neighborhoods, there is the looming question of ‘will this be the next hot spot.’  Meaning, will Federal Style and Greek Revival architecture make way for characterless new developments with prohibitive price tags.  You see D.U.M.B.O on the rise and wonder when that will encroach on the quiet streets of Vinegar Hill.  At the same time we recognize this is the nature of New York, always changing and evolving.

The next time you are in the city, make time to visit Vinegar Hill.  Stroll along the streets of this quaint neighborhood and you will feel historic New York.  Stop by Vinegar Hill House for a bite to eat or if you are in the market for some incredible vintage Japanese house gifts check out Shibui.  Also located in this area on the corner of Little Street and Evans Street is Quarters A, the former residence of the Commander of the Brooklyn Naval Yard.  This huge mansion sits behind a fairly menacing gate and looks like it belongs in any number of thriller genre movies.  Enjoy this great neighborhood and be sure to take plenty of pictures along the way.

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