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Get to know Vinegar Hill

Is it pungent? Acidic? Steep? Altitudinous? No to all of the above — Vinegar Hill is but a small neighborhood on the East River waterfront at the edge of the Navy Yard, found east of DUMBO and north of Downtown Brooklyn. Neither rich in vinegar nor set upon a hill, the neighborhood’s name comes from the 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill in Ireland. All of six or so blocks today, Vinegar Hill used to be much larger — extending all the way down to Tillary Street and present-day Downtown Brooklyn. However, a series of construction projects — the Manhattan Bridge, the Farragut Houses, and the BQE — drastically ate away at its boundaries. But, a few short blocks is all Vinegar Hill needs to retain its distinct sense of place within a greater city. This atmosphere is seen in pre-Civil War Greek Revival rowhouses that predominantly line the blocks. A series of unpaved, Belgian block streets only heightens that feeling.

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Vinegar Hill Commerce & Culture

As already established: Vinegar Hill is tiny. Plus, a powerplant occupies a chunk of the neighborhood, so Vinegar Hill is even smaller unless you work there or are really into electrical utilities. Space is further taken by the historic yet privately owned Commandant’s House, a Federal Style mansion attributed to America's first native-born architect, Charles Bulfinch. But while certain amenities may be limited, you’re likely coming to the area to embrace its quiet hamlet vibe, not searching for a raging nightlife. That said, there is a highly regarded restaurant and a cafe within the Vinegar Hill boundaries. For everything else, the wonders of DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn await mere minutes away. You’ll also be close to subways (the A and C at High Street, the F at York Street) that can take you further into Brooklyn or under the East River into Manhattan.