Located in the southwestern corner of Brooklyn, the neighborhood of Red Hook boasts a long and tumultuous history. It was for one, the place where Al Capone started his mobster career.
The Dutch established the village of Red Hook (Roode Hoek) in 1636. Red Hook was one of the earliest areas in Brooklyn to be settled. The neighborhood was named for its red clay soil and the hook shape of its peninsular corner of Brooklyn that projects into the East River.
Once one of the busiest ports in the nation, Red Hook historically was home to dockworkers and longshoremen, many of whom hailed from Ireland, Norway, and Germany and later Italy and Puerto Rico.
The neighborhood is surrounded by water on three sides and by the Gowanus Parkway as well as the Battery Tunnel on the fourth. Originally called Red Hook because of its rusted colored soil and the shape of the land that protrudes from the coast of Brooklyn.