Things to Do What to do, eat in Brooklyn's DUMBO and Vinegar Hill neighborhoods By Steven Casale Special to amNY.com Updated July 12, 2017 12:31 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Post-industrial, chic, weird, kind of loud -- the area along the East River where Vinegar Hill and DUMBO sprawl is often slapped with these descriptors. And though side by side, they're two distinct neighborhoods with separate charms. DUMBO (which stands from “down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) got its name in the late '70s when early residents to the once-desolate factory area thought a silly name would keep developers away. In fact, the opposite occurred. Today DUMBO is home to pricey lofts and corporate office spaces. Vinegar Hill, however, seems to have retained its historical charm. Originally settled by Irish immigrants, the area gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill (between Britain and Ireland in 1798). Cobblestone streets and a border of just three blocks on each side means that Vinegar Hill is small and quaint. Walking between these neighborhoods is easy and gives a peek into New York’s early past and future development -- not to mention some great views of lower Manhattan. Drink responsibly at Brooklyn Roasting Company Photo Credit: Linda Rosier Coffee can never be local in New York, but the roasting sure can. At Brooklyn Roasting Company, all the beans for the house blends are roasted freshly each day after being ethically sourced from around the globe. Start your day with a coffee drink from anywhere with beans from Peru to Rwanda. (25 Jay St., 718-855-1000) Go exploring at The POWERHOUSE Arena Photo Credit: Linda Rosier Looking to get your creativity flowing? The POWERHOUSE Arena is the spot. Launched in 2006 by publisher powerHouse Books, the airy space -- the ground floor sports 24-foot ceilings -- is a conglomeration of rotating exhibitions, installations, readings, performances and, of course, a bookshop. Step in and see what you might find. (28 Adams St., 718-666-3049) View the Manhattan skyline from Empire Fulton Ferry Photo Credit: Linda Rosier Head to the Empire Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park for some downtime. Nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, the well-kept lawn offers unrivaled views of the downtown Manhattan skyline. Here you'll also find Jane's Carousel, a old-time carousel built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. Rides are offered year-round. Stop in for lunch at Superfine Photo Credit: Linda Rosier At airy American bistro Superfine, with lots of exposed brick, seasonal fare and sustainable fresh ingredients are of utmost importance. At the bustling DUMBO outpost, lunch is served until 3 p.m., and options include everything from light pan-fried tilefish tacos to heartier bites like the grilled chicken sandwich, complete with house fries (pictured). (126 Front St., 718-243-9005) Stroll the Vinegar Hill historic district Photo Credit: Linda Rosier Much of the architecture in Vinegar Hill dates to the 1800s and derives from both the Greek Revival and Federal styles, most of which you'll find on Gold, Front and Water streets. (Pictured is Front, between Bridge and Gold.) One of the more unexpected sights in Quarters A, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is home to the Commander's House, a showy mansion that was home to the commander of the navy yard during its years of operation. Shed your urban angst at DUMBO Boulders Photo Credit: Julienne Schaer Whether you're a rock climbing pro or adventure-averse, there is an option for you at DUMBO Boulders. An offshoot of Long Island City's The Cliffs!, DUMBO Boulders is North America's largest outdoor bouldering space. Choose your terrain and don't forget to look up, as you'll be directly under the Manhattan Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Dine on Vinegar Hill House's American classics Photo Credit: Ingalls Photography Nestled on an unassuming street, Vinegar Hill House takes its name from the neighborhood and dishes out its own take on traditional American cuisine. What to expect: a rotating list of pasta specials, an unrivaled chicken liver mousse (pictured at left, it's served with pickled onions and pistachio), a classic cast iron chicken (right) and skillet-made cornbread -- among other items. The European-focused wine list (with bottles from more off-the-beaten-path locales like Switzerland's Valais and Greece) is also not to be looked past. (72 Hudson Ave., 718-522-1018) Catch a show in a former tobacco warehouse Photo Credit: Linda Rosier St. Ann's Warehouse is a multifaceted avant-garde performing arts space that's been housed in its current (former tobacco inspection) building since 2015. Located right in Brooklyn Bridge Park, St. Ann's Warehouse offers theatrical productions and concerts -- artists including Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and David Bowie have all played here -- studio space and a public garden. (45 Water St., 718-834-8794) Cap your night at 68 Jay Street Bar Photo Credit: Linda Rosier A neighborhood hangout, 68 Jay Street Bar makes for a laid-back option to wrap up a night. Expect an artful crowd at this corner bar, where draft beer, house wines and classic cocktails are the name of the game. (68 Jay St., 718-260-8207) By Steven Casale Special to amNY.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Explore 34 new-to-you neighborhoodsCheck out Bushwick, Morningside Heights, LIC & more neighborhoods. Spend a perfect present day in historic Fort GreeneThere are many reasons why it's one of the most coveted neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Here's how to spend a great day in GowanusStroll across a bridge to eat pie, play shuffleboard and much more. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.