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 for “down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) got its name in the late 1970s 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.