Red Hook is named for the red clay soil and the point of land projecting into the East River. The village was settled by the Dutch colonists of New Amsterdam in 1636, and names Roode Hoek. In Dutch “Hoek” means “point” or “corner” and not the English “hook” (i.e, not something curved or bent).
Red Hook is part of the area known as South Brooklyn, thought it is northwest of the geographic center of the modern borough. It is a peninsula between Buttermilk Channel, Gowanus Bay and Gowanus Canal at the southern edge of Downtown Brooklyn. Red Hook is the only part of New York City that has a full frontal view of the Statue of Liberty, which as oriented to face France, the country which donated the statue of Liberty to the United States following the centennial of the United States.
Subway service in the area is sparse. The closest subway stops along the IND Culver Line (F, G trains) either Carroll Street or the Smith/Ninth Street stops. The B61 bus route provides service from near the Fairway grocery store, through Erie Basin/Ikea Plaza to Van Brunt St and then northward, through the Columbia Street Waterfront District and terminates in Downtown Brooklyn. It also connects with the Culver Line’s Smith- Ninth Streets station.
Water ferry service, operated by New York Water Taxi, runs between IKEA and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.