In Your Neighborhood: Red Hook, Brooklyn

Red Hook is a southwestern Brooklyn gem. It is a unique neighborhood with a character all its own. It's a mashup of big city flavor with New England flair.

So much of Red Hook's history can be traced to its waterfront. From the 1860s to the 1960s, the area was home to a thriving shipping business. One of the most popular ways to get to here is by New York Water Taxi ferry. 

Big stores like IKEA are popular in the part industrial, part residential community. This IKEA sits in the shadows of the Red Hook Community Farm and compost center.

You can't talk about Red Hook without mentioning the Red Hook Houses, the largest public housing project in Brooklyn. It sits in the shadows of sweet tree-lined streets.

Van Brunt Street is the main thoroughfare. It is chock full of quaint shops. That is where I met gallery owner Alexandra Corbin and longtime resident Antonio Sanchez. Also on Van Brunt Street is the wildly popular Fort Defiance Cafe.

Bars are plentiful in Red Hook but I decided to check out Van Brunt Stillhouse, a distillery that makes small-batch whiskey. American is a special blend only done here, bourbon is sweeter and made with mostly corn, and rye is an old-time classic.

Daric Schlesselman, the owner of Van Brunt Stillhouse, said he and his wife started the distillery five years ago. You can visit the tasting room and take a tour of the distillery, too.

No trip to Red Hook would be complete without visiting Louis Valentino Park and Pier, where you can take in the fantastic views of Governors Island, the New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty.