Before annexation into the 12th Ward of Brooklyn, Red Hook was a separate village. It 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 named Roode Hoek. In Dutch “Hoek” means “point” or “corner” and not the English hook (i.e. not something curved or bent). Today, the area is home to about 11,000 people.
Red Hook is part of the area known as South Brooklyn, though 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 connected to Manhattan by the vehicles-only Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, whose toll plaza and approaches separate it from Carroll Gardens to the north. Subway service in the area is sparse, with the IND Culver Line (F G) running along Smith Street and Ninth Street. The B61 bus, formerly a trolley line, runs as a 24-hour service from Erie Basin Red Hook through Downtown Brooklyn, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint, terminating at Long Island City, Queens. The B77 bus connects with the Culver Line’s Smith-Ninth Streets station.
There is also a free ferry service, operated by New York Water Taxi, that runs between IKEA and Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan.
Red Hook was the setting for the H. P. Lovecraft story “The Horror at Red Hook” and Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge.
Patrick Daly, Principal of P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn was killed in 1992, in the crossfire of a drug-related shooting while looking for a pupil who had left his school. The school was later renamed the Patrick Daly school after the beloved principal. 
Red Hook’s current eclectic mix of living artists and industrial businesses create a neighborhood coined “Residustrial” in 2008 by artist and resident John P. Missale. Red Hook also contains several parks, including Red Hook Park. In the spring of 2006, the new Carnival Cruise Lines Terminal, more formally the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, opened at Pier 12 at Pioneer Street, Red Hook, bringing additional tourists to Brooklyn.
Red Hook is the only part of New York City that, on land, has a full frontal view of the Statue of Liberty, which was oriented to face France, the country which gifted the statue to the United States following the centennial of the United States.