Page 6 of 9
1950s: "On the Waterfront"
For such a discrete neighborhood—after all, it is bound both by water and the unceasing traffic flow of the BQE, making it difficult to access in a way few other New York neighborhoods are—Red Hook has been the center of many iconic artistic works, including the Elia Kazan film, "On the Waterfront," the Arthur Miller play, "A View from the Bridge," and the H.P. Lovecraft story, "The Horror at Red Hook." All of these works portray Red Hook as a hardscrabble, isolated place, where the rules of society don't apply anymore, where the rules have been so warped that a new code of honor must grow in their place. Or not. It is noteworthy that Red Hook is not only the birthplace of such ethically-tortured artistic inspiration, but also of many of the most renowned names in organized crime. Red Hook was the breeding ground for Al Capone and Crazy Joey Gallo, as well as countless other low-level gangsters.