DUMBO is Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and covers about 50 acres in Brooklyn, New York. DUMBO was named by resident artists in 1978 as a way to make the area sound silly and unattractive to developers. On December 18, 2007, the Landmarks Preservation Committee granted landmark status to the Dumbo Industrial district. Located in Kings County bounded by Main and Washington Streets, the East River, John Street, Bridge and Jay Streets, and Front and York Streets
Getting off the subway, I saw DUMBO Kitchen, confirmation that I was in the right place. Using my downloaded app, I started walking up and down the streets, admiring the old architecture, looking into windows, walking along the East River, enjoying the bridges and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Dumbo was an awesome find.
The discovery app said it was a 2k walk in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood with massive bridge structures, but it was so much more. DUMBO is filled with art studios and luxury homes created from converted industrial warehouses and vintage loft spaces. It still has some cobblestone streets, although, I saw them digging up the stones on one street.
You’ll find that you really need to spend a few days in DUMBO. My first trip to DUMBO was to get some walking in and explore the city. I thought it would be just a tourist thing to check off my list but I fell in love with the area. There are so many unique places to eat that I will need to focus a whole day on food next time I’m in New York. I did manage to have a latte and salmon burger, and of course, I had to go to the Ice Cream Factory. Trying to sample New York Pizza, I peeked in Grimaldi’s Pizza but the line was too long, and the pizza shop next door had a line that was twice as long.
You’ll need another day for Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre waterfront park with a pebble beach, wi-fi, several piers and lawns, ferry landing, dog runs, and places to exercise and play sports. Added bonus – it’s a smoke-free space (Yeah). You can get a panoramic view of New York across the East River and enjoy the calm and beauty. I found brides walking along the river and ladies in red . . . so many places to create artistic photos.
DUMBO is known for its art studios and occasional large art shows. I stumbled across people setting up Photoville, which is one of the reasons I had to go back for another day. It was so worth it, but that’s a topic for another post. I didn’t make it to any art studios but Photoville provided a lot of inspiration.
Looking across Pebble Beach you can see a carousel. The second day I went, I took a closer look. As I walked around the carousel I noticed the sign on the ground – “Jane’s Carousel” – who is Jane and why does she get a carousel?
When I returned home, I looked up Jane’s Carousel, “a classic 3-row machine with 48 exquisitely carved horses and two superb chariots.” It was created in 1922 and was originally installed in Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1983, David Walentas, the developer of Fulton Ferry State Park, included an historic carousel in his Master Plan. Jane and David Walentas purchased the Carousel at auction on October 21, 1984. It took 25 years to fully restore the Carousel back to its original 1922 elegance. For the first ten years, Jane worked in her studio hand scraping the paint down to the original layer and creating a restoration plan. On September 16, 2011, the Carousel opened to the public on the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Traveling, whether far or near, increases your awareness and appreciation for the things around you. Last week, one of the answer to one of the Jeopardy questions was, “What is Jane’s Carousel?” I also took the time to watch “Sulley” and realized I had been on the Hudson and on the Intrepid. It’s the little things that make you pause and smile. The excitement that comes when you can say, I know that, I’ve been there… Life is good.