Literally a pebble’s throw from Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn’s DUMBO is one of the most exciting and happening growth areas in the city. An acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, it is an area roughly bounded by the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, taking in Empire State Park, a little known, jewel-like pocket park on the banks of the East River connecting Old Fulton Street and the historic Fulton Ferry. Adjacent to the park, DUMBO also includes the Empire Stores–a building which served as civil war era warehouses for armaments. This historic warehouse district is quickly turning into the city’s new hot spot.
DUMBO is a gritty, earthy, off-the grid location defined by narrow cobblestone streets, the giant stones that form the bases of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and the caverns cast in shadow by its larger-than-life industrial-era warehouses. In one instant, DUMBO is both physically close and spiritually a world away.
Because DUMBO is so relatively under-populated, there’s an eerie sense of discovery while walking, even driving, its streets. Visitors will note that there’s a sound reason why this area has been used repeatedly by the film industry as a backdrop to depict New York City’s more ragged sections.
And after 5 pm, it can be something of a ghost town, which is particularly surprising when you see its proximity to the city’s nexus, literally juxtaposed against Downtown Manhattan, on the opposite bank of the East River. But this sense of abandonment will not persist much longer.
Brimming with Potential