Cross the East River from Manhattan via the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges and you’ll arrive in Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass). Once a manufacturing district, this tiny wedge of Brooklyn is now one of New York’s premier arts and creative hubs. Since the City of New York and New York University joined forces to set up an incubator here to support tech start-up businesses, Dumbo has become home to a quarter of New York’s tech firms. There’s now more than 500 tech and creative firms, a cluster of cool galleries, and a thriving population of more than 10,000 teach-savvy hipsters here. Kris McIntyre explores the Dumbo buzz for Holiday Goddess.
SEE & DO
From Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ll catch some of the best views of the Manhattan Skyline in New York City. The Park includes a waterfront promenade, picnic spots, playground areas, sport and recreation facilities, a series of outdoor events and public exhibitions and Jane’s Carousel. Built in 1922, this beautifully restored antique carousel is a treat for big and little kids. For a glimpse into Dumbo’s nitty-gritty manufacturing past, take a walking tour of Front Street. The once dark, cobblestone streets between Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges is now full interesting shops and eateries.
FEEL THE MUSIC
Dumbo is infamous for its cultural hot spots – the most famous of which is probably St. Ann’s Warehouse (29 Jay Street). An institution on the New York music scene, St. Ann’s has been the stage for some of the most iconic concerts by artists including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave and Marianne Faithfull. Its program crosses a range of genres including rock, jazz, roots and world music. Or for an amazing classical music experience head to Bargemusic. Located on a barge under the Brooklyn Bridge, this floating concert hall offers intimate chamber music concerts with amazing views across the East River to Manhattan. For up-to-date information about what is happening on Dumbo’s cultural scene, visit dumbo.is
EAT & DRINK
There are constant queues for the famous coal-fired pizzas at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria (corner of Front and Fulton Streets) and what has been described as New York’s best homemade ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (Fulton Ferry Landing). Grab a classic American hot dog or one of Calexico’s tasty Mexican tacos from the food trucks that line the waterfront end of Main Street. At the upmarket end of Dumbo’s dining options is the beautiful River Café (1 Water Street, at Old Fulton Street). Constantly, voted as ‘the most romantic restaurant in America’ it’s a jacket and tie affair after 5pm with sweeping views of the New York skyline, piano music and a fancy-pants menu. For good casual options, try AlMar (111 Front St, near Washington Street) for American-Italian fare, and Atrium Dumbo (15 Main Street) for modern Mediterranean and an extensive wine list. Drop into One Girl Cookies (33 Main Street) nearby for a sweet treat, or at Foragers City Grocer (56 Adams St) you’ll find healthy options including organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines at the Table farm-to-table restaurant.
You’ll find some interesting art studios, galleries and furniture stores in Dumbo and great books. At powerHouse Books (corner of Main and Water Streets) there’s an interesting range of books and gifts from the world-renowned independent publisher specializing in fine art, documentary, pop culture, celebrity and fashion. P.S. Bookshop (76 Front St) specializes in rare and used books.