by nycgo.com staff, 09/09/2014
Manhattan Bridge. Photo: Julienne Schaer • Jane's Carousel. Photo: Julienne Schaer
With its spectacular waterfront access, thriving art scene and an architectural grandeur that's at once raw and charming, it's easy to see why DUMBO has become one of Brooklyn's most buzz-worthy neighborhoods. Less than two decades ago, the former manufacturing district (whose name stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) was largely deserted, inhabited by a few artists who had colonized its lofts; today the area is awash with art studios, technology companies and luxury residences, as well as the kinds of amenities—stellar French bakery, edgy independent bookstore, designer boutiques—that typically follow.
DUMBO is easily accessible by land or water. A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge puts you in the heart of the 'hood; Citi Bike (a terrific way to get to the neighboring piers of Brooklyn Bridge Park) has kiosks in the area; and train options abound. The F train stops a block from the Manhattan Bridge overpass (get off at York Street), and the Clark Street stop on the 2 and 3 trains and the High Street stop on the A and C are just a short walk away. Still, the most glamorous way to arrive is via the East River Ferry, which departs from Pier 11 in downtown Manhattan. The journey takes just five minutes.
This relatively small, walkable neighborhood is a joy to explore on foot (wear comfortable shoes, however, as the streets are largely paved in cobblestone). If you ever get lost here, just remember that the neighborhood slopes downhill toward the river; head in the direction of the shore, or look for the towering Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge for orientation. The good news is that no matter where you wander, you're bound to stumble upon amazing places to eat, shop and play. Here are a few worth making the trip for.