What a glorious day in Brooklyn’s DUMBO (“Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”) neighborhood. Now I understand what the fuss is all about. Last time I explorer the old cobblestone streets and warehouses in the rabbit warren of streets between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, I didn’t find much going on. Flash forward several years and the place is full of people, strolling along Brooklyn Bridge Park, with it’s great views of the bridges, lower Manhattan and even the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Old brick warehouses are now home to trendy shops (Empire Stores, The Modern Chemist), food courts (TimeOut market in Empire Stores), coffee roasters (Brooklyn Roasting Co.), bookstores (Powerhouse Arena/books) and theaters. (And now I know where Bargemusic – the outdoor music venue – is. And the venerable St. Ann’s Warehouse theatre, where I sat at an outdoor table in a lovely courtyard in the shell of an old brick building, looking out at the water.)
I bought some excellent Thai food at a food truck and ate in the Pearl Street Triangle picnic area, carved out of a patch of street beside the massive Manhattan Bridge, with the subway rumbling by high above.. Another cool picnic area nearby is the Archway Under Manhattan Bridge.
I took a New York ferry (for a whopping $2.75) that stopped at several Brooklyn spots before the final stop at East 34th street (which was a bit of an odd drop off, right by the midtown tunnel but I walked to Third Avenue and hopped a bus to the upper east side.)
Met some nice people on the ferry including a young family from Argentina and a woman from Montana. Several ferry options are available and the pier is next to the venerable River Cafe (where we attended a bar mitzvah about 30 years ago) and a stand next door that touted famous lobster rolls. (Next trip!)