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Dumbo Guidebook

Veronica

Dumbo Guidebook

Neighborhoods
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丹波
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Sightseeing
Iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge Corner of Washington Street and Front Street. Manhattan Bridge Your grand greeting from DUMBO is a photo op you will not want to miss. As you walk down Washington Street, look straight ahead and you will see the blue-gray steel of the Manhattan Bridge, built in 1912. Far off in the distance you can see the Empire State Building perfectly framed in the archway of the bridge. If the view looks familiar that is because this exact vantage point is one of the several iconic photos of New York City. Although cars are active along these streets, most drivers go slow knowing that lots of people stop here to take photos. Still, be careful when standing in the middle of the street. The streets surrounding the base of the have been used as locations for many films including: The Naked City (1948) The French Connection (1971) Serpico (1973), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Scent of a Woman (1992) American Gangster (2007) The Dark Knight Rises (2012) The Amazing Spider-Man (both 2012).
Dumbo Manhattan Bridge - Photography Location
39-21 Washington St
Iconic view of the Manhattan Bridge Corner of Washington Street and Front Street. Manhattan Bridge Your grand greeting from DUMBO is a photo op you will not want to miss. As you walk down Washington Street, look straight ahead and you will see the blue-gray steel of the Manhattan Bridge, built in 1912. Far off in the distance you can see the Empire State Building perfectly framed in the archway of the bridge. If the view looks familiar that is because this exact vantage point is one of the several iconic photos of New York City. Although cars are active along these streets, most drivers go slow knowing that lots of people stop here to take photos. Still, be careful when standing in the middle of the street. The streets surrounding the base of the have been used as locations for many films including: The Naked City (1948) The French Connection (1971) Serpico (1973), Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Scent of a Woman (1992) American Gangster (2007) The Dark Knight Rises (2012) The Amazing Spider-Man (both 2012).
Gleason’s Gym 130 Water Street Gleasons Gym Gleason’s Gym is one of the most famous boxing training gyms in America. The original Gleason’s Gym was located in the Bronx, having opened in 1937 by the late, great boxer Bobby Gleason. It moved to DUMBO in 1984. Over the years, many legends have trained for fame at Gleason’s. At the original Bronx location, stars like Jake LaMotta, Roberto Duran, and Mike Tyson trained. In 1963, a young man named Cassius Clay learned how to box like a champ as he prepared for his famous match with Sonny Liston. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and the rest is history. The gym has also been the setting for a number of boxing movies. Robert DeNiro trained in the gym’s Manhattan location to prepare for his role as LaMotta in Raging Bull. Wesley Snipes trained in DUMBO to prepare to play Roland Jenkins in the 1987 film Streets of Gold. Actress Hillary Swank, in preparation for her Academy-Award winning role in Million Dollar Baby, was trained by Gleason boxing trainer Hector Roca.
Gleason's Gym
130 Water Street
Gleason’s Gym 130 Water Street Gleasons Gym Gleason’s Gym is one of the most famous boxing training gyms in America. The original Gleason’s Gym was located in the Bronx, having opened in 1937 by the late, great boxer Bobby Gleason. It moved to DUMBO in 1984. Over the years, many legends have trained for fame at Gleason’s. At the original Bronx location, stars like Jake LaMotta, Roberto Duran, and Mike Tyson trained. In 1963, a young man named Cassius Clay learned how to box like a champ as he prepared for his famous match with Sonny Liston. Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and the rest is history. The gym has also been the setting for a number of boxing movies. Robert DeNiro trained in the gym’s Manhattan location to prepare for his role as LaMotta in Raging Bull. Wesley Snipes trained in DUMBO to prepare to play Roland Jenkins in the 1987 film Streets of Gold. Actress Hillary Swank, in preparation for her Academy-Award winning role in Million Dollar Baby, was trained by Gleason boxing trainer Hector Roca.
Archway of the Manhattan Bridge A century ago, who would imagine that the desolate dark space underneath the noisy bridge would become a unique venue available to rent for special events, markets, art exhibitions, commercial photography shoots and — believe it or not — weddings! In spring and summer, concerts, light shows, and even sports events viewings are opened to the public for free. In 2014, the Archway installed a large Jumbotron TV to air the World Cup. Viewers came with folding chairs, some wine, cheese and even flags of their favorite teams! In the below pictures, you can see (from left to right) 1) the archway used as a film location for a movie set in the 1920s; 2) the archway on an average day; 3) the archway with a fun night of beer!
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Manhattan Bridge
Manhattan Bridge
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Archway of the Manhattan Bridge A century ago, who would imagine that the desolate dark space underneath the noisy bridge would become a unique venue available to rent for special events, markets, art exhibitions, commercial photography shoots and — believe it or not — weddings! In spring and summer, concerts, light shows, and even sports events viewings are opened to the public for free. In 2014, the Archway installed a large Jumbotron TV to air the World Cup. Viewers came with folding chairs, some wine, cheese and even flags of their favorite teams! In the below pictures, you can see (from left to right) 1) the archway used as a film location for a movie set in the 1920s; 2) the archway on an average day; 3) the archway with a fun night of beer!
Main Street Park This 3.5-acre park offers spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan. (Importantly, there are public bathrooms available just a hundred feet into the park!). So many things go on every day in this neatly groomed park with some shady trees but mostly open grass. Bring a blanket and laze for an hour or more. When sitting in this park, located between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge to the south, be prepared to pause your conversation approximately every 3 minutes as the subway traverses the Manhattan Bridge). Click here for the Park’s website.
Main Street Park
Main Street Park This 3.5-acre park offers spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan. (Importantly, there are public bathrooms available just a hundred feet into the park!). So many things go on every day in this neatly groomed park with some shady trees but mostly open grass. Bring a blanket and laze for an hour or more. When sitting in this park, located between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge to the south, be prepared to pause your conversation approximately every 3 minutes as the subway traverses the Manhattan Bridge). Click here for the Park’s website.
Pebble Beach When you planned your trip to New York City you probably didn’t contemplate being able to dip your toes into the East River! At Pebble Beach, you can walk down to the water, watch it lap up against the land and take a pebble for a souvenir. The water is clean enough that the Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse sponsors a free kayaking program every summer where you can get 20 minutes free of kayak time and get out into the river, It is really an unusual experience that not many travelers know about. It is NOT something you will forget.
Pebble Beach
Pebble Beach When you planned your trip to New York City you probably didn’t contemplate being able to dip your toes into the East River! At Pebble Beach, you can walk down to the water, watch it lap up against the land and take a pebble for a souvenir. The water is clean enough that the Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse sponsors a free kayaking program every summer where you can get 20 minutes free of kayak time and get out into the river, It is really an unusual experience that not many travelers know about. It is NOT something you will forget.
1 Main Street (aka Clocktower Building) corner of Plymouth Street and Main Street Clocktower Building and Empire Stores The Clocktower has special significance in that it was the first of the old, abandoned industrial buildings in the area to be converted into a luxury apartment building. In the 1980s, property developer David Walentas had the brilliant foresight to purchase the area’s mostly empty big loft-like spaces. At the time, the entire Clocktower Building cost just $12 million – a real steal for a building so large. Walentas bought up so much property and converted them into luxury condos that DUMBO got a nickname, Walentasville! While all the apartments in the Clocktower have great views, the penthouse triplex is like no other. It has four 14-foot-high (4.2 m) round windows each with four working clocks. In 2010, the penthouse was listed on the real estate market and the asking price was $25 million. (Remember that the entire building was bought by Walentas for half that amount!). There were no takers and the building sat empty until March 2017, it was finally sold for the bargain price of…$15 million! Still, you will never be late for an appointment!
1 Main St
1 Main Street
1 Main Street (aka Clocktower Building) corner of Plymouth Street and Main Street Clocktower Building and Empire Stores The Clocktower has special significance in that it was the first of the old, abandoned industrial buildings in the area to be converted into a luxury apartment building. In the 1980s, property developer David Walentas had the brilliant foresight to purchase the area’s mostly empty big loft-like spaces. At the time, the entire Clocktower Building cost just $12 million – a real steal for a building so large. Walentas bought up so much property and converted them into luxury condos that DUMBO got a nickname, Walentasville! While all the apartments in the Clocktower have great views, the penthouse triplex is like no other. It has four 14-foot-high (4.2 m) round windows each with four working clocks. In 2010, the penthouse was listed on the real estate market and the asking price was $25 million. (Remember that the entire building was bought by Walentas for half that amount!). There were no takers and the building sat empty until March 2017, it was finally sold for the bargain price of…$15 million! Still, you will never be late for an appointment!
Fulton Ferry Landing Evacuation Memorial Plaque On your way to the wooden landing, stop by the large boulder with a plaque commemorating one of the most important historical locations in DUMBO, and perhaps all of New York City. In 1642, the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan was based along the shoreline. That alone is historic. But what is truly exciting about this spot (besides the amazing Ample Hills Creamery) is that it was here that one of the most important strategic moves of the Revolutionary War took place. In what is now known as the Battle of Brooklyn, George Washington found himself between a rock and a hard place in August of 1776. Washington and his troops had almost been pushed out of Brooklyn by the British Army. He was faced with the choice of remaining on land to fight the much superior British forces or evacuate his troops and avoid what would surely have been a bloody defeat. Washington made his decision and under the cover of night on August 29th, 9,000 troops secretly departed from the Fulton Ferry shoreline via boat, canoe, raft and any other object that could float. All night long, troops were shuttled to safety in Manhattan. At sunrise, with troops, and Washington himself, still waiting to evacuate, a heavy fog formed which concealed the last leg of the retreat. By 7 am, the entire Continental Army had arrived safely on Manhattan Island. The British didn’t know what happened until a few hours later.
Fulton Ferry District
Fulton Ferry Landing Evacuation Memorial Plaque On your way to the wooden landing, stop by the large boulder with a plaque commemorating one of the most important historical locations in DUMBO, and perhaps all of New York City. In 1642, the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan was based along the shoreline. That alone is historic. But what is truly exciting about this spot (besides the amazing Ample Hills Creamery) is that it was here that one of the most important strategic moves of the Revolutionary War took place. In what is now known as the Battle of Brooklyn, George Washington found himself between a rock and a hard place in August of 1776. Washington and his troops had almost been pushed out of Brooklyn by the British Army. He was faced with the choice of remaining on land to fight the much superior British forces or evacuate his troops and avoid what would surely have been a bloody defeat. Washington made his decision and under the cover of night on August 29th, 9,000 troops secretly departed from the Fulton Ferry shoreline via boat, canoe, raft and any other object that could float. All night long, troops were shuttled to safety in Manhattan. At sunrise, with troops, and Washington himself, still waiting to evacuate, a heavy fog formed which concealed the last leg of the retreat. By 7 am, the entire Continental Army had arrived safely on Manhattan Island. The British didn’t know what happened until a few hours later.
Shopping
PowerHouse ARENA 28 Adams Street Powerhouse ARENA In 2006, the critically acclaimed publisher PowerHouse Books opened PowerHouse ARENA in DUMBO as a venue for creative thought and top-notch art exhibitions, installations, presentations, performances, and readings. It drew lots of locals, and travelers as well, who came to see famed authors and artists. Powerhouse ARENA helped to put DUMBO on the “map” as a world-class venue for arts and literature. The original location which was at 37 Main Street was a massive 10,000-square-feet with 24-foot ceilings and large glass windows. As is so often the case, original renters in DUMBO are priced out of their own homes. In 2016 the rent doubled in 2016 and they moved to a smaller nearby location. Just a few of the authors who have read there are Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Gary Shteyngart, David Sedaris, Mary Gaitskill, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates, Jennifer Egan, T.C. Boyle, Jonathan Franzen, Pete Hamill, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith.
POWERHOUSE Arena
28 Adams Street
PowerHouse ARENA 28 Adams Street Powerhouse ARENA In 2006, the critically acclaimed publisher PowerHouse Books opened PowerHouse ARENA in DUMBO as a venue for creative thought and top-notch art exhibitions, installations, presentations, performances, and readings. It drew lots of locals, and travelers as well, who came to see famed authors and artists. Powerhouse ARENA helped to put DUMBO on the “map” as a world-class venue for arts and literature. The original location which was at 37 Main Street was a massive 10,000-square-feet with 24-foot ceilings and large glass windows. As is so often the case, original renters in DUMBO are priced out of their own homes. In 2016 the rent doubled in 2016 and they moved to a smaller nearby location. Just a few of the authors who have read there are Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Gary Shteyngart, David Sedaris, Mary Gaitskill, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates, Jennifer Egan, T.C. Boyle, Jonathan Franzen, Pete Hamill, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith.
DUMBO Flea April through October, Sundays 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Brooklyn Flea This well-known ‘upscale flea market’ is a must-see event that happens every Sunday throughout the Spring and Summer. It is a unique blend of artisan crafts, vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and retro furniture. Even if you don’t plan on shopping, a visit to the Brooklyn Flea can be great fun! Dig through old dusty records, find unusual funky clothing, and souvenirs unique to Brooklyn. It’s good vibes all around! You will also find unique food vendors – save room for a treat, you will definitely want to try something. DUMBO Flea was ranked as one of the world’s best flea markets by Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Budget Travel, and Fodor’s!
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Brooklyn Flea
80 Pearl St
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DUMBO Flea April through October, Sundays 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Brooklyn Flea This well-known ‘upscale flea market’ is a must-see event that happens every Sunday throughout the Spring and Summer. It is a unique blend of artisan crafts, vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and retro furniture. Even if you don’t plan on shopping, a visit to the Brooklyn Flea can be great fun! Dig through old dusty records, find unusual funky clothing, and souvenirs unique to Brooklyn. It’s good vibes all around! You will also find unique food vendors – save room for a treat, you will definitely want to try something. DUMBO Flea was ranked as one of the world’s best flea markets by Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Budget Travel, and Fodor’s!
St. Ann’s Warehouse 45 Water Street St Anns Warehouse Theater Housed in this former tobacco warehouse is St. Ann’s Warehouse, a state of the art performance space. Founded 34 years ago when DUMBO was not the hotbed it is now, St. Ann’s Theater was located in another nearby space. They are known for their cutting-edge and innovative theater and concert presentations. Among many performances are highly acclaimed productions by the late Lou Reed, Deborah Harry, Al Pacino, Marianne Faithfull, Charlie Kaufman, and the Coen Brothers. St. Ann’s Warehouse played an important role in both the New York City art scene but also helped put DUMBO on the map. It still draws large crowds.
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St. Ann's Warehouse
45 Water Street
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St. Ann’s Warehouse 45 Water Street St Anns Warehouse Theater Housed in this former tobacco warehouse is St. Ann’s Warehouse, a state of the art performance space. Founded 34 years ago when DUMBO was not the hotbed it is now, St. Ann’s Theater was located in another nearby space. They are known for their cutting-edge and innovative theater and concert presentations. Among many performances are highly acclaimed productions by the late Lou Reed, Deborah Harry, Al Pacino, Marianne Faithfull, Charlie Kaufman, and the Coen Brothers. St. Ann’s Warehouse played an important role in both the New York City art scene but also helped put DUMBO on the map. It still draws large crowds.
Shopping
Empire Stores 53-83 Water Street You cannot miss this 500,000-square-foot brick warehouse situated close to the waterfront. This is the Empire Stores former warehouse, built between 1868 and 1885. In those days, Brooklyn was America’s coffee capital. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the vast majority of the country’s coffee supply arrived through New York Harbor. As industry slowed down along the Brooklyn waterfront in the 1940s and ‘50s, many of the area’s warehouses were torn down for the construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
Empire Stores
53-83 Water St
Empire Stores 53-83 Water Street You cannot miss this 500,000-square-foot brick warehouse situated close to the waterfront. This is the Empire Stores former warehouse, built between 1868 and 1885. In those days, Brooklyn was America’s coffee capital. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the vast majority of the country’s coffee supply arrived through New York Harbor. As industry slowed down along the Brooklyn waterfront in the 1940s and ‘50s, many of the area’s warehouses were torn down for the construction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
Food scene
Time Out Food Market Located inside the Empire Stores complex, this large food market has 21 eateries and communal space where you can sit and enjoy your meal. In addition to the food market, there are three bars, and 5th-floor that includes a rooftop with waterfront views!
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Time Out Market New York
55 Water St
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Time Out Food Market Located inside the Empire Stores complex, this large food market has 21 eateries and communal space where you can sit and enjoy your meal. In addition to the food market, there are three bars, and 5th-floor that includes a rooftop with waterfront views!
Jacques Torres Chocolate 66 Water Street Jacques Torres This shop is the first of several locations for the world-famous chocolatier. It opened in 2000 and is a must-see, or rather must-eat, destination. Torres pioneered mixing unusual flavors into filled chocolates such as Pastis licorice liquor with milk chocolate ganache, chocolate infused with the tingle of fresh mint tea, and Earl Grey tea-infused in a dark creamy chocolate square. They are not only delicious but quite beautiful. In winter, it is practically required in DUMBO to go and get a Chili Hot Chocolate ideal for cold days in DUMBO.
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Jacques Torres
66 Water Street
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Jacques Torres Chocolate 66 Water Street Jacques Torres This shop is the first of several locations for the world-famous chocolatier. It opened in 2000 and is a must-see, or rather must-eat, destination. Torres pioneered mixing unusual flavors into filled chocolates such as Pastis licorice liquor with milk chocolate ganache, chocolate infused with the tingle of fresh mint tea, and Earl Grey tea-infused in a dark creamy chocolate square. They are not only delicious but quite beautiful. In winter, it is practically required in DUMBO to go and get a Chili Hot Chocolate ideal for cold days in DUMBO.
Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s Pizzerias You have probably heard of Grimaldi’s Pizza, long believed to be one of the best pizza pies in New York City. Before DUMBO was a destination of its own, crowds of people came down to Old Fulton Street to wait for hours in line for a taste of Grimaldi’s famous pizza. Well, in 2012 a new kid moved into town – Juliana’s Pizzeria. Turns out that Juliana’s is not new at all. It was opened by the original owner of Grimaldi’s! It’s a long story of a pizza war.
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Grimaldi's Pizzeria
1 Front Street
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Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s Pizzerias You have probably heard of Grimaldi’s Pizza, long believed to be one of the best pizza pies in New York City. Before DUMBO was a destination of its own, crowds of people came down to Old Fulton Street to wait for hours in line for a taste of Grimaldi’s famous pizza. Well, in 2012 a new kid moved into town – Juliana’s Pizzeria. Turns out that Juliana’s is not new at all. It was opened by the original owner of Grimaldi’s! It’s a long story of a pizza war.
Culture
Brooklyn Historical Society On the 2nd floor of Empire Stores, there is a small off-shoot of the main Brooklyn Historical Society located in Brooklyn Heights. There is one exhibit and it is ongoing through 2022. It’s called Waterfront. This is a multimedia exhibit that showcases the history of Brooklyn’s shoreline through photographs and stories from families, artists, activists, workers and more, that bring the story of the coastline to life. The exhibit is open Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. Admission is “suggested”, which means you can visit for free or pay what you like.
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Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
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Brooklyn Historical Society On the 2nd floor of Empire Stores, there is a small off-shoot of the main Brooklyn Historical Society located in Brooklyn Heights. There is one exhibit and it is ongoing through 2022. It’s called Waterfront. This is a multimedia exhibit that showcases the history of Brooklyn’s shoreline through photographs and stories from families, artists, activists, workers and more, that bring the story of the coastline to life. The exhibit is open Tuesday – Sunday 11 am – 6 pm. Admission is “suggested”, which means you can visit for free or pay what you like.