Living in Dumbo: Things to Do and See in Dumbo, New York

Dumbo—Chic Urban Living with Dazzling Skyline Views

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Dumbo, an acronym of Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a fashion-forward, cosmopolitan neighborhood set against the backdrop of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the East River, and the iconic New York City skyline. Just a short taxi or subway ride away from Manhattan—this urban enclave offers residents an exclusive refuge from the big city.

In the 19th century, Dumbo was a manufacturing district replete with factories, warehouses, and industrial complexes. Those large, redesigned spaces have turned Dumbo into one of New York’s neighborhoods with the largest residential units. Its residents are young professionals in the tech industries (Dumbo has the city’s highest concentration of technology firms, home to 25% of New York-based tech firms). Its lofty apartments and office spaces also attract artists, small business owners, and affluent couples with young children.

Where is Dumbo Located in NYC?

Dumbo is in Brooklyn, between Brooklyn Park to the north, Brooklyn Bridge to the west, Brooklyn Heights to the south and Vinegar Hill to the east.

  • East to West Boundaries: Bridge Street to Brooklyn Bridge Promenade
  • North to South Boundaries: East River to York St.
  • Subway: A, C, F
  • Ticket out of the City: Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, East River Ferry, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

What to Do in Dumbo?

Dumbo is the first neighborhood to greet visitors walking or cycling over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, and the neighborhood, with its stunning views of Manhattan and the East River, offers some of the largest lofts and industrial buildings repurposed into residential spaces. Dumbo is smaller and quieter than its neighbor, Brooklyn Heights, but has become a draw for young professionals and tech entrepreneurs.

The area’s historic manufacturing complexes have been converted into spacious luxury residential lofts with great views. The space once occupied by the Brillo Manufacturing Co. is being redeveloped as a high-end condominium, and a growing inventory of sleek new high-rise condos offers all the amenities the luxury buyer expects. The residential turnover is low—and this contributes to the neighborhood’s sense of community. During the day, Dumbo is lively—but quietens down come sunset.

What to See in Dumbo?

Dumbo’s giant loft spaces began attracting artists in the late 1970s. Since then, Dumbo has become Brooklyn’s central art district. Contemporary galleries include Klompching Gallery, Gallery 55, and the Powerhouse Arena performance space. Dumbo also has several influential nonprofit art institutions, such as St. Ann’s Warehouse and the A.I.R. Gallery, founded in 1972 as the first all-female cooperative gallery in the United States. In addition, many independent music stores and avant-garde bookstores give the neighborhood a retro charm. The district’s many industrial building facades are a rich canvas for public art and murals. The famous Bargemusic, a floating concert venue for classical music with sweeping city views, is anchored at the Fulton Landing. Other popular events include the annual Dumbo Arts Festival and other concert and film festivals which take place along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park during the summer.

Dumbo has a small village, yet distinctly urban appeal. Many galleries and artisanal shops dot the neighborhood, which also serves as the corporate headquarters for e-commerce retailer Etsy and hip furniture store West Elm. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, the neighborhood and its cobblestone streets are pedestrian-friendly and close to public spaces and parks.

Where to Eat in Dumbo?

Chocolate lovers will savor Chef Jacques Torres new chocolate factory in Dumbo. The neighborhood’s best-known restaurants include Italian staple Grimaldi’s; Atrium Dumbo, a waterfront spot offering seasonal French-American cuisine; and the River Café, the iconic, one-Michelin-star floating landmark.

What Schools are in Dumbo?

Dumbo’s two institutions include the sleek, newly designed The Dock Street School (grades 6-8) which places emphasis on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM) and the Imagine Early Learning Center @ Dumbo for preschoolers. For public K-12 education, Dumbo residents are served by several schools in the neighboring communities of Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, and Downtown Brooklyn.

How Many People Live in Dumbo?

Population: 51,100

What Languages Are Spoken in Dumbo?

Language: English

What is the Currency in Dumbo?

Currency: USD

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