D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood underneath the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. 

DUMBO – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 89) from Luci Westphal on Vimeo.

When I moved to New York in the late 90s it was still a raw and affordable neighborhood not yet zoned for residential apartments. Back then it was full of artist’s studios and illegal lofts with amazing views of Manhattan and the bridges, with charming cobble stone, lots of garbage trucks, underground parties and always the noise of the subway crossing the Manhattan Bridge.

Some of my earliest memories of living in New York City are visits to the DUMBO studio of our old friend and gifted painter Scott Sanders – and be inspired by him and the other artists and the view from the rooftop of the alluring, sparkling metropolis across the river: I felt that I had arrived in the city of my dreams. 

Of course, developers, city planners and people with larger incomes figured out eventually what a pearl lay across the river just one subway stop away. Condos went up, art studios were replaced by legal apartments and stores and offices moved into the neighborhood.

While I miss the raw atmosphere of the older days (and those rooftop parties), I do appreciate how a lot of the beauty is being restored and preserved and that I can now get my favorite hot chocolate from Jacques Torres when I walk around one of the windiest (and thus coldest) corners of New York.

Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Bridge is currently still under construction, which takes away from a lot of otherwise more stunning images. Also unfortunately, a minute is just too short. A lot of material didn’t make it into the video – but I tried to include some iconic images and activities typical for this place, including the photo shoots at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

While I was walking around filming, someone approached me and showed me very cool pictures of a  historic DUMBO from the website BrooklynPix

The song featured is called “Animal Horn” and was written and performed by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions.

For those of you who think this video is too fast, I’ll be uploading photos from this shoot on my Flickr account over the weekend. 

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