DUMBO, which is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, used to be a lively industrial and manufacturing zone, full of large factories and warehouses. These buildings have now been converted into expansive lofts, theaters, galleries, and office spaces for start-up companies. These larger residential spaces are attractive to families and creative artists and writers who need space to dream and create.
DUMBO was named in 1978 as a sort of reverse marketing ploy to try to keep people from swarming into the area, attracted by the quaint tree-lined streets, elegant historic brownstones, large lofts, and views of Lower Manhattan. It was felt that this influx of people would change the nature of the neighborhood. It was hoped that by giving the area a ridiculous name, nobody would want to live there.
Many of the neighborhood’s bars, hotels, and restaurants capitalize on the stunning waterfront views and the Manhattan skyline in the background. Interesting and fun cultural events are held under and around the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges that connect DUMBO to Manhattan. One of these is the annual Oktoberfest.
With beautiful vignettes of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges being framed around every corner, DUMBO provides residents and tourists with charming, and often surprising, views. Because the neighborhood is eminently walkable and filled with unique shops, it feels like a small town on the edge of a major urban waterfront. Once people move to DUMBO, they tend to stay and become involved in the community.