A historic waterfront with hidden-gem appeal.
Dumbo may be one of Brooklyn’s most up-and-coming residential hubs, but charming cobblestone streets, artfully restored loft spaces, and a pristine waterfront keep its 18th century industrial past front and center. The defunct train tracks criss-crossing central Dumbo once played home to freight carriers transporting manufactured goods from coffee to Brillo pads down the borough’s factory-packed coastline.
Dumbo - which stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” - is widely known as the neighborhood that welcomes travelers into Brooklyn from Manhattan. But Dumbo is much more than a passageway; locals love it for the gorgeous skyline views, cobblestone streets, and thriving art, technology and small business communities. These diverse influences have made Dumbo a place that laidback creatives and culture lovers are proud to call home.
Professionals and start-up business owners.
Today, Dumbo attracts artistically-minded New Yorkers who yearn for a bit of distance between the city’s never-ending hustle and the streets they call home. Dumbo is also a good choice for families (although the lack of public schools mean many children go to school in neighboring Brooklyn Heights). When it comes to fun, however, Dumbo parents delight in a host of quirky options like a ride on the iconic Jane’s Carousel, tasting tours at Jaques Torres’ local headquarters, and Dumbo Kite Flying Society playdates at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
What to Expect
A laid back neighborhood with plenty of modern amenities including fine-dining, parks, and scenic waterfront.
Despite it’s proximity to lower Manhattan, Dumbo’s pedestrian-friendly streetscapes and diverse range of small businesses and shops often make it feel like small, modern village meets metropolitan waterfront.
Equal parts understated and energetic. Low residential turnover creates a dynamic where residents happily reinvest their time, talents, and resources into community initiatives.
What Dumbo lacks in everyday amenities such as grocery stores and public schools, it makes up for in off-the-beaten-path charm and quirky community offerings. Music and book shops like Halycon and Powerhouse Arena cater to record and reading lovers with dynamic weekly events from in-store DJ nights to live author talks and signings.
Meanwhile, an abundance of sub-bridge lot and wall space makes for a welcoming public art and food truck scene, too. Come summer and fall, Dumbo Arts Festival and Flea Food Under the Archway are two of the neighborhood’s biggest public draws. The East River waterfront sits front and center when it comes to enjoying life in Dumbo. Beautifully manicured piers and parks make for stunning outdoor concert and film screening venues.
Meanwhile, breezy Front Street and Jay Street cafe patios and year-round scenic ferry routes provide unrivaled shore and skyline views for inbound locals and Dumbo day trippers alike.
What Not to Expect
A quick commute to popular parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan, or a late night party scene.
While Dumbo is bustling during the day, an outflux of daily commuters leads to a scene that quiets down very quickly come sundown. Due to the unique mix of many landmark-protected spaces, life in Dumbo can feel under-the-radar -- and at times, more isolated -- than equally historic areas in central Brooklyn or Manhattan.
Renovated lofts, mixed-use converted spaces, and a growing number of new high rise condos.
Dumbo housing options tend to fall into one of two categories, the first of which are spacious, industrial 1970s-era loft spaces. The other category is sleek, equally minimal high rises with soaring skyline views. Needless to say, homes here are some of the most impressive -- and expensive -- on the market.
You'll Fall in Love With
Panoramic skyline views and under-the-radar charm.
The East River waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park doubles as Dumbo’s public front lawn, providing plenty of space to relax solo or gather with friends come lazy afternoons or event-packed weekends. Whether taking a scenic pause on the way home from the city, or treating visitors to a bite at the area’s endlessly popular food landmarks, locals take pride in the signature sights and understated, communal vibe that define Dumbo at the end of each day.