• Photo: Jennifer Arnow

DUMBO

For sheer jaw-dropping drama, few city walks rival the one along the DUMBO waterfront. The photogenic area pairs turn-of-the-20th-century warehouses and refurbished manufacturing buildings on cobblestone streets with rumbling trains and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges overhead. The latter bridge provides the district's name, an acronym of Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Across the East River, the Manhattan skyline provides arresting backdrops for wedding proposals, fashion shoots, and innumerable selfies. Long before scenery became a draw, though, this area welcomed tinkerers and their start-ups, among them Robert Gair, who invented the corrugated box nearby and manufactured the product in DUMBO. The humble Brillo soap pad also came of age in these parts. The influx of technology start-ups supplies 21st-century swagger, while galleries and performance hubs imbue the neighborhood with artistic élan. Shops and restaurants pepper the short blocks of this small neighborhood. Head north on Main Street or New Dock Street to reach the waterfront, with its expansive park and the delightful Jane's Carousel. DUMBO's picture-perfect sidewalks and cinematic Manhattan views were no happy accident of urban development.

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