Dumbo is Brooklyn’s answer to Tribeca: an elite, secluded neighborhood on the waterfront with alluring architecture. Its cobblestoned streets are nestled between towering loft buildings that were all but forgotten until the late 1970’s, when artists in search of affordable real estate moved in. The name ‘Dumbo’ was coined by those same artists, who hoped that the name would deter real estate developers from entering the neighborhood and improving property values. (That backfired.)
Dumbo is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The neighborhood’s traditional boundaries were in between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge, although today the neighborhood has expanded to include everything north of York Street/Old Fulton Street; west of Bridge Street; and south of the East River. It is home to John Street Park, Main Street Park, and Empire Fulton Ferry Park, while Brooklyn Bridge Park is just across its southern border.
Dumbo’s lofts are known for their high ceilings and often-quirky layouts. The neighborhood’s most sought-after homes offer jaw-dropping views of the Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the East River, and downtown Manhattan. In addition, Dumbo is among the most private and secluded neighborhoods in NYC, although it has a few popular tourist attractions that those who value privacy should be careful to avoid.
While buyers can look at the neighborhood as an affordable alternative to Tribeca, renters can not. Dumbo is consistently one of the most, if not the most expensive neighborhood for renters in New York.
Brooklyn’s smallest neighborhood is the historically and architecturally significant Vinegar Hill. It lies just east of Dumbo and is usually included with its larger neighbor in online searches.
Vinegar Hill is home to 19th-Century Federal Style and Greek Revival townhouses. Its low rise character stands in sharp contrast to Dumbo’s large warehouses. In addition, Vinegar Hill lacks any major tourist attractions. Look here for townhouses and privacy.