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DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is a neighborhood that borders Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene. Its location by the bridge lends itself to stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
Formerly a manufacturing district, DUMBO is the birthplace of the cardboard box, invented in the Robert Gair building -- currently home to Etsy. Artists began flocking to the neighborhood in the late 1970s, looking for large loft spaces to house their studios. The acronym DUMBO was coined in 1978 by residents who hoped such an unattractive name would deter developers. However, with the increase of prices in Manhattan, people began to migrate out to Brooklyn and DUMBO succumbed to the gentrification process.
Today, DUMBO is one of Brooklyn's premier neighborhoods for residents in search of a combination of luxury and leisure. While the area is now fully upscale, it retains much of its traditional aesthetics. Characterized by a mixture of warehouses and expensive high-rise apartments, the neighborhood is home to young artists, young families and start-up business owners alike. The trade-off for having Manhattan's picturesque skyline in your backyard is that the area isn't close to any quick routes to the city.
The neighborhood is the first to greet visitors walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and boasts the famous post-Brooklyn Bridge-stroll destination: Grimaldi's pizza. This area right off the bridge, referred to as Fulton Landing, is also home to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Jacques Torres chocolate shop and St. Ann's Warehouse -- an edgy theater house. The popular local brunch establishment Superfine entertains diners with live music.
Some of the most conspicuous buildings in DUMBO are the Watchtower buildings, formerly owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses. The distinguishable buildings with their distinct green accents will be re-branded as DUMBO Heights and cater to the area's growing tech community.
DUMBO has a great appreciation for the arts and for food. Flea Food Under the Archway, a neighborhood food festival, runs throughout the summer with vendors setting up shop beneath the Manhattan Bridge.
Shops tend to reflect the culture of the area, with a focus on the unique. Some noteworthy stores include Halcyon, an underground music store that sells vinyl, and Trunk, a clothing store that features New York-trained designers.