a quick guide to DUMBO

Anyone who reads this blog knows, Brooklyn is my favourite borough in New York City. It was love at first pint at the Brooklyn Brewery {still apologizing to Keegan for my behavior}. I really just like the place. Simple as that. I love the Botanical Gardens. I love the coffee culture. I love industrial exteriors of the buildings. I love the flea market. All. Of. It. 

DUMBO, short for 'Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass', is a neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn. It has special views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. 

Here's a quick guide to DUMBO hood...

What + where to eat? 

Grimaldi's Pizza // 1 Front Street

While Grimaldi's is my personal favourite, there are other places to find NYC-style pizza in DUMBO. Love & Dough has rave reviews, as does Juliana's. I'm sure none of these options will disappoint! Two points if you go to Grimaldi's: they don't sell slices and it's a cash only establishment. 

DUMBO Kitchen // 108 Jay Street

Their $11 Kale Caesar salad is so good and made fresh. Their $12 Black Bean Burger is a vegetarian dream. It's expensive, I get it. For a few dollars more you can have an entire pizza. But, damn, it's so good. Like, real good. 

Brooklyn Roasting Company // 25 Jay Street

Fair Trade, organic-certified, sustainable, and Rainforest Alliance coffee-- is there anything I get more excited about? Maybe like one or two other things, but it's pretty high up on the list. The interior of BRC is filled with antique globes, wooden counter-tops, and a beautiful espresso machine. You can also talk shop with all the baristas because they actually know about coffee. Their soy latte is perfectly steamed! 

What to do?

Go see a free movie at Brooklyn Bridge Park! Starting in July, the park begins its free 'Movie with a View' series. On the 20th, they're playing CASABLANCA!!! Humphrey Bogart, duh. Bring a blanket and a picnic. Free night, sussed. 

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge! Another free activity! The pedestrian stairs to the Brooklyn Bridge are right up the block from Brooklyn Roasting Company. I suggest walking the bridge starting in Brooklyn for the best views of the Manhattan skyline. Then again, if you walk from Manhattan you can have a little extra pep in your step knowing you'll be ending the 1.1 mile walk in DUMBO where pizza and trendy everything awaits! 

'Gram a pic at every Brooklyn blogger's hotspot! In 2015, I was absolutely bummed that Natalie Jean had moved from her loft in Brooklyn back to Idaho. Wah wah wah. So, this year, I took a 'gram in Brooklyn in honor of my favourite former-blogger. Some of my favourite Instagrammers have taken artful pics in this same spot! 

Shop! Summer travel plans mean I've only gone window shopping, apart from the treasures I've picked up from the Brooklyn Flea Market. However, if I had a million dollars and I was dropped in DUMBO, I'd start with candles from Trunk {they source locally made products!} and finish with some goodies for a daper lad from Modern Anthologya hip men's store. There are plenty of boutiques and shops to tickle anyone's fancy. 

Star in a car commercial! Okay, so this isn't an every day occurrence, but it happened to me! I was walking up the street, completely oblivious to the film crew and steam machines lining the sidewalk, when a man stepped in front of me. 'Is there any way you could go around? We're shooting a car commercial and if you walked up here, you'll be in it and that would be weird'-car commercial man. I checked later and it was not a Lexus ad, so there was no hope of running into Matthew McConaughey. Next time, I'll just keep walking and pretend I'm on my phone. You just never know what will be happening at any given moment in New York City! 

No matter where you find yourself in New York, or in life, joy really is found in the small things. The good soy latte at a 'hipster' coffee shop you treat yourself to or that free movie in the park with friends. And there are a lot of small things to be found in DUMBO.