Monday, April 07, 2008

DUMBO, Brooklyn - Some Initial Thoughts

I can’t help but write about my new neighborhood. It’s so much different from my old neighborhood. My recent move from the East Village to Brooklyn has really opened my eyes.

Here are just a few quick observations. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more as I continue to explore my new environs.

My new neighborhood, DUMBO – which stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” - is an old warehouse/industrial district located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges just across the East River from Manhattan.

So basically, the acronym “D.U.M.B.O.” is pure bullshit.

That being said, overall I really like my new ‘hood. But there are some other things about the area that are totally bullshit:

1) Only one Starbucks within walking distance.

2) Crappy cobblestone streets. Quaint, yes. But driving around here totally kicks the shit out of my poor little Mazda. Think of it as driving through Beirut, circa 1987.

A typical DUMBO streetscape - Pearl Street, between Front and York (2 blocks from my apartment).

3) Brooklyn-Queens Expressway within spitting distance of my apartment. This is both a blessing and a curse. A constant stream of diesel exhaust flows through my living quarters, and the sounds of traffic never seem to stop. Why, just the other night I had a dream that I was debating Abraham Lincoln – in the middle of the highway during rush hour. The upside is that we can easily get to Brooklyn AND Queens via this highway. Its moniker (unlike DUMBO’s) is truly accurate.

4) A fully equipped camera crew was filming a Capital One commercial on my block this weekend, starring a Kenyan marathon runner. That’s not the really the bullshit part. I have nothing against Kenyans or marathon runners. Rather, I was really annoyed that the crew wouldn’t let me leave my building until the cameras stopped rolling. I’m not good enough to be an extra? I could totally blend in with the crowd. I was wearing a blue sweater, gray hat, running shoes, and a wristwatch. Also, I had on exactly zero pants.

5) The local market, “Peas ‘n Pickles,” has a lousy pickle selection. The pea selection is pretty solid, but again, the name is somewhat misleading. On the upside, the beer selection is great. Should be called “Peas ‘n Beer” or just “Beer.”

6) Neighborhood furniture store to human ratio = 3 to 1. All we need now is a Pottery Barn, and we’ll have completed the set.

Lest you think I’m complaining too much, here’s something about the neighborhood that’s totally awesome: WEEKLY STEVE BUSCEMI SIGHTINGS. My last one was in “Peas ‘n Pickles.” He was buying a pack of gum. He didn’t look like he wanted to talk to me.

Totally out of context - a picture of Steve Buscemi not waving at me, nowhere near "Peas 'n Pickles" market.

I’ll let you know how the next encounter goes.


Jeff'y said...

Welcome to the borough from Sheryl and Jeff!

You really need to try the baked goods, specifically the French macarons (which have nothing to do with coconut macaroons), at Almondine. The ones with chocolate filling are make from Jaque Torres chocolate from across the street, and are insane.

The Mill said...

Thanks for the tip. I loved fine French baked goods as much as the next guy. I actually got a couple muffins from Almondine this past weekend. They were a little disappointing, truth be told. But the other stuff there looked great.

Anonymous said...

wow, #1 & 2 are what actually make this neighborhood unique.
do you really need more than 1 starbucks in our neighborhood?
come on man.

The Mill said...

Joking about Starbucks - I don't miss having one on every corner like in Manhattan.

As for the cobblestone/pothole infested streets - I don't think this makes the neighborhood more charming. Unique maybe, but not in a good way - like ebola is unique in its deadliness.

Cobblestones are nice and quaint, but gaping holes torn in the asphalt between the remaining cobblestones are an inconvenience, and make my car very unhappy.