After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge we ended up in a neighbourhood of Brooklyn called DUMBO (which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Formerly an industrial area full of deteriorating warehouses, this area is experiencing a revitalization. The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge Park had a lot to do with that. The park runs over 2 km along the East River waterfront and is continually growing. I read that by the end of this year it'll be 65% complete. New York has given us a long list of reasons to return, and seeing all of this park is definitely one of them. This day we only had a couple hours before the last ferry left for Manhattan, and that had to include a dinner stop, so we mostly explored between the two bridges at Empire Fulton Ferry.
We were all pretty worn down after walking across the bridge. Well, at least the adults were. Luke and Eve needed to run free a bit, and the park here did the trick. It was a busy scene with a chilled out vibe. Lots of residents were hanging out, mostly nannies and parents with their kids. It's so great to see that even though NYC is such a busy business hub, there is still a place for families there. Relaxing by the shoreline, watching the barges go by, it was easy to imagine what everyday life might be like here. Well, the best of it anyway.
In a glass and steel showcase of a building sits an antique carousel. I pointed it out and Eve took a run at it, leaping and squeeling. It was a highlight of our trip for her. In the interest of keeping this post from being too long, I've made another one to share that fun experience (coming soon).
Beyond that, Tom Fruin’s Stained Glass House, Kolonihavehus added vivid colour to the blues and greys of waterfront. There wasn't much of a crowd here. It was a nice change to be able to have some space to breathe! I'd love to see the lawns turn green in the summer. It looks like a great spot for a picnic.
We had worked up an appetite around 5, so decided it was a good time for an early dinner. My mom heard Grimaldi's had the best pizza near the park. Hand tossed, reasonably priced and delicious. We wandered across the street and in no time we were being invited into a cool pizzeria that lived up to it's recommendation, and more! Of course I took lots of pictures, and again had to make another post on this subject. A post full of pizza photos - droool ...
Every time I look at those pictures of the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory I regret not getting a cone. What was I thinking??? I will lament my poor decision until the next time we return. Too much pizza ruined the party on this one.
We could have stayed longer, but I didn't want to push it with the kids and figured it would be easiest to take the East River Ferry back to Manhattan. The last boat left at 7, so we booked it to the dock and hopped on for the ride home. The dude boarding us (the one in the sunglasses above) gave me a "How YOU do'in?" in that quintessential Brooklyn accent and my short visit to NY's biggest bourough was basically complete. Well, maybe not, but it was a little thrill. I hope he does it for all the tourists.