085Today I had a delightful day touring Brooklyn with friends. A very specific part of Brooklyn called DUMBO. DUMBO is an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. At one point on our tour we were truly in DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The Empire State Building can be seen through the arches under the Manhattan Bridge.  Our guide stated that the Manhattan Bridge was built before the Empire State Building and the bridge builder  “framed” the building perfectly in the arches like he knew it was coming.

My friends and I started our adventure with lunch at Juliana’s – www.julianaspizza.com.  Delicious  pizza and yummy cannolis. We ventured across the street to meet up with our tour guide. Our tour was lead by Dom Gervasi, the owner and producer of Made in Brooklyn Tours – www.madeinbrooklyntours.com.  Dom started Made in Brooklyn Tours a few years ago. He was a wonderful tour guide. He was a wealth of knowledge but with the right mix of history and antidotes. Our tour lasted 3 hours and we ventured all around DUMBO even had an ice tea tasting at Mamselles Teas and Tarts and a bon-bon tasting at Jacque Torres www.mrchocolate.com.

I learned the Brooklyn was originally well-known for manufacturing –  especially of sugar and coffee. During the “heyday” of manufacturing more people lived in Brooklyn than live there today. The area suffered greatly when manufacturing was no longer the main industry. There are train tracks visible in the street from when the barges would deliver supplies and then transport those items by train to the factories and then back to the barges. Today small coffee roasters are making their home in DUMBO. We visited Brooklyn Roasting Company www.brooklynroasting.com. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for coffee but it was great to see small business people.

One of my favorite stops on the tour was Jane’s Carousel. The carousel was originally in Chicago (I think) and sold when an amusement park burned down.  It was built by the Philadelphia Toboggan company. Most carousels are sold in parts but this one was sold whole. It has been totally restored and the horses are beautiful. There was damage after Super Storm Sandy but it has been repaired and is open for business. It is in a “glass building” so it is open year round.

The views of 1 WTC were amazing. I also learned which East River Bridge is which.  From South to North it is Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg aka BMW.  Makes me feel smart. 🙂