New York city is divided in five boroughs. The thing I still find very strange is that people living in Manhattan talk about themselves as “from New York”, while everybody else specifies exactly the area where the live. Even the post office knows that New York is Manhattan and the rest of the mail will go to Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens or Staten Island.
We are going to visit Brooklyn today, DUMBO to be precise. Americans love the use of acronyms to indicate a specific part of the city. DUMBO is short for ”Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” and it includes the area between the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. In the past few years this area has been revamped with the creation of parks and gardens and the establishment of a ferry service that connect the two banks of the East River, making the direct access to this beautiful part of town much easier.
This part of Brooklyn is also known for its artists, coming here from all over the world, who have often converted abandoned and crumbling buildings into their studio and/or galleries. During the last week of September, the DUMBO ART FESTIVAL has become a popular event of the season for art lovers and for people like me that just want to spend some time away from the usual routine and enjoy the beginning of fall since the weather is holding up and the temperature is very pleasant.
Maybe it’s just me, since I really know nothing about arts, but some of the works really leave me puzzled. What is the tight-up girl, laying in the middle of an old track with a scale-modeled train coming towards her, supposed to represent? And most of all, how is she going to feel at the end of the day after spending hours in that position? And what about the crashed soda cans scattered on the street that if I didn’t know about the festival I would think it was the work of some uncivilized people? Oh well, maybe THAT is the point!
We keep going, finding even weirder things along the way. We meet all sort of different artists: dancers, painters, sculptors, musicians, singers, mimes and what not. Since I’m not really an expert, the most beautiful thing to me is the view on the city, which is absolutely breathtaking from here. As much as I love to live in Manhattan, I still believe that people on both opposite sides have the best sights on one of the most attractive skylines in the world. The buildings stand out in the sky with their different shapes, colors and sizes and everybody can recognize the most famous ones, from the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building and the Freedom Tower, now finally filling the emptiness caused by the Twin Towers’ collapse.
I adore my city. Each corner has a story; each neighborhood has its people. The biggest melting pot of people, cultures, customs, languages and ideologies that nobody can really feel like a foreigner here.
Welcome home everybody.