Check out my latest “Blurred Lines” column, on Dumbo

DUMBO 2014 overlapYou might be aware that I have a column on Curbed NY called Blurred Lines, in which I dissect the shifting borders of various neighborhoods. In my most recent post, I return to this side of the East River to discuss how Dumbo came to be.

I had always thought Dumbo, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, was named by Two Trees or some other developer looking to capitalize on the mid-70s portmanteau craze. I was surprised to find it was actually named by a group of artists who wanted to brand the area with something stupid before being pushed out by the big bucks. The name stuck, but the connotation never did.

I played to my own ignorance in the opening paragraph before immediately doubling back. In the process, I found out that (surprise!) not everyone reads the entire article before commenting.

Dumbo comments

Among other things, I discuss how Vinegar Hill is actually one of the oldest neighborhood-names in the city, dating from the early 19th century. This is one of those facts that has tripped up even the Times in the past (see the penultimate paragraph). I also touch on Fulton Ferry, about which I wrote in depth in the early days of this blog.

One fact I didn’t add: the artists thought about calling the area Danya (District Around the Navy Yard Annex). That might have actually scared some people off.

Check out the full article on Curbed here.

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