A collection of people coming from a collection of places to visit DUMBO.
INTRODUCTION Humans. We travel for hours in metal tubes with wings, sitting side by side at impossible speeds to see unfamiliar things. We take uninhabitable lands with harsh climates and convert them into concrete jungles. We build giant reinforced steel buildings mere feet away from each other only to decide they’re too crowded and build more. Then we deem these places a destination and get more humans to flock to them. Our relentless pursuit of the novel is what moves us forward but it also makes us feel good about who we are, how we exist and gives us a purpose. The best case study of human nature is in New York City, one of the most visited, most developed, most human filled places on Earth. And perhaps the most interesting place in the city is nestled on the East River in Brooklyn. It’s just a few patched cobblestone blocks with a perfect view of Manhattan. It’s a place called DUMBO, a refreshingly straightforward acronym that means Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, because it’s just that. The pilgrimage to DUMBO is one for the resilient; it is not an easy destination to get to, typically requiring several trains, a boat or a bumpy cab ride. But the journey is worth the microcosm of richness on the other side. DUMBO carries a series of complex narratives that reward its patrons with surprises around every historic corner. It’s a quaint gem that provides a glimpse into what and who humans are and how we choose to exist today.
Just south of Manhattan and across the river from Brooklyn, sits a small but worthy piece of land called Ellis Island. From the turn of the century all the way into the 1950’s it served as the biggest gateway for immigrants migrating to the States. After spending weeks at sea filled with nerves, missing family left behind, dreaming of opportunity and looking for a newer, better life, masses of people would arrive passing the Statue of Liberty, gazing at the New York skyline and land at Ellis Island, stepping foot on American soil for the very first time. Experts estimate that over 100,000,000 Americans can trace their ancestry to someone who migrated to the United States via Ellis Island. Today, a mere two miles from Ellis Island sits the DUMBO port of the NYC Ferry. Similar to the immigrants that came before them, people board the Hornblower from Manhattan’s Financial District or Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in search of something better on the other side. Some are commuters with their sites set on climbing the corporate ladder. Some are tourists seeing America for the first time taking photos and mapping every step of their journey. And others don’t have a purpose at all searching for relief from the city’s chaos it seems. The Hornblower Ferry and its migration to DUMBO has somehow managed to separate itself from stereotypical New York transit using the city’s biggest hurdle (water) to its advantage. While floating in the abyss that separates Manhattan and Brooklyn, away from the subway rats, honking taxi horns and busy bike lanes people find themselves on the water, let go and mentally prepare for what DUMBO has in store for them. This book is a photographic representation of people boating on their way to or from DUMBO. It’s as simple and complex as that.
A clear day from the ferry galley.
A man enjoys an apple.
The Empire State appears behind an oblivious couple.
A tourist escapes the cold.
An elderly man admires the East River.
Tourists sample New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest slices.
A ferry employee smiles.
Beautiful accident on a clear day.
The ferry leaves Brooklyn behind as it chugs towards the Financial District.
Best friends, and someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand.
An itch is scratched.
A ferry staff member enjoys her job.
A man buys beer to ease the commute.
The Manhattan Bridge and a tourist.
Nap time on the river.
Color coordinated youngsters on the deck.
The Brooklyn Bridge glows.
A reflective moment overlooking Manhattan.
The NYPD makes an appearance.
Headphones out for the picture.
A man chews his finger nails as he waits for the ferry to depart.
A man listens to music while the ferry cruises down the river.
A public display of affection.
A woman reflects.
A couple weathers the top deck.
A woman boards with her canine companion.
A man rides on the top deck.
Selfies aboard the top deck.
A myriad of tourists enjoy the sights.
Man in fluorescent coat.
A toddler eagerly awaits.
A young girl is booted and suited for the Ferry ride.
The fog hides the view between bridges.
Salt is distributed to melt incoming snow.
A tourist wears his Sunday finest.
A serious sign.
Until the next voyage.