13/50 NYC Adventures: DUMBO (& Juliana’s Pizza!)


"Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass", has been fondly shortened to the term DUMBO, which is a section of Brooklyn located over the bridge from Manhattan. A hub for entrepreneurial, creative and tech startups who have since gone mainstream (such as EtsyMakerbot & HowAboutWe), DUMBO is the kind of place where you can ride your bike to work, bring your dog to the office and lounge outside over a workday picnic lunch. This is also an area where (both fortunately and unfortunately), all the hipsters were born and continue to multiply at a maddening rate. Everyone here is so urban, mangy and unstylish, that somehow it became a style.

Don't be alarmed. In spite of the androgynous unwashed hair, excessively tight pants, and mad-scientist-thick glasses crowd that seems to gather here in droves, this area of Brooklyn is super, super cool and laid-back. Showcasing an eclectic mix of stoney buildings, industrial lofts, aged shipping docks, inventive green space and iconic steel bridge foundations, DUMBO is a neighborhood on the rise. When our best friends came to town (and brought the most heavenly weather from Georgia with them), we took our time eating and strolling through this temptingly awesome area of town.

// Rent a Citibike for a hour. It's the way to roll. //

// The lines are CRAZY long at Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, but I hear it's worth it. //

// These. Are the party people. //


This area of town boasts delicious eats (but really, what part of New York doesn't?) We focused the majority of our time with the pizzeria masters at Juliana's Pizza. Let me tell you the secret story (my sources shall remain unnamed!) about Juliana's Pizza, which is located next door to the iconic Grimaldi's Pizza.

Apparently, for all of New York eternity, the Grimaldi family has been the reigning authority in New York-style pizza.

Since 1941, Patsy Grimaldi (who, just so you know, is a man) has been making a mean pizza in a coal-fired brick oven. The pizza, unarguably, ROCKS. There are no questions or qualms about that fact. However, a few years back, Patsy's family sold the Grimaldi pizza location (19 Fulton St.), the brand and the name to another guy (we will call him The Dude). The Grimaldi family, later, regretted that decision. In a series of events (the grimy details allude to unpaid rent, public disputes over pizza quality, drama over licensing the family name, increased city taxes, and an unhappy landlord), The Dude who bought the Grimaldi joint ended up moving the pizza place into another building. Which just happened to be next door. The Dude left behind the famous coal-fire brick oven (which ignited the original Grimaldi recipe), and guess who jumped at the chance to move back into his old stomping grounds? That's right. Patsy Grimaldi. Since he had already licensed out his name, he called this new pizza joint Juliana's Pizza, named after his mother. Today, Juliana's Pizza stands in the original Grimaldi location, with the original coal-fire brick oven, serving the original Grimaldi recipe.

The funny part is, no one knows this story. So people line up outside of Grimaldi's Pizza, wait for 2+ hours to eat, and have to deal with the high-maintenance rules (cash only! no slices!), wondering if the rumors they heard about this pizza are true. All the while, Juliana's next door is quietly serving the original New York pizza recipe, made in the original pizza oven, served in the original location. That, my friends, is the definition of TOO LEGIT TO QUIT. Ponder that one for a second.

// Decisions, decisions... //

// Order the classic margherita pizza or anything with the scarmorza cheese! //


Brooklyn Bridge Park is just a stroll from the concentration of delicious DUMBO eats and treats. What makes this park special is the fact that it's made up by a connected series of green spaces and converted piers. While the boys threw the frisbee (and probably got in some people's way, it was crowded), Tricia & I sunbathed and stared in wonder at the view of the Manhattan urban jungle. That skyline is just crazy.

// I think John was working on his Brooklyn Swag Face. Or something. //

// Can you spot the Statue of Liberty? //

Oh, Brooklyn.

DUMBO is the place to play. And soooo easy to get to from Manhattan. Because we took SO many pictures, I had to divide this post into two. More tomorrow from the Brooklyn Bridge View!