I went there to check out the Dumbo Arts Festival – a free three-day festival scattered among the streets and museum spaces at the base of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. I arrived as the sun was setting and wandered along the waterfront – and the outdoor parts of the festival were more than enough to entertain me for a couple of hours.
I particularly liked how the festival used the water rather than just the parks and streets. The largest piece floating on the East River was The Ship of Tolerance – an old-fashioned vessel with more than 100 images on its sail. These paintings were created by city school kids aged between 5 and 13 who were asked to represent what ‘tolerance’ meant to them. Their artwork was then stitched together and added to the boat, which was built by a team from Manchester in the UK. It bobbed on the water just off the Brooklyn Bridge Park, giving a new addition to the skyline.
Unlike a lot of the other art at the festival, this piece is staying until October 8.
I wandered the blocks and saw photographs representing New York’s real superheroes, graffiti work by huuge artists such as Shepard Fairey and a collection of little flags that were supposed to show Chelsea Manning’s face when put together – but unfortunately it was a little too windy to work.
I’ve loved Dumbo ever since visiting for the first time in the summer for Smorgasburg and a ride on Jane’s Carousel. And it was brilliant to see crowds swarming the streets making the most of this gorgeous little corner of Brooklyn.