Dumbo, the former industrial area turned charming residential neighborhood, is enjoying a third renaissance as a center for contemporary and cutting-edge art. Though it may not rival Chelsea quite yet, more and more gallerists are migrating over the Manhattan Bridge for space and sunlight—and the artists are following. There are about a dozen galleries within a few blocks and on the First Thursday Art Walk, you can duck into all of them (and sip bubbly while you’re there).
If you only make it to one, though, it should be Smack Mellon, our favorite art space in the neighborhood. The nonprofit gallery showcases artists who are underrepresented in the art world at large—particularly women. Housed in one of the many renovated warehouses in the area, its interior is classic Dumbo: tall industrial concrete columns and gorgeous large frame windows that allow light from over the East River to flood in.
In addition to the galleries, the commissioned public wall art—by artists including Eltono, Dalesat, and Faith47—turns the cobblestone streets into mini-museums themselves.
Why you should go: Except for the sweeping Manhattan views, Dumbo’s riverside cobblestone streets and avant-garde art might make you feel like you’re in Paris. Take advantage of the area’s excellent restaurants and bars while you’re there—our experience planners can point you in the right direction.
First Thursday Gallery Walk
Various galleries throughout Dumbo
Every first Thursday of the month (except July)
Enhance your evening in DUMBO with art of the culinary kind: