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ArtistsinAuction

Dumbo has changed. A lot.

Since venturing into this sliver of a wasteland under the Manhattan Bridge almost ten years ago, I have witnessed no less than a complete turnaround. When the D.U.M.B.O. – Art Under the Bridge Festival began in 1997, abandoned and dilapidated manufacturing structures were becoming home to a growing number of artists, all in search of affordable studio spaces. There was perhaps one corner deli that served the area.

Now,  pet grooming stores, not to mention a Chase bank, posh clothing and furniture stores, as well as a growing number of eating and drinking establishments, blanket the area.  And the familiar trend – artists move in, area grows hip, trendy stores gain a foothold, tourists and mainstream New Yorkers discover the area, housing becomes unaffordable, artists move out – is becoming clearly evident.

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Still, the festival draws an ample crowd and the event is highly entertaining. The outdoor performance and public art are good fun – witness the fish parade and the knitted zombies – and the remaining artists, many of whom have been here since the beginning, open the doors to their colorful studios, displaying a wide array of creative talent.

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