DUMBO Offers Peaceful Beauty in the Busy City

The+Brooklyn+Bridge+offers+stunning+views+at+all+times+of+day%2C+but+the+sunset+remains+a+special+one+for+Andrea+Garcia.+%28Andrea+Garcia%2FThe+Fordham+Ram%29
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DUMBO Offers Peaceful Beauty in the Busy City

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

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By Andrea Garcia 

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

The Brooklyn Bridge offers stunning views at all times of day, but the sunset remains a special one for Andrea Garcia. (Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram)

There are millions of places to see in New York City, but this little Brooklyn neighborhood always leaves me dumbfounded. Even though I make the effort to visit monthly, I still remember the first time I ended up here with my two best friends. About a year ago my childhood best friends wanted to walk the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset for her birthday, but our ill-fated voyage brought our little trio through the trash-ridden cobblestone streets to discover Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Although I share that memory with two of my best friends at the time, it’s still my favorite place in the world to just be alone. I never remember which subway stop gets me there fastest, but the second I step into the neighborhood, instinct pulls me closer to the riverbed.

The whiff of the East River saltwater is as familiar during sunset in DUMBO as it does when the sunrises during rowing practice. After navigating through street corners lined with Insta-worthy coffee shops and independent art galleries, you’re given a big Brooklyn welcome to an closeup view of lower Manhattan. No matter how many times I’ve come across the Manhattan skyline, it will always be something astonishingly beautiful to me, especially from this park.

I’ve gazed at this same landscape in every season, in the sweltering summer sun and the biting winter breeze, but this spot is particularly special in the fall. The energy is entirely different as the crisp air contradicts with the warm-colored leaves in the park. Ferries and commercial boats float on by, and it’s comforting to watch as the wakes roll closer into the embedded rocks and further out towards the concrete jungle. It’s bewildering, yet mesmerizing to just hear the crashing waves drown out city traffic.

The people passing by are just as interesting as the park itself. Families of tourists who are admiring the scene for the first time in their lives. Runners gasping for air as their heels strike the pavement. People walking their pets in the fresh air. Kids giggle and run carefree on the playground. Photographers investige the area for the perfect shot. They all exist in this space around me, but I love isolating myself in the midst of all of this hustle and bustle.

A whole island away from Fordham, I let go of any anxieties and empty them out with an ink pen into my sketchbook. I put in my headphones and throw on whatever I’m listening to at the moment, and just stay still. I draw, I write and drink a familiar cup of coffee. Once, I dragged my guitar with me. I allow myself to think of anything other than what’s going on at school. Anyone who knows me understands how rare of a moment that truly is. And no one around would ever dare to interrupt me.

No matter why I end up at Dumbo on any given day, I always have my camera tucked in my bag so I am always ready to capture the perfect moment. It’s my favorite place to take photos. I can take photos of identically framed landscapes, but they’ll always exhibit a different fleeting moment in time. There’s always something new to take photos of that I haven’t already. Every time I go to the park, there’s a new angle of it that I haven’t yet discovered.

If you stay around Dumbo long enough, you’re guaranteed to witness a jaw-dropping sunset. I’ve found that sunsets along Brooklyn Bridge Park are just as unique as snowflakes. Each time I visit, a different array of colors grace Manhattan, and a whole new set of clouds hug the skyscrapers. Camera in hand, sunsets along Brooklyn Bridge Park are the most calm I’ll ever feel.

I fall in love with New York City more each time I witness the sun fall behind the Brooklyn Bridge and past the skyscrapers. One by one, the building lights turn on as the sky continues to get darker. I reflect on the day I’ve had, and the night is only beginning.