Hitting the Belgian Blocks-Walking Tours in DUMBO

Guided historic walking tours are a great way to interact with a neighborhood while learning more about the historic foundation of the area you're exploring. Two new walking tours are barnstorming the Belgian Blocks in and around DUMBO: Big Onion Walking Tours and Made in Brooklyn Tours.

Big Onion Walking Tours: Big Onion Walking Tours explore the many layers of history that make up the fabric of our city. Most of their guides are full-time graduate students researching and writing doctoral dissertations in history and are quite often researching topics relevant to the tours they are leading. Their DUMBO/Vinegar Hill walk combines the history, architecture, people and contemporary gentrification of these neighborhoods. Stops could include the Eskimo Pie factory, Brooklyn's "Gracie Mansion," historic Fulton Ferry, and sites associated with George Washington, Walt Whitman, John Roebling, Jean Nouvel and America’s oldest national chain store. These tours meet at the Northeast corner of Jay and York Streets, next to the F train station.

Made in Brooklyn Tours: Lead by proud native Brooklynite Dominik "Dom" Gervasi, Made in Brooklyn Tours are guided walking tours that celebrate the creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of Brooklynites past and present. They tell the story of Brooklyn's industrial revolution and its current resurgence. On the DUMBO tour, a few of the stops are to local "makers" like Neighborhoodies, Brooklyn Roasting Company and Jacque Torres--places that exemplify what is being made here in DUMBO. Dom also does well to fill in the history of what has been made here in the past when you walk by landmarks such as the Gair buildings (paper boxes) and where the Arbuckle Brothers had their sugar refinery and coffee packaging plant. Currently, the Made in DUMBO tour takes off from Fulton Ferry Landing on Fridays at 2:00pm. See the website for more details.

Levy's Unique New York:  Managed by a father-son team of fourth generation New Yorkers, Levy's Unique New York provides tour guides who are expertly trained to provide their guests with an educational, entertaining, energetic and engaging tour experience.

They offer a DUMBO excursion that is a 2 hour walking tour highlighting the engineering, politics, personalities, tragedies and triumphs that resulted in the completion of the most famous bridge in America. The tour includes a 45-minute walk across the bridge, and a stroll through DUMBO to Fulton Ferry Landing and Brooklyn Bridge Park in downtown Brooklyn. Contact info is on their website.

Photo via Levy's Unique New York.