Ode to Dumbo (2020)

Happy 2021, DUMBO! It's a tradition around here to close out the year with a poem. Behold:

Ode to Dumbo: Peace Out 2020

Oh Dumbo, what a year it's been.
Words cannot express–
the ups and downs, the dramatic twists,
the stress on stress on stress.

And so, we just write a note of thanks
to all who kept us going:
the DOE Fund, who showed up every day
(even the one when it was snowing).
The delivery trucks of all shapes and sorts,
avoiding Adams Street mostly;
the Pharmacists at the Modern Chemist + City Chemist;
the baristas at Beepublic + Brooklyn Roasting.
The doormen and the garage staff,
the restaurant owners who just kept on serving;
the organizers and volunteers
who helped in times most unnerving.

The kids who painted rainbows,
and hung them as if to say:
“Keep going! Share some  normalcy,
even in an abnormal way.”

This community saw Cadman Plaza come alive,
Thousands marching for what was right.
Standoffs on the Manhattan Bridge,
and celebrations that went into the night.

We ate outdoors (a lot).
We sacrificed our parking.
We even stopped for once
to listen to all the dogs barking.

We found refuge in Brooklyn Bridge Park,
We decorated construction fences,
We reclaimed Washington Street,
and mourned dear Jane Walentas

We ordered from Superfine and Almar!
We ate our fill of pizzas!
We tested ourselves and tested ourselves,
whether parents or singles or teachers.

Who knew apartment dwelling
would ever look like this?
Who knew taking the F Train
Would be something dear to miss?

Do you remember that weird flyover?
How about the blue moon?
Virtual elephants dropping
+ a countdown clock that got busted too soon.
(For real, will 2020 ever end!?)

Did you catch a concert on top of St Ann's
Or scan a million QR codes?
Have you checked out the new Vodega?
Or dropped your dog at Digs up the road?
Jacques Torres turned twenty,
Brooklyn Bridge Park turned ten,
And we were all encouraged to spend spend spend spend.

To be honest, some days it's very blurry–
And some days it's sad and blue.
But walk these cobbled streets,
and you just might see the world anew.
Because Dumbo is a village again.
We're here. We're out. We're together.
We say hi and we check in now.
We obsess about the weather.
We shop local and we show up.
We hustle and we volunteer.
We rediscover the neighborhood we love,
and together persevere.

So keep at it please! A few more months!
Mask up like a VIP.
We will welcome back the workforce,
We will dance in jubilee!
We will fuss about the BQE,
and grouse about the tourists.
Oh 2019 problems,
you certainly are missed!!
We will have a brand new Emily Roebling plaza,
and a new Bridge Park 2 on its way.
We will be all ready for Dumbo’s next chapter,
by next year's New Year’s Day.

So Peace Out 2020–
It feels so good to say!
Let’s rock this home stretch, Dumbo–
And live to see another day. 

With love and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year to you all,

Alexandria, Clara and Kalvis
The Dumbo Improvement District