Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

One of my absolute favorite places in Brooklyn, and somewhere I'd like to live someday if the prices don't continue to skyrocket like mad into the sky and beyond.

DUMBO is essentially a collection of reclaimed industrial buildings and warehouses that dot the shores of Brooklyn near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It's is located slightly north of Brooklyn Heights and has fabulous, amazing views of the Manhattan skyline (if you get those pesky warehouses out of the way). In the last few years it has begun a substantial amount of regrowth and is beginning to be a thriving artist community.

Although this strikes some people as being as funny as Carroll Gardens West, I heard a real estate agent call DUMBO the "East Village of Brooklyn".

Disney Animated Features
<< Fantasia | Bambi >>

Release Date: 23 October 1941

The movie Dumbo is one of the shortest of the Disney Animated Features, coming in at only 64 minutes. Despite its short running time, however, it's still an excellent film.

The story, based on a book by Helen Aberson, tells the tale of a young circus elephant named Dumbo. His mother, Mrs. Jumbo, originally named him Jumbo, Jr., but when the other elephants saw his gigantic ears, they dubbed him "Dumbo." His anomalous ears made him a target of much ridicule, both from the other elephants and from the guests at the circus. His mother is imprisoned when she goes on a rampage after a guest mercilessly teases her baby.

That leaves Dumbo with only one ally, a mouse named Timothy. Timothy determines that those big ears of Dumbo's allow him to fly like a bird, but Dumbo doesn't believe it. A "magic feather" convinces him, but when Dumbo loses the feather in mid-flight, he must search within for the ability to fly.

Dumbo earned one Academy Award, for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture. It also had one song, "Baby Mine," nominated for Best Music, Song.

While nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, Dumbo was a solid, modest success, which was a change for the Walt Disney Company after Pinocchio and Fantasia. It reenergized Disney's commitment to animated features, but alas, World War II, which the U.S. entered less than two months after this film's release, put many of his plans on hold.

Information for the Disney Animated Features series of nodes comes from the IMDb (, Frank's Disney Page (, and the dark recesses of my own memory.

DUMBO, the warehouse-cum-artist loft neighborhood on the Brooklyn shore, is probably the center of the independent arts scene in New York City at present. Having been priced out of SOHO in Manhattan a generation ago, and out of nearby Williamsburg Brooklyn in recent years, the New York artists community has relocated to both DUMBO and Long Island City in Queens. Both neighborhoods featured abundant warehouse space and Manhattan views across the East River.

It seems that already the process may be repeating itself, with loft spaces in both DUMBO and LIC becoming ever more coveted.

DUMBO is served by the York Street stop on the F Train. It seems that the planners of the Independent Subway may have known what they were doing when they put a stop in the midst of a bunch of warehouses.

The Adelaide O-Bahn raises a peculiar problem in the case of a bus breaking down:

Hoist the bus off with a crane? Due to the nature of the terrain surrounding the O-Bahn track, this is impractical for much of the track's length.

Drive another bus up behind, and push it home? This is the solution implemented in Germany. It's awkward, and having the driver able to see obstructions is difficult and dangerous.

Just tow it off? Sure, but that means reversing down the track to get to the front of the crippled bus. There's no way to turn around on the track.

Mercedes came up with another solution...

                (Front -->)
       _____             _____
      /     ]           [     \
      | [__]|===========|[__] |
     (|  ___             ___  |)
        |(O)|           |(O)|
         '-'             '-'

Their special-purpose, one-of-a-kind vehicle has been nicknamed "Dumbo". Dumbo is based on a heavily modified Unimog, the transmission thus giving it six speeds in both forward and reverse. Merc 22xx series cabs were placed on both ends, with all controls duplicated in both. A towing mechanism at the back of Dumbo enables it to haul crippled buses from the O-Bahn track. There is technically no right or wrong direction to drive Dumbo, except that it can only tow in one direction. While Dumbo has 4WD, only the front pair of wheels are used in steering, and the rear wheels are locked straight. Guide wheels, the same as those fitted to the O-Bahn buses, are attached behind all four of Dumbo's wheels. Between the two cabs is a walled bed used for general storage of tools, parts, etc. The words "BUSWAY RECOVERY" are printed in black across the front of both (white) cabs, just above the grill. Although originally stationed at St Agnes depot, close to the O-Bahn, Dumbo has been kept at Mile End for the past few years.

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