Dumbo Diaspora
Part. 2

By Dale Kaplan
Designed and Edited by Gisella Snailer

Keeping the Community Connected


We continue this series of Dumbo Diaspora to showcase the creativity and personal experiences of Dumboites during “stay at home” orders. We are an interesting and sometimes quirky bunch of characters. If you would like to participate, please submit your projects to Dale and Gisella at dumbodirectory@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

Brendan Comfort

“I made this drawing for my updated portfolio so I can apply to graduate school for architecture. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I think a crisis is a good time to move yourself into a new phase of life.

The flyers are something me and a couple of tenants in my building put up in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Our building has a lot of elderly residents and so we wanted them to have our information in case they need something while they social distance. We haven’t had anyone take us up on the offer yet, but about 5 other people responded and we’ve even put them up in a nearby building as well, which makes me feel good.

Hope the Dumbo extended family is doing well :)”

Natasha and Rhys Sweeten

“Artist Natasha Sweeten’s son Rhys decided to make the best of ‘Stay At Home’ orders and proceeded to paint his room. He selected Deep Royal by Benjamin Moore. I would say he has a very sophisticated aesthetic.  The apple does not fall far from the tree. Beautiful job Rhys!!!”

Emiko Shinozaki: Jewelry Designer and soon to be Mom

“I’m hanging in there…now 24 weeks + 5 days along. Less than 16 weeks left! I’m hoping against hope that in August, my fiancé will be able to stay with me in the hospital after the baby is born. Most NYC hospitals aren’t allowing that at this time. It’s heartbreaking. At 47, this will most likely be my first and last baby, so every moment is precious to me. Of late, I suddenly ‘realize’ that I’m pregnant. Of course I know it’s true—but I haven’t received positive feedback from any other people. None of the usual ‘Oh! How far along are you? When are you due!’ No one has seen me besides my partner and cat since early March & it can play tricks with your mind and your sense of reality.”

Carol Bruns

“Several months ago, I lost the fight to keep my live-work loft in gentrified Dumbo, Brooklyn. My day job serving the interior design business with custom bronze furnishings had fallen off, debt grew as did the rent. Patch.com wrote a story on this @dumbo-artist-eviction-story with a photo. My fifty years worth of sculpture and drawing is in a storage space, and I had to either live in a shelter or on the street.  Now living in a Manhattan shelter, I’ve been writing a book on this experience, the homeless crisis, and contemporary culture with drawings of shelter residents and photos. The two drawings here are intended to be in the book.”

David Craig Ellis

David ran out of supplies, so he just used what he had around the house! 

“These troubled times that we’re in call for as much optimism and positivity that we can muster. In the long run it’s the only way to fight it. As a Sagittarius, I’m a natural optimist, so I’ve been following my heart, creating works that reflect a positive outlook and the belief that these circumstances will pass. I’ve set out to make pieces specifically to give away to people I love, once I can again see them in person. Make something positive out of whatever is within your reach!”

Jan Bell

We end with an image of musician Jan Bell, an iconic face in Dumbo. Jan is hunkering down with her partner, Will Scott, in Story, Indiana, population 3. All of her gigs have been cancelled. We will be doing a story about how Covid19 has effected the music community. In the meantime she is writing and playing music in a beautiful country setting with the man she loves.

OPerA Studio Architecture

Natasha Sweeten Studio

Emiko Shinozaki Jewelry

Carol Bruns

David Craig Ellis

  • Avatar
    carol bruns
    April 8, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Dale this is a beautiful project. so well done! thank you for including me.

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