That smarts! Colorful Dumbo sign reacts to tweets

Sign of the times: This new Dumbo “reflector” sign is making waves at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Brooklyn Paper
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It’s the smartest sign in Dumbo!

A colorful new sign that spells out its namesake neighborhood, tells time, traffic, and weather, and lights up with the tweet of a hashtag has debuted in Dumbo, and it’s backers claim even serves an important purpose: to show people how tech-savvy the nabe is along with providing the perfect photo backdrop.

“The Dumbo Reflector is a physical reminder of the vibrancy of this community and our commitment to creativity, innovation and yes, it’s a pretty awesome photo op,” said Alexandria Sica, the executive director of the Dumbo Business Improvement District, which commissioned the piece in honor of its 10th Anniversary.

Designed by Dumbo-based multimedia artist David Crumley, the sign stands against the Manhattan Bridge at the foot of Jay Street in the recently opened John Street section of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The letters — which stand as tall as a basketball hoop at their highest point — are made out of the same material as a two-way mirror so they usually reflects whatever is in front of it, but magically light up wildly in different colors when people tweet “#DumboSelf­ie, #DumboMagic, and #DumboWedd­ing.”

The installation also tells the time on the hour with a binary clock using the letters as digits and shows the weather with different colors and animations every 10 minutes : blue for clear and open skies; blue and white for partly cloudy; and animated with rain and snow in such conditions.

Parkgoers can check out traffic on nearby bridges by tweeting “#DumboTraf­fic” — the M shows traffic on the Manhattan Bridge and the B shows how vehicles are moving on the Brooklyn Bridge. The letters light up green for good conditions, yellow for moderate, and red for a traffic nightmare.

And the sign is a welcome addition to the neighborhood for at least one Dumbo worker, whose only complaint was that it doesn’t light up often enough.

“I really, really love it but I wish it was more colorful sometimes because it only flashes colors a couple times,” said Nicole Abdelenour, who works in Dumbo. “But I love the location, it’s perfect.”

Of course, not everyone fell immediately in love with the artwork.

“It’s a bit silly,” said Julia Ellingwood, who lives in Prospect Lefferts Gardens but works in Dumbo. “I don’t object to it, but it doesn’t really add to my experience here.”

Dumbo Reflector in Brooklyn Bridge Park (One John St. at Jay Street in Dumbo).

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

samir kabir from downtown says:
Dumb-o is right.
Oct. 19, 2016, 5:13 am
tweet tweet from Dumbo says:

so koolo

Brooklyn's becoming a borough of dodos
Oct. 19, 2016, 11:31 am
samir kabir from downtown says:
What about DUMB? Saves on electricity.
Oct. 20, 2016, 3:18 pm

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