It’s so exciting to see how the food truck scene has blossomed in DUMBO! A year ago, I started the @DUMBOFoodTrucks Twitter account on a whim, after being frustrated by the lack of lunch options in the neighborhood where I work. Two or three trucks would hang around each week, but I wanted to try to lure some more from Manhattan.
I started following all the food truck Twitter accounts in the city and tweeting at them to come down to DUMBO. I think most of them didn’t even realize that the Brooklyn neighborhood has thousands of hungry workers, so they hadn’t thought of venturing over the bridge. Hide from DUMBO NYC has been a great help in spreading the word and getting the local community excited about the trucks. I also started tweeting which food trucks where in the ‘hood each day and where they were parked, as a public service for my coworkers at Huge and all of our neighbors.
A year later, @DUMBOFoodTrucks somehow has more than 1,800 followers and we’ve got a great roster of at least two or three food trucks coming down each day. I wish I had more time to put into this little side project but I spend maybe five to 10 minutes a day on it, which is unfortunately all I can spare. I don’t profit off of this in any way (well, sometimes the food truck owners will demand that I accept a free snack when I introduce myself) and I try to be an equal-opportunity food truck supporter. Even as someone who does this kind of stuff for a living, I never expected the project to become a decently successful social media case study with such minimal effort. It really shows the power of Twitter and truly organic, hyperlocal word-of-mouth.
The latest, super exciting development is that the enterprising owner of Bian Dang recently rented out a little corner parking lot at the intersection of Water and Jay streets. He’s sharing it with other neighborhood trucks, so they don’t have to worry about trying to find street parking, and it’s now a bona fide food truck destination!
I was sorry to hear in this news segment that some local brick-and-mortar businesses aren’t happy about the increased food options in the neighborhood, but I think it’s telling that none of them were willing to go on the record. DUMBO has so many workers and so few food options that all the brick-and-mortar places are still busy during the lunch rush, from what I’ve seen—there’s no way that the food trucks could feed everyone singlehandedly. I’m a big believer that the variety and attention the trucks bring to the neighborhood actually benefit everyone in the end: more lunch options —> more people want to work here —> more businesses want to be located here —> more customers for all of the businesses in DUMBO (even the ones without wheels)!