There's a space between just under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges which holds a poorly-guarded-secret culture. The entrance, or exit (depending on how you approach it), is located in Brooklyn, at the base of the older bridge (the Brooklyn Bridge, that is), just along the water's edge of the Sound River. The exit, or entrance (depending on how you look at it), lies at the opening of the Manhattan Bridge, wedged between the columns of the colonnade found at the Grand Arch. This area, to not only it's inhabitants, frequent visitors, and the locals, is known as DUMBO. And within it holds one of New York's...grittier faerie hubs.

DUMBO is where young Julianna accidentally finds herself one night, with no recollection of how she got there, little idea of how she would get out, and only the most basic knowledge of faerie-lore to keep her safe.


You know when you dream, how it's like drifting in and out of different scenes from different movies and they only sometimes ever connect or makes sense? How sometimes it's like falling asleep in your bed and waking up in an ongoing reality where you're already awake and aware and in the midst of some action? Like you turned the TV on in the middle of a show, only you're actually in the show...well, actually you're kind of the star? That's kind of what it was like for me, finding the secret DUMBO.

I remember walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and somehow ending up under it and walking through a door - or rather, a gate - and coming out the next side in a new place. It's weird, because why would I even be walking over the bridge?

I hate that bridge, with it's pedestrian walk that starts out safe and sound and made of concrete, but morphs into creaky, shaking, wooden planks that hover over stretches of terrifying water and zooming cars on either side, like some uber-dangerous, dilapidated boardwalk. When we were kids, in elementary school, we took a trip over that damned bridge every spring. Walked over it in the morning, took lunch in the Fulton Market, and walked back across with time to spare before dismissal. I hated it then too. It turned my stomach and moistened my palms to be forced into such an unpredictable and unsafe position. Walking over water like some not-God and hoping that this impossible, gravity-defying bridge held up long enough to bring us home safely. Heart stopping and breath catching when you accidentally stepped on a loose plank, feeling the bottom fall out - quite literally - even if just for a half-second until you found sturdier footing. Where's the fun in that?

And that was before. Before I was old enough to worry about more than faulty bridge-building and loose woodwork. Before the terrorist took down the towers and threatened the overways with car-bombs. Before airplanes fell out of skies and subways blew threw the concrete.

The point is, how'd I end up coming through the otherside of the bridge when I would have never gone over the bridge in the first place? Not on my best day. Definitely not on foot.

I don't know. But it happened, and things just got worse after that.