Yesterday around 1:45 p.m. a man was walking through this archway under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO when, according to his wife, he was jumped by "a huskier, young guy (probably late teens), african american, wearing a tan jacket," in an unprovoked attack. "Unfortunately that was all my husband was able to see as the guy came up to him from behind and broke his glasses as he punched him. He didn’t demand money or anything, so don’t know if it was an attempted mugging or the guy was just mentally unstable."
The incident might not merit mention except that the Gothamist office is right across the street from this archway, and, like many people who work and live in DUMBO, we pass through it every day around this time en route to Foragers' overpriced but adequate salad bar. This archway is also part of an ongoing neighborhood saga—after being closed for 17 years, it finally reopened for good last April. Previously, to get around the bridge one had to walk all the way to Front Street or around the west side to Plymouth Street. Inconvenient, ya know?
But there was a third way... More intrepid souls often dashed through a narrow passageway through the bridge foundation, about 50 yards from the archway. Fondly dubbed "stabber alley" (despite any known stabbing incidents) this long, isolated path seemed the perfect place to get mugged without any witnesses or escape route. But yesterday's incident has some in DUMBO wondering if we should again start taking our chances with the alley. Maybe, like the stairs of Cirith Ungol in Mordor, it's such a foolhardy approach that the enemy doesn't expect it? Or maybe a giant spider's waiting to drop down on us. This much is certain: we'll be ordering delivery until they install surveillance cameras and armed guards in that archway. The city should just close it!