With its fantastic views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, terrific restaurants, and still plenty of gritty industrial charm (it's not all luxury condos . . . yet), DUMBO is one of Brooklyn's finest neighborhoods. If you haven't visited the rapidly changing area in a while, the walking tour Hike NYC: Dumbo, presented by Makor, offers a perfect opportunity to explore the area while learning about its history. Urban historian Gordon Linzner leads the walk, which starts with a hike across the Brooklyn Bridge and then winds through DUMBO's maze of historic cobblestone streets and Civil Warera warehouses. The tour includes stops at some of DUMBO's famous art galleries and a visit to Jacques Torres, a European-style chocolate shop, to sample the celebrity chef's line of dark- and milk-chocolate bonbons and treats. Torres converted a brick warehouse into his first chocolate factory, and visitors can sometimes see his employees, whom he calls his "oompa-loompas," making candy, through the store's large connecting windows. The tour ends atyou guessed itGrimaldi's pizzeria for a slice of its famous coal-oven pie. At noon, call for meeting place, 212-415-5500, $20 ANGELA ASHMAN
Don't smileyou're on candid cameras
Have you noticed the growing number of surveillance cameras in Manhattan's public spaces? Well, the Surveillance Camera Players spotted this trend a decade ago and have since been doing their part to inform people about it. According to Bill Brown, the group's co-founder, the SCP was spawned by the actions of Giuliani. "In 1996, [he] started reintroducing police cameras into New York Cityin subways, parks, and housing developments. They are a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment," says Brown. "It's a primary tool of racial profiling, and it allows cops and security guards to be voyeurs." Aside from taunting Big Brother with performances in front of cameras around the city (their first was Ubu the King by Alfred Jarry), the players have also been leading walking tours just about every Sunday since 2000. But they don't practice heavy-handed political preaching. Brown, who holds a Ph.D. in American literature and runs these excursions in his free time, says, "I don't give a left-wing rant. These tours are simply meant to inform peoplebecause knowledge is power." At 2, meet at the southeast intersection of Broadway and Warren Street, 212-561-0106, notbored.org, free KEN SWITZER
Dirty dancing under the stars
It's not uncommon to be at a Latin-music club in the city and see plenty of would-be Marc Anthonys and J.Los sadly standing on the sidelines because, alas, no one ever showed them how to salsa, rumba, or cha-cha-cha. But when Nu Guajiro (formerly Mo'Guajiro) bring their bold, sexy music to Hudson River Park's MoonDance party on the waterfront, even hip-swiveling newbies will feel prepared to hit the dancefloor after an invigorating 45-minute crash course in salsa taught by an instructor from Dance Manhattan. Before summer's end the MoonDance series returns two more times with Eternal Tango on August 6 and George Gee and the Jump, Jive & Wailers on August 13 (with lessons offered in tango and swing, respectively). Lessons at 6:30, music at 7, Hudson River Park, Pier 54, 13th Street and West Side Highway, 212-627-2020, free ANGELA ASHMAN
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