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Susan
New York City

New York City

Want to explore New York need good, non touristy ideas

I am a 15 yr veteran of New York and have become one of those people that has lost touch with all it has to offer. I want to rediscover the city but lacking ideas. I would love some suggestions for some great places/things to visit that would be worth bringing my camera and shooting some pics.


3 Answers

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

What an incredibly fun question/challenge! 

OK, I would probably start with a trip up to  Harlem Not only is the archeticture not to be believed but with all the renovations it's been going through lately, you'll probably be documenting a place that will look completely different in just a few years. There's one street in particular that has the most incredible brownstones I think I've ever seen in my life--big, gothic suckers that are just breathtaking--I'm totally blanking on the name, but I'll think of it. 

I would stay up there and go to the Harlem Meer in  Central Park. It's waaaaay the hell up at the north end where almost no one goes and it's absolutely incredible, especially if you go in the fall when the leaves are changing.

While you're in the vicinity, I'd also hit The Cloisters. Lots of gardens and amazing Middle Ages-like statues, etc. 

If you're really up for an adventure, I'd head towards the Bronx to a place called North Brother Island. Long story short, it was an insane asylum/typhoid/leper hospital ("Typhoid Mary" stayed there for something like 30 years) that became abandoned at some point and it's barely been touched in years and years. It looks like a stage set for Grey Gardens and it's a photographer's dream. 

On the other side of the spectrum. I'd also get over to the  Gramercy Park area. You can't enter the park unless you're a resident, but the buildings around the park are beyond stunning. If I were you I'd also try to convince the doormen of some of them to let you in for a minute for a few shots. 

In that same area, around 3rd avenue in the 20s are dozens of brownstones with amazing friezes and frescoes and gargoyles that are so much fun to photograph. Of course, you can find brownstones all over the city, but that area has some really special ones. 

Another idea is the Chanin Building on 42nd and Lex--some of the best Art Deco architecture you'll ever see and I think you'll find that if you just mozey up and down 5th avenue, you'll find even more of it. 

Brooklyn is a photographer's dream come true. You can go almost anywhere in the Park SlopeBoerum HillProspect Park area and find something to photograph. Union Street in Brooklyn has amazing industrial buildings that look like places Starsky and Hutch would have had shoot outs with bad guys. Big steel buildings with all kinds of crazy staircases and rusty fronts! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Harlem (neighborhood)
  2. Central Park (attraction)
  3. Gramercy Park (neighborhood)
  4. The Cloisters (attraction)
  5. Park Slope (neighborhood)
  6. North Brother Island (attraction)
  7. Prospect Park (attraction)
  8. Chanin Building (attraction)
  9. Boerum Hill (neighborhood)
11 thanks


answered by
Melanie from Los Angeles

I'd echo Gramercy Park as a location, and suggest a breakfast or lunch break at Friend of a Farmer. I used to live nearby as a film student at NYU, and was always drawn like a magnet to the tall trees and glamorous apartment buildings.

On a recent trip to New York, I wandered away from Ground Zero, poked into St. Paul's Chapel, and sat in City Hall Park, watching the random interplay of government workers, homeless people and hardcore out-of-towners. The park has, in my opinion, one of the prettiest fountains in New York, and it's surrounded by ornate early 1900s architecture.

You might also want to head to South Street Seaport and hop on the IKEA Water Taxi. It's something like $5, and you'll pass Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty on your way to Red Hook. The park beside IKEA makes a great place to start an exploration of Brooklyn, too. Stop into Hope & Anchor Diner for the best sweet potato fries that have ever been made.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ground Zero (attraction)
  2. City Hall Park (attraction)
  3. Gramercy Park (neighborhood)
  4. South Street Seaport (attraction)
  5. Statue of Liberty (attraction)
  6. Red Hook (city)
  7. Brooklyn (neighborhood)
  8. Friend of a Farmer (restaurant)
  9. St. Paul's Chapel (attraction)
  10. Governors Island (attraction)
  11. Hope & Anchor Diner (restaurant)
8 thanks


answered first by
Soraya from New York City

Susan, have you tried shooting in the Bronx on Arthur Ave? Its a photogenic part of the city, and afterwards you can nibble on the delicious Canoli they sell at Arthur Avenue Retail Market 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bronx (neighborhood)
  2. Arthur Ave (attraction)
  3. Arthur Avenue Retail Market (attraction)
3 thanks




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