New York Magazine

     
  Brooklyn Bridge
    Get in the pedestrian lane, ignore the dizzying din of cars below, and snap some unforgettable shots of Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and the New York Harbor. Of course, with its trademark soaring arches and steel cables, the bridge itself is an excellent backdrop.
    • Park Row, near Municipal Bldg.; Brooklyn: Cadman Plaza
     
  Brooklyn Heights Promenade
    This scenic walkway, featured in Woody Allen films, is where lovers come to gaze, friends to chat and thinkers to read. It’s also the quintessential viewing point of the city’s defining landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.
    • Above the Brooklyn Queens Expressway between Remsen and Orange Sts., Brooklyn
     
  Bull Statue
    Sometimes called “Charging Bull” or “Wall Street Bull,” this 7,000 pound bronze statue inspired by Black Monday (October 19, 1987), was created by New York City artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989 and has become as synonymous with Wall Street as the New York Stock Exchange.
    • Bowling Green Park, Battery Pl. and Whitehall St.
     
  Central Park
   

One of New York City's premier destinations for both natives and visitors, Central Park is bursting with meadows, lakes, wooded areas, rocky climbs, gardens, archways, bridges, buildings and various attractions, including two skating rinks, a zoo, a Victorian castle, the John-Lennon "Strawberry Fields" memorial.

    • 59th St. to 110th St. between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West, centralpark.org
     
  Coney Island
    From freaks to fireworks to fast rides, there’s no shortage of colorful characters and sights to snap at this amusement area.
    • Surf Avenue and 10th St., Brooklyn, coneyisland.com
     
  Chinatown
    This spectacle of sights, sounds and smells—not to mention the crowds of people all walking along the bustling main artery of Canal Street—is the closest some of us may ever get to China. Fruit and fresh fish vendors and shadier shops selling knockoff bags line the streets, adding to the exotic visual stimulation of a neighborhood where even the McDonalds sign is in Chinese.
    • Along Canal St, from Bowery to West Broadway
     
  Chrysler Building
   

One of the reasons people board the Empire State Building’s NY Skyride or observation deck is to get a closer glimpse at this Art Deco achievement. The Chrysler Building’s polished chromium nickel gleams even when it’s cloudy, and gargoyles roost on the 59th floor, eagles on the 61st.

    • 405 Lexington Ave., at 42nd St., 212-682-3070
     
  Flatiron Building
    A striking triangular sliver, this Ladies’ Mile historic landmark fans outwards from 23rd to 22nd Streets, with its rounded, prow-like front measuring only six feet across. Shaped like an old fashioned iron, the often-photographed building has been captured by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and countless tourists.
    • 175 Fifth Avenue, between 22nd and 23rd Sts.
     
  Fort Tryon Park
    Carved out of the boulders that dominate the geography of Manhattan’s northern end, Fort Tryon Park sits atop a wooded hill that offers views the Hudson River on one side and Upper Manhattan and the Bronx on the other.
    • Cabrini Blvd. and Ft. Washington Ave., 212-923-7174
     
  Gracie Mansion
    Itself a photo op, this historic landmark and official home to New York City’s mayors provides excellent panoramas of the East River, the Triboro and Queensboro Bridges, and Randall’s and Roosevelt Islands. The best shots are to be taken from Carl Schurz Park, the former private gardens of the mansion.
    • 89th St. and E. End Ave., 212-570-4773, nyc.gov
     
  Grand Army Plaza
    Brooklyn's version of Paris's Arc de Triomphe, the 80-foot arch at Grand Army Plaza is elaborately carved and ornately decorated, with dramatic bronze sculptures such as Lady Columbia and her chariot (an allegorical representation of the United States). Bronze relief panels of President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant line the Plaza walls and the Bailey Fountain adds to the picture-perfect scene.
    • The intersection of Flatbush Ave., Eastern Parkway, Prospect Park West, Brooklyn.
     
  Grand Central Terminal
    The intricate relief sculpture columns decorating the walls of the French Classical limestone exterior façade rise toward an enormous figurative sculpture of Roman gods made especially for the Terminal. Inside the Grand Concourse, warm and welcoming light diffuses into the underground space via Roman arch triumphal windows reaching six stories high. Don't forget to look up: stunning constellations cover the restored ceiling.
    • 42nd to 44th Streets, between Vanderbilt and Lexington Aves, 212-697-7713, grandcentralterminal.com
     
  Guggenheim Museum
    The unusual spiral-shape of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece lures many visitors to form lines around the entry at 89th and Fifth Avenue. Gaze up the inner spiral ramp to catch Wright’s take on the rigid geometry of Modernist Architecture. Circularity is the motif here, from the rotunda to the inlaid design of the terrazzo floors.
    • 1071 Fifth Ave., at 89th St., 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org
     
  The Haughwout Building
    For photos with dramatic shadow-lighting, visit the structure towards sunset, when the fading light helps highlight the intricate detail of the building’s architecture.
    • 490 Broadway and Broome St.
     
  Lincoln Center
    One of New York's most iconic cultural institutions, Lincoln Center is the largest performing arts mecca in the world. The 16.3-acre complex houses hosts soaring structures that radiate around its glorious signature fountain, used to great romantic effect in Moonstruck.
    • 140 West 65th St, 212-875-5000, lincolncenter.org
     
  The Lipstick Building
    Walking northward on the west side of Third Avenue offers the clearest angle for catching a shot of this building's unusual design—atypical elliptical lines and vibrant imperial red granite up against the horizontal bands of stainless steel.
    • 885 Third Ave. between 53rd and 54th Sts.
     
  Macy's
    It started in 1858 as a fancy dry goods shop on 14th St. and 6th Ave. and has grown into the most recognizable department store in the country. Moving to the current Herald Square location in 1902 made it the largest retail store with over one million square feet of retail space. Ornate holiday windows and a famous Thanksgiving Day parade only add to its charm.
    • 151 West 34th Street between Broadway and Seventh Ave, macys.com
     
  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Not only is the building itself an impressive monolith, but the The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, open May through late fall, is one of the most unique outdoor sculpture spaces in the city. It’s also where museum-goers grab a drink and enjoy the incredible views of Central Park.
    • 1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St, 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org
     
  Rockefeller Center
    Art is everywhere you look at Rockefeller Center. This area hosts some of the best known 20th century artists and architects, including relief sculptures by Lee Lawrie, metal work by Isamu Noguchi, and roof gardens by Jose Maria Sert. Around the winter holidays, even locals find it hard to resist the photo opportunities at the ice rink and enormous tree.
    • 47-50th Sts., between Fifth and Sixth Aves. 212-332-6868 or 212-632-3975 rockefellercenter.com
     
  St. Patrick’s Cathedral
    Located across from Rockefeller Center, the St. Pat's is one of the city's most spectacular architectural sights, modeled in a mélange of Gothic revival styles with two soaring 330-foot spires.
    • Fifth Ave btw 50th and 51st Sts. 212-753-2261, ny-archdiocese.org
     
  Staten Island Ferry
    As if a free boat cruise isn’t a great deal already, the Staten Island Ferry also offers waterside views of Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty.
    • Manhattan: Whitehall Ferry Terminal. Staten Island: St. George Ferry Terminal, siferry.com
     
  Statue of Liberty
    The welcoming beacon was shut down for almost three years after September 11th, meaning that the only way to catch a shot of Lady Liberty was from a distance. Lady Liberty re-opened in early August 2004 and though access to the statues upper levels has been cut off, a glass covering with improved lighting now makes it possible to see all the way up to the crown—without huffing and puffing up those stairs.
    • Liberty Island, 866-782-8834, nps.gov
     
  Times Square
    Bright lights, big crowds and busy streets are only a few ways to describe the bustling area of Times Square, where visitors flock to catch a glimpse of the latest celebrity appearing in the giant windows of MTV studios, to see the hottest Broadway show, or just to gaze up at the giant TV screens and billboards that illuminate the sky.
    • Broadway and 7th Avenue from about 42nd to 47th Sts, 212-768-1560, timessquarebid.org
     
  Wave Hill
    Grand architecture and stunning vistas of the New Jersey Palisades can be viewed from numerous locations on the grounds of this 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the heart of Riverdale. The most quieting of these views come from the Pergola Overlook and the Elliptical Garden, which in the fall at sunset may be the most colorful spot in all of New York.
    • 675 West 252nd Street, Bronx
     
  Yankee Stadium (Monument Park)
    Baseball fans don't just head to Yankee Stadium for a game, they also stop by Monument Park for a picture with the greats. This secluded garden beyond the left-field fence of Yankee Stadium proudly displays plaques of Yankee greats from Babe Ruth to Don Mattingly.
    • 161st St. and River Ave., The Bronx, (718) 293-4300, yankees.com
     
     
     
     
 
 
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Grand Central Terminal
   
 
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Wave Hill
   
 
 
The Lipstick Building