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New York City's Most Unique Places to Photograph

New York City's Most Unique Places to Photograph
While you can take some stunning photographs at Empire State Building, Times Square, and Central Park, it may be worthwhile to take yourself and your camera somewhere off the beaten path tocapture the images of some of the city’s hidden gems. Here’s our list of the most unique places to photograph in NYC.

Freedom Tunnel

Named after graffiti artist Chris ‘Freedom’ Pape, the tunnel opened in the 1930s and fell into disuse. It then became the site of a shantytown that housed a homeless community and some graffiti artists. Most notably, Freedom used the tunnel walls to start spray painting, and created some remarkable artwork. For him, the tunnel and his artwork were a way to express himself. With sunbeams perforating the ceiling, the tunnel creates an interesting blend of darkness and natural light.

Snug Harbor © Melissa/Flickr

Snug Harbor

Botanical Garden, Building
The Snug Harbor Cultural Center was originally built as a home for retired sailors
The Snug Harbor Cultural Center was originally built as a home for retired sailors | © Stefan K / Alamy Stock Photo
Located along the north shore of Staten Island near the ferry, Snug Harbor has a big collection of architecturally-significant and unique 19th-century buildings. Once a home for aged sailors, some of the buildings and grounds are now used by arts organizations. The grounds are beautiful, clean and well-maintained, and it’s a great place to photograph or to be photographed on a special day.
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High Line @ Robert Wright

The High Line

Park
The High Line park is built on a former elevated railway
The High Line park is built on a former elevated railway | © Andrea Zangrilli / Alamy Stock Photo
The High Line is a urban public park built on an elevated freight rail line on Manhattan’s West Side. No matter the season, you can take a stroll along this rail line and take some vivacious spirit of NYC. Gently-illuminated architectural features after sunset are one of its highlights.
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Sun:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Mon:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Tue:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Wed:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thu:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat:
7:00 am - 11:00 pm
City Hall Station © John-Paul Palescandolo

City Hall Station

Hiking Trail, Train Station
Roosevelt Island Tram
Roosevelt Island Tram | © Vivienne Gucwa/Flickr
This beautiful subway station was inactive for nearly 69 years. Located beneath City Hall, this station was intended to be a showpiece and featured tall tiled arches, brass fixtures and skylights. The station closed in 1945 but has recently been reopened for visitors.
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Roosevelt Island Tram © Vivienne Gucwa/Flickr

Roosevelt Island Tram

Hiking Trail
Dead Horse Bay
Dead Horse Bay | © Madeline Wilson
Taking the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram is a fun and easy way to get a spectacular view of Manhattan, and all you need to ride is a MetroCard. The tram takes passengers to the Roosevelt Island in a few minutes, and the ride there will provide a breathtaking skyline view of the city.
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Dead Horse Bay © Madeline Wilson

Dead Horse Bay

Natural Feature
Gantry State Park
Gantry State Park | © Jinny Kim
Like most of New York City, Dead Horse Bay has a long history of transformations. At Dead Horse Bay, remnants of the past, including many, many bottles, are on full display.
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Gantry State Park © Jinny Kim

Gantry State Park

Building, Park
Located by the East River, this place may be a lesser-known park, but it offers stunning views of Midtown. This 12-acre riverside park boasts a breathtaking skyline view, including the United Nations and Empire State Buildings.
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Sun:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Mon:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tue:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wed:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thu:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:
8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Staten Island Boat Graveyard © Mike/Flickr

Staten Island Boat Graveyard

Probably one of the spookiest places in town, the Staten Island Boat Graveyard is the final resting place for dozens for scrapped and decayed ships. Located on the western coast of Staten Island, you can capture some oddly beautiful and unique views of the historical ruination and the decomposing and abandoned boats. The public path to the water is no longer open, but you can still see the boats.

Boat Graveyard, Staten Island, NY

Fort Tryon © AI/Flickr

Fort Tryon Park

Museum, Park
Central Knoll at Tompkins Square Park
Central Knoll at Tompkins Square Park | © David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons
As one of the city’s most beautiful yet lesser-known manmade parks, the overwhelming natural beauty might make you forget that you are still in New York City. You can enjoy a good walk at Fort Tryon Park and capture some amazing nature shots.
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Sun - Mon:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Mon - Tue:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Tue - Wed:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Wed - Thu:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Thu - Fri:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
6:00 am - 1:00 am
View from the Met © Joanna Goddard/Flickr

Rooftop on the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Building, Museum, Park, Theater
This is one of the coolest places to get a glass of champagne and take some beautiful pictures of the Manhattan skyline and the rooftop itself. If living in this highly populated and congested city has gotten to you, taking in the view from this exciting rooftop will make you fall in love with NYC all over again.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm