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New York City's Most Unique Places to Photograph
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New York City's Most Unique Places to Photograph

Picture of Jinny Kim
Updated: 9 October 2016
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.

Freedom Tunnel, New York, NY

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Snug Harbor

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.

Snug Harbor, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY +1 (718) 425-3504

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The High Line

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.

The High Line, 122 Gansevoort St, New York, NY +1 (212) 206-9922

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City Hall Station

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.

City Hall Station, New York, NY

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Roosevelt Island Tram

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.

Roosevelt Island Tram, 59th St, New York, NY +1 (212) 832-4543

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Dead Horse Bay

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.

Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn, NY

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Gantry State 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.

Gantry State Park, 4-09 47th Rd, Long Island City, NY +1 (718) 786-6385

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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

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Fort Tryon Park

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.

Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY +1 (212) 795-1388

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Rooftop on the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY +1 (212) 535-7710