Newsletter Issue 10: Ten Photography Spots You Must Visit in NYC (Whether You’re a Local or a Tourist)

Introduction

We’re digging back into the archives and looking through my ten must-visit photography spots all around New York City! Whether you’re a local, visitor, or photographer, check out some of the spots below.

About Michael

Michael Silverstone is a photographer based in New York City. He specializes in train, landscape, and city photography. Michael currently shoots with a Sony Alpha A7RII, alternating between four lenses. On any given day or night, you can find him capturing one of NYC’s iconic landmarks, or shooting from a subway platform deep in Brooklyn.

A hiking trip to the Canadian Rockies in June 2017 (specifically a starry night over Pyramid and Patricia Lakes in Jasper, Alberta) was the inspiration for Michael’s photography journey. Upon returning to NYC, he purchased his first camera the very next day.

Michael’s work has been shared by the marketing organization NYC & Company, and has been featured on multiple local cable news outlets, including Spectrum News NY1, FOX 5 New York, and ABC7 Eyewitness News. He also serves as a mod for the popular Instagram photography hubs @NYCPrimeshot and @USAPrimeshot. These hubs feature the work of local and national creators, and organize and run photography meet-ups/networking events around NYC in collaboration with other hubs, and with the participation of sponsors.

Michael enjoys playing guitar, attending concerts, and studying New York City’s bizarre and captivating history.

Equipment

Sony Alpha A7RII

Tamron 17–28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

Tamron 28–75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD

Sony FE 85mm f/1.8

Sony FE 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 G OSS

Sony FE 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 G-Master

Ten Photography Spots You Must Visit in NYC

Skyline from Weehawken (New Jersey):

There’s plenty of places to view the NYC skyline — Brooklyn Bridge Park, Gantry Plaza Park (Queens), Hoboken (NJ), even the northeast corner of the Central Park Reservoir.

However, if you want a fully panoramic view of the NYC skyline (we’re talking the World Trade Center all the way up to the Riverside Church and beyond), there’s no better place than Weehawken, NJ.

Compared to neighboring Hoboken, this town in NJ is a bit trickier to get to, but still accessible by bus, ferry, and Uber (if you have to). Whether you’re capturing a fiery sky during sunrise or the golden reflections during sunset, it’s a must-see.

Williamsburg Bridge:

Known primarily as a biking bridge, this extra long crossing between Williamsburg and the Lower East Side doesn’t get nearly as much foot traffic as its neighboring bridges to the immediate south. However, it’s certainly worth exploring!

About halfway across the bridge, you’ll reach a point where you can switch between the bike path and pedestrian path. Right in that middle portion, you’ll have access to a phenomenal view of the J, M (and if you’re lucky — Z) from directly above.

South Portland Avenue (Fort Greene, Brooklyn):

In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Fort Greene lies my favorite block in the city — South Portland Ave between Dekalb and Lafayette Aves, just south of Fort Greene Park. On this block you’ll find absolutely enormous four-story brownstones on both sides.

This block is typically barricaded off to non-resident vehicles, giving you ample opportunities to stand in the street and admire Fort Greene in all of its glory.

As far as brownstones in Brooklyn, I’m yet to find a block more scenic than this one.

Binnen Bridge (Prospect Park):

The Binnen Bridge and its accompanying waterfall can be found just due east of the center of Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It’s a bit tricky to find, so your best bet is to plug the Prospect Park Boathouse into your Maps app. This bridge and waterfall will just be across from the Boathouse on the northwest corner of a small lake.

Who said NYC didn’t have awesome waterfalls?

125th Street 1 Train Station (Harlem):

Back in the day, just about the entire NYC subway system was elevated, even in Manhattan. These days, you’d be hard pressed to find outdoor stations in the borough.

The 125th Street 1 Train station is one those few remaining stations, and what’s unique about is that it isn’t technically above ground. It coincidentally lies above a ‘valley’ on Broadway at the intersection of two hills. So, in reality, the track remains level, while the street descends. Get it?

This station is definitely worth a visit!

Park Avenue During Cherry Blossom Season:

Did you know that Park Avenue gets its name from the grass (or islands) in the middle of the street? Whether you know that or not, you should know this — in early spring, when the flowers start blooming, Park Avenue is definitely the place to be!

Queensbridge Park:

Just north of the 59th Street Bridge in Long Island City lies Queensbridge Park, a small area that isn’t short on incredible views. Unless you’re pointing your camera or phone out the window while driving over the bridge, this park is the only place where you can get this shot:

Smith-Ninth Streets Station:

This station has been mentioned in just about every single newsletter I’ve done, but for good reason. Sitting high (87.5 ft) above the Gowanus Canal, this F/G station offers the following vantage points:

  • Lower Manhattan
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Verrazano Narrows Bridge
  • Midtown Manhattan
  • Downtown Brooklyn
  • Park Slope
  • Green-Wood Cemetery
  • The equally impressive neighboring 4th Ave-9th Street Station

If you ever stop by here (and I suggest you do), you’ll likely stick around for hours.

Times Square (for puddle reflections):

Normally, I would never tell you to go to Times Square. However, we’re going to make an exception. If (and only if) it is either raining or has just finished raining, you have my permission to visit Times Square. Especially at night, you’ll have some pretty awesome photo opportunities with the puddles and neon lights. Just don’t dip your camera in that sewer water!

Green-Wood Cemetery:

Green-Wood Cemetery is almost as large as its neighbor (Prospect Park), offers phenomenal views of the skyline, has some pretty unique gravestones, statues, and mausoleums, and it’s full of history. What’s not to like?

Battle Hill (which is where famed composer Leonard Bernstein is buried) is the single highest natural point in Brooklyn, and was actually instrumental during the Revolutionary War (revolutionary soldiers could see British ships arriving at the harbor). Green-Wood was also the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, which was the largest battle during the Revolutionary War, and was the first major conflict to take place after the US declared its independence.

Still not impressed? Green-Wood is also home to hundreds of green monk parakeets. That’s right, parrots do live in Brooklyn! As the widely accepted story goes, these South American birds got loose from a cage at JFK Airport in the 1960s.

You can find their massive nest at the top of the main gate on 24th and 5th, but you’ll also see them lurking in the trees nearby. They don’t migrate, so you can easily see them year-round!

To see all prints for sale (including many of the images above), check out my shop site!

michaelsilverstonephotography@gmail.com

Website | Shop | Instagram

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Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael Silverstone Photography

Michael is a photographer based in New York City, specializing in train, landscape, and city photography.

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