George Washington allegedly have said about New York City “Surely this is the seat of the empire!” Although it is debatable whether or not he actually made that statement, the city is indeed worthy of such a nickname. With the biggest and the most diverse population in the country, a long and rich history that few other cities could match, and a culture that keeps on absorbing and evolving, the city is a vibrant metropolis that literally never sleep.
Just this past weekend, I visited New York for the first time and it was an amazing experience. It is a city that you can never fully explored unless you live there. Since we only had a little more than two days in the city, we had to forgo many places that are popular among photographers so we may cram as many stops into the schedule as possible. I plan to visit New York again, and when I do I will make sure that I have plenty of time to photograph the city. Here are some highlights of my visits:
The city of New York has a very dynamic vibe, things happen at a much faster pace and there are people everywhere even past midnight. The city kind of reminds me of San Francisco where high rise buildings are a common sight, and the street traffic is not as bad as I originally thought. Being from the American West, I was expecting a city this size to have traffic congestion as bad as LA, but thanks to a robust public transportation network it never gets that bad.
There seems to be dozens of things going on in the city at any given time, and one will never run out of things to do. There is the Oktoberfest where German heritage and traditions are celebrated, the Feast of San Gennaro where Italian street foods are served, and many, many more that one simply cannot keep track of. Alternatively, you may take the traditional tourist route and enjoy a few Broadway shows, have a good laugh at the comedy clubs, and end your night in one of the bars with a few drinks. Another thing I noticed about New York is that, despite being the greenest city in the US, there are still litters on the streets and you will have to be mindful of them when taking photos.
The USS Intrepid is an aircraft carrier-turned museum ship that houses several military aircraft dated as far back as World War II. Unfortunately, only the bridge and the hanger are open to public, but it is still an interesting place to visit if you are into history of warfare. Right across from it, the Cold War era cruise missile submarine USS Growler is also open to visitors. One thing to take note of is that the museum forbids any photography with tripods, so be sure to visit when lighting is favorable.
The City at Night
The skyline of New York is amazing, especially at night. With neon lights in the city reflected on the low hanging clouds, the city is the perfect place for some nighttime photography. Most people seem to prefer to photograph the more iconic objects such as the new World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, or the Brooklyn Bridge. But, as I found out, other places, such as the Hudson River and the Union Square, are also great for photos if you’d like to try something different.
For more photos from my trip to NYC, please see my portfolio. If you would like to share your experience in New York, please leave a comment below!