Heading to NYC, any other suggestions besides the normal tourist areas.

scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 215Member
edited May 2015 in General Discussions
Well I have officially been suckered, lol. One of my wife's good high school friends is getting married in NY/NJ on July 4th. Needless to say we are going, I am normally not a big city person but what better way to start than 8 million + people in one location. I figured I would make a vacation out of it even though I expect the city to be packed, maybe an extra million people won't matter as much?

Since I have only been to Times Square once for a New Years Eve ball drop, in NYC for about 3 hours total, and seen the Statue of Liberty from the NJ coast this would be the best time as any to hit the big apple. I saw the other thread on NYC historical photos and it was neat but don't expect any grand photos from this trip. Some of the other places I would like to visit, mainly just to say I have been there, is the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, World Trade Center memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Intrepid Air and Sea Museum, maybe the Bronx Zoo and I know my wife wants some Art museum but not sure which one. My concentration will be on just being there but of course I will take my camera along for the ride. Are there any other neat/cool places that are not on the famous list of places to visit in NYC. I would love to catch some restaurants that are good but usually not listed. I am usually not into Indian, Chinese, or Middle Eastern foods but my wife likes to try more than me so don't be afraid to list them (just give me a heads up, lol).

On photography side of the house, any equipment suggestions or places I can't even take it. I know I can only take one camera up to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, not sure if the size is limited as well. A D810 with a telephoto might get nixed. Since I will arrive in NYC by plane I doubt I will have that much gear anyway. I feel that I would need a wide angle lens for tall building shots, might make a good landscape/cityscape shot from the top of the crown or the Empire State Building. If I feel the need for a night time shot a fixed prime might fill the gap, 1.4 or 1.8. I will not have my camera at the wedding.

Gear list in mind:
D810/D7100 (D7100 might get the axe)
16-35mm F4
24mm 1.4G or 85mm 1.8G or 50mm 1.4D (the 50mm would be the last of the three I would pick normally)
70-200mm F2.8 or 300mm F4 (most likely the first one)
SB700 flash (might get deleted space is cramped)
1.4 TCE II (again space could delete this)
Monopod (love a tripod but doubt most places would not allow it)

Batteries/charger/cleaning gear/memory cards

I have thought about getting the 28-300mm just for situations like this, trips that I would like a lot of options but don't have the space or meet the weight requirements with what I own or can borrow. It would really only replace the 70-200 but its smaller, lighter, and has a bigger zoom range. I really want to carry my D200 that has been IR converted since I am sure most of my shots will be during mid-day (I find usually the worst time of day for normal shots but IR shots are better). This would require the different batteries, charger and all the other stuff to support it. I just don't think I will have the room. I am open to more lens suggestions and might even have access to it but figured the list I gave was more reasonable (co-worker does events on the side and I have the ability to borrow pretty much anything they have unless an event is scheduled then).

I would love to say I will catch fireworks and there will be plenty of them but since the reception is scheduled then I doubt I will get the chance. Other things to consider are we will be taking public transportation everywhere, a rental car is out of the question. More for my sanity of driving but the $40 parking fee a night is not realistic. While I was in London last year the subway system was quite effective, I plan to get unlimited passes so we can do the same in NYC.

Comments

  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    edited May 2015
    Where are you planning to stay and for how long? There's a lot you can do. On the food part, the sky's the limit, as there's a lot of great low end and high end dining experiences in NYC. A visit to Chinatown would be good and you can grab some dim sum there. The Manhattan Chinatown is the one I'm most familiar with, but there's one in Flushing and Brooklyn as well. Little Italy is right next door, there's a lot you can do there too.

    If you're walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, you can poke around the Promenade, which is an overlook over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It gives a very nice view of downtown Manhattan, and on weekends there's a food festival there too.

    Most tourists also catch the ferry to Staten Island. It's a nice boat ride, and it's also free and you can get fairly close to the Statue of Liberty. You also get a nice view of Manhattan as it pulls out. Get there fast and early though, seats get taken fast, especially the balcony ones.

    On the art side of things, Metropolitan Museum of Art is great, and it's cheap too because it's a pay as you wish pricing. If you fancy medieval art, they have an extension at Fort Tryon Park and it's called the Cloisters. My favorite museum is still the Natural History Museum.

    If I remember anything else I'll post about it.

    Edit- If you have some free time, go to B and H. It really is an awesome store, just don't go on Friday afternoons or Saturday, they're closed. Even if you decide to window shop it's a fun experience. If you don't mind the walk and the crowds, you can also walk down to High Line, it's along Manhattan's West Side.
    Post edited by NSXTypeR on
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 215Member
    Trip is planned for 5 1/2 days, will be staying in lower Manhattan except for the one trip to NJ for the wedding. Figured we wanted to see more on the NY side and it would be easier this way. The wedding is less than a mile from a train station that connects to MTA/PATH.

    I try to avoid high end dinning mainly because I like to dress casual for comfort, catching some NYC pizza and maybe a hot dog is not out of the question. I will probably take the wife out for a "high-end" treat though (maybe more middle end, high end might be a bit much in NYC)..
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited May 2015
    I posted a list of museums but the mods flagged it. I hope they let it through. For food I would go to Lombardi's coal fired pizza. Awesome.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombardi's_Pizza

    How much do you want to spend on the treat night?
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    Where are you planning to stay and for how long? There's a lot you can do. On the food part, the sky's the limit, as there's a lot of great low end and high end dining experiences in NYC. A visit to Chinatown would be good and you can grab some dim sum there. The Manhattan Chinatown is the one I'm most familiar with, but there's one in Flushing and Brooklyn as well. Little Italy is right next door, there's a lot you can do there too.

    If you're walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, you can poke around the Promenade, which is an overlook over the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. It gives a very nice view of downtown Manhattan, and on weekends there's a food festival there too.

    Most tourists also catch the ferry to Staten Island. It's a nice boat ride, and it's also free and you can get fairly close to the Statue of Liberty. You also get a nice view of Manhattan as it pulls out. Get there fast and early though, seats get taken fast, especially the balcony ones.

    On the art side of things, Metropolitan Museum of Art is great, and it's cheap too because it's a pay as you wish pricing. If you fancy medieval art, they have an extension at Fort Tryon Park and it's called the Cloisters. My favorite museum is still the Natural History Museum.
    This pretty much nailed it by the excellent post of NSXTypeR. One thing I would add is a visit to the top of the rock aka Rockefeller center. You can get great shots of the Empire State, and perhaps could be something for the daytime leaving the Empire State for night time. I second the met as it's basically in Central Park. You can walk down from there in the park and catch the pond or walk across the transverse from there to the fountain.

    Lower Manhattan is too vague. Let's say you are staying near battery park, there are some nice restaurants in the newer buildings on the west side of the park. This is close to the world trade site and the glass winter garden.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Thanks @snp, these are listed in my order of preference.

    The Met is a huge museum that has different shows all the time, so check the schedule.

    The Cloisters as @NSX mentions is Medieval art, the unicorn tapestries being the most famous, is set in a stone castle (cloister) that was brought brick by brick from somewhere...

    The Guggenheim is a big corkscrew/ramp that spirals up from ground level up 10 floors or so. Bring your wide-angle ;-)

    The MoMa is, well, Modern Art

    The Whitney is a comprehensive collection of American artists from 19th century through present

    The Library is iconic NYC, has the big stone lions out front

    The Aperture Foundation was started by Ansel and friends (think Group f/64)

    Alice Austen is a famous NY photographer from the turn of the 20th century, museum is on Staten Island if you go there

    On a different topic, the $200-$400 per person for a "tasting menu" restaurants will likely all ready be booked for the 4th, so you are off the hook :-) How much did you want to spend for "high-end treat"? That will determine where you can go. PM me if you want.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    My sister is a food writer in NYC. PM me and I'll send you a list so I don't violate any NRF policies. A fun place to shoot is the High Line (not far from where you're staying). It's a nice juxtaposition of urban and rural.
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    edited June 2015
    I'd second the recommendation on Lombari's for Pizza. Grimaldi's in Brooklyn under Brooklyn Bridge is also worthy of note. It's close to the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge) area is also good for photos and city scapes (also bars, shopping and cafes). Since you are staying in Lower Manhattan, you might want to check out Stone Street just off the Financial District for restaurants and bars--small landmarked street that gives a feel of old NYC.

    If you are foodies you should also check out Chelsea Market and Eataly. If you don't fill up at Eataly, the original Shake Shack is just across the street in Madison Sq. Park. NYC used to be a void as far as BBQ, but several quality spots have opened up in the past few years. I like Fette Sau in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn--supposedly the 'hippest neighborhood in the country' according to some.

    High Line is good for some City views (near Chelsea Market too). Hoboken and Jersey City provide great views of the west side of Manhattan and are only a PATH train ride away, good for afternoon light on the cityscape.

    If you are looking for desserts, consider Laboratorio del Gelato in the Lower East Side neighborhood (Orchard St./Ludlow/Essex/Delancey). Lots of shops, cafes, bars. Also nearby is Katz' Deli--famous for it's sandwiches.
    Crif Dogs is in the East Village, not a far walk, if you are into adventurous hot dogs (secret speakeasy bar is accessed thru Crif Dogs.
    I'm more downtown oriented than mid- or uptown. If you are adventurous, try Coney Island--always good for photos.
    Post edited by danhowl on
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 561Member
    If you want to take pictures of something different: Green wood cemetery
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 215Member
    Thanks for all the suggestions, think I need a month but that won't happen. Not sure if I can pull off b&h,guess we have to get lost near the Empire State building.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member


    This pretty much nailed it by the excellent post of NSXTypeR. One thing I would add is a visit to the top of the rock aka Rockefeller center. You can get great shots of the Empire State, and perhaps could be something for the daytime leaving the Empire State for night time. I second the met as it's basically in Central Park. You can walk down from there in the park and catch the pond or walk across the transverse from there to the fountain.

    Lower Manhattan is too vague. Let's say you are staying near battery park, there are some nice restaurants in the newer buildings on the west side of the park. This is close to the world trade site and the glass winter garden.
    Thanks, I was going to recommend Clear Comfort (Alice Austen's House), but that's off the beaten path in Staten Island and would certainly take at least most of an afternoon, especially when you factor in waiting for a bus and even worse, waiting for a return trip on the ferry. The view of the Verrazano Bridge is nice there, but again, for someone who has less than a week, I think a trip on the ferry is good enough, he would be better off spending the time in downtown Brooklyn and going to the promenade where he can get some really nice dusk/night shots when the sun goes down.

    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @NSXTypeR, Isn't that what uber is for? Seriously is was going to mention uber, it's a great alternative to the taxis, just watch for surge pricing.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,000Member
    Uber feels like all surge all the time but everyone uses it. Things haven't been the same with the subway since we no longer have a mayor that takes it. The new one's got an uber of sorts lol.
  • danhowldanhowl Posts: 36Member
    Another alternative that is getting more and more popular is CitiBike. At least below 60th St in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, you can pick up a bike almost anywhere and ride to your destination and find a drop-off location nearby. I have clients who commute on them almost daily. For $25 you can get 7 days of unlimited number of 30 minute bike trips. Lots of bike lanes in Manhattan. With the pick-up/drop-off locations, you never have to worry about parking/locking up a bike. The downside is that some locations and times are so popular that they run out of bikes. I believe there is an App that shows locations and availability though.
    D3X, D800, 17-35, 28-70, Zeiss 55mm OTUS, 85mm Zeiss CF.2, 85mm PCE, 70-200 VRII, 105DC
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    This is such a difficult question to answer. From a photography standpoint, you could easily spend a month and still not run out of good locations. Just the architecture would take weeks.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    Well I have officially been suckered, lol. One of my wife's good high school friends is getting married in NY/NJ on July 4th.
    One of my favorite places to take visiting family and friends is Roosevelt Island by tram ( $2.50 each way ). Particularly at night. The view of Manhattan is incredible, both from the tram and from the ground.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    @NSXTypeR, Isn't that what uber is for? Seriously is was going to mention uber, it's a great alternative to the taxis, just watch for surge pricing.
    Certainly an option, but I personally don't like the way Uber operates so I wouldn't want to give them my business, personally.
    Well I have officially been suckered, lol. One of my wife's good high school friends is getting married in NY/NJ on July 4th.
    One of my favorite places to take visiting family and friends is Roosevelt Island by tram ( $2.50 each way ). Particularly at night. The view of Manhattan is incredible, both from the tram and from the ground.
    $2.75 now, but yes, it seems like a lovely trip.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 517Member
    edited June 2015
    4th of July might be special: check ahead of time what is opened and what is closed.

    In terms of parking: if you come from the North/East park in Stamford, CT. It is a guarded parking spot and right beside the train station. The train takes you to Grand Central in 25 minutes and everywhere from there. Parking is really cheap in NYC terms.

    Leave the long glass at home - too heavy and no need.
    Post edited by Benji2505 on
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,135Member
    I was just wondering, how did your trip go?

    I was also just curious what sort of things you did when you were in NYC. I hope you had a wonderful time!
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
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