Outdoors

Central Park North

 

Exploring New York highlights cool spots around the city that are worth checking out. Where is your favorite place in Central Park? Let us know in the comments.

In comparison to the busy, tourist filled paths of the lower half of the park, the quieter north half of Central Park almost feels like a completely different place. Here nature is the focal point and the winding paths create an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city around you. There are many great photo opportunities in the park no matter what time of year you visit. In order to fully enjoy the experience as I capture the sites with my camera, I decided to split the park in half around 82nd St with the Great Lawn being my center point. Here are my top photo spots in the northern half of the park, from the Great Lawn to 110th st.

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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

Head north from the Great Lawn and you will reach the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, here you can get some great shots of nature, bridges, and views of the east and west skylines across the reservoir. The path closest to the water is a running path so be mindful of runners and stick to the walker-friendly Bridle Path. There are many openings connecting the two paths that you can use snap some quick pictures.

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Cast Iron Bridges

Bridges No. 24, No. 27, and No. 28 are the three cast iron bridges that span the Bridle Path around the reservoir. Bridge No.. 24 and No. 27 are on the southern end of the reservoir near the 86th st transverse road and are two of the oldest cast iron bridges in the US. Bridge No. 28, also known as the Gothic Bridge, is located on the northwestern side of the reservoir and is a favorite among photographers.

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The Pool

North of the Reservoir is the quaint, lesser-known pond known as the Pool. Surrounded by grassy lawns, beautiful trees, and hidden waterfalls, this is a great spot any time of the year. The pool is just north of the 100th street entrance for easy access from the upper west side.

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The Ravine

Near the Pool is the only stream valley in the park known as the Ravine. Here the city views are blocked by the trees and nature is the focal point. Walk along the path to escape the city and capture the beauty of the Loch, waterfalls, bridges and arches, and the nature around you.

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Glen Span Arch and Huddlestone Arch

On either end of the Ravine are two arches that are favorites in the park. Glen Span Arch is located on the southern end of the Ravine and is known for its geometric stones and views of the waterfall from the pool. The north end of the Ravine is home to Huddlestone Arch. Made of uncut boulders held together by gravity alone the arch makes for a unique place for photos.


Other locations

There are quite a few other locations that are worth mentioning but were unable to make the list because of season or renovation.

Conservatory Gardens: Best visited in the spring and summer months. The gardens hold a vast amount of flowers, plants, and fountains perfect for an instagram snap.

North Meadow Butterfly Garden: Best visited in the spring and summer. The flowers and plants found in this meadow are home to butterflies and hummingbirds in the warmer months of the year.

Wildflower Meadow: Located between the North Meadow and the Ravine is a meadow full of wildflowers that are local to the New York area. Visit in the warmer spring and summer months to see the flowers in full bloom.








 

Central Park South

 

Exploring New York highlights cool spots around the city that are worth checking out. Where is your favorite place in Central Park? Let us know in the comments.

59th Street to 110th Street between 5th and 8th Avenues is home to Central Park. The 843 acre park hosts about 25 million visitors every year making it one of the most visited urban parks in the United States. It’s not surprising that there are many great photo opportunities no matter the time of year. I wanted to enjoy the park as I explored with my camera so I decided to split the park in half around 82nd St with the Great Lawn being my center point. Here are my top photo spots in the southern half of the Central Park from 59th St to the Great Lawn.

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Gapstow Bridge

Gapstow Bridge is in the south-eastern corner around 62nd St. Capture the beauty of the park with a view of the city skyline in the background. The famous Plaza Hotel can be seen from the north side of the bridge and in the winter you can see the Wolfman ice skating rink from the south. On calm days reflections of the bridge and the cities skyscrapers will reflect off the pond making for beautiful photos.

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Central Park Dairy

Just up the path from Gapstow Bridge is the Central Park Dairy. What is now a visitors center and gift shop was originally built to provide a safe place for families to purchase fresh milk for children while visiting the park. Located in the original children’s district, the gingerbread-like building provides a whimsical backdrop for your photoshoot.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_Carousel#/media/File:Central_Park_Carousel_snow_jeh.JPG

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_Carousel#/media/File:Central_Park_Carousel_snow_jeh.JPG

Carousel

Head west up the path from the Dairy and you’ll find one of young park-goers favorite attractions, the Carousel. With 57 hand-carved and beautifully decorated horses, this 111-year-old carousel is a great Instagram snap waiting to happen.

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The Mall

From 66th St. to 72nd St. runs the only intentional straight path in all of Central Park. Framed by rows of American Elms the Mall is one of the most visited and photographed areas in the park. Take in the beauty on one of the rows of benches lining the walkway or stroll through the local vendors and street performers that set up here when the weather is nice. No matter what time of year you visit, you are bound to get great photos.

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Bethesda Terrace

Located at the north end of the Mall is beautiful Bethesda Terrace. The arches, tiled ceiling, fountain, staircases, arcade, and views of the lake are only a few of the things that make the Terrace the perfect place for photos. The beauty of the area makes this a favorite among visitors so go early for your best chance at photos sans crowd.

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Bow Bridge

Just west of Bethesda Terrace is one of the most romantic spots in New York City. Between the beauty of the bridge itself and the views around it, Bow Bridge is a favorite spot for couples as well as photographers and filmmakers. With the Ramble to the north, Cherry Hill to the south, and stunning views of Central Park West, 5th Avenue, and the Lake, you can get a great shot from any direction.

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Obelisk (Cleopatra’s Needle)

The Obelisk, better known as Cleopatra’s Needle, is the oldest man-made object in Central Park and one of the oldest Egyptian obelisks in the world. The Obelisk in New York is one of three in the world known as Cleopatra’s Needle the other two being located in Paris and London. Despite their name, the obelisk in central park and its twin in Paris were actually made in 1475 BC, thousands of years before Cleopatra reigned. It was moved to the park in 1881 near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Other locations

There are quite a few other locations that are worth mentioning but were not on this list because of season or renovation.

Strawberry Fields: The memorial to John Lennon is open year round but the best time to visit is in the spring and summer when the plants are in bloom.

Cherry Hill: Located near Strawberry Fields, Cherry Hill is best to visit at the end of March through April when the forsythia and azaleas are in bloom.

Loeb Boathouse: Visit in the warmer months to get snaps of the paddle boats on the lake and around the famous boathouse.

Belvedere Castle: The castle is currently under renovations but will be open later in 2019. Check the Central Park website for updates.

Shakespeare Garden: Best visited in the warmer months when the roses are in bloom.

Arches: There are an abundance of arches in Central Park that make for great Instagram shots.

 

The Skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park

 

Exploring New York highlights cool spots around the city that are worth checking out. Where is your favorite place to get a great shot of the NYC skyline? Let us know in the comments.

While there are many places with great views of the New York City skyline, one of my favorites is Brooklyn Bridge Park. From Pier 6 off Atlantic Ave to the Manhattan Bridge is a mile and a half greenway perfect for a day escape from the skyscrapers and busy streets of the city. If you are looking for some Instagram worthy pictures, start your trip at Pier 6.

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 Head to the end of Pier 6 for some great snaps of the southernmost point of the city. In the warmer months, spend time at the sand volleyball courts or take the family to the playground. From Memorial Day to Halloween you can catch a ride to Governors Island on the weekend ferry or hop aboard the sailboat Pilot to learn a bit about the history of the famous boat built in 1924.

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From Pier 6 head north to Pier 3. Relax on the lawn and take in the views of the city and the Statue of Liberty. Visit in the warmer months for shots of the city with the lush lawn and plants around the park. Use a telephoto lens and a tripod (or a steady hand) to snag a photo of Lady Liberty across the harbor.

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Just down from Pier 3 is the remnants of what was once Pier one. This spot is a favorite for photographers to get amazing shots of the city at sunset with the old pillars in the foreground. I recommend getting to this location early to scout your spot as it does get busy during golden hour.

 
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The next stop on the list is the corner of Water St and Old Fulton St. This area has an abundance of Instagram ready locations such as the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, The River Cafe, the Brooklyn Bridge lookout, and this cute Elmhurst Dairy truck.

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On the other side of the bridge is another popular sunset photo spot, Pebble Beach. From here you have great views of Jane’s Carousel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline with the setting sun. Another spot in this area is St. Ann’s Warehouse. Snap a picture of the bridge through the windows in the courtyard for a picture of the bridge not many people think to get.

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From Pebble Beach head to the corner of Water St and Washington for the last stop on this list. Here you can get find one of the most iconic views in Dumbo, the Empire State Building framed by the Manhattan Bridge. Be prepared to wait in line for your chance to take your picture as it is a hot spot for many people wanting to get the perfect shot. Come during the day for the best lighting to showcase the red brick buildings, cobblestone street, and the bridge.

Getting there: There are many ways to get to the park from anywhere in the city. Take the F train to York St, the A/C to High street, or the 2/3 to Clark street. If you are staying in Manhattan, take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.!









 

Roosevelt Island

 

Exploring New York highlights cool spots around the city that are worth checking out. Have you visited New York landmark islands? Let us know in the comments.

NYC from another perspective

There are dozens of great spots for the perfect city picture in NYC, like the famous observatories with amazing views. But if you’re looking for a different photo-spot and want to see the city from another perspective, you must visit its islands.

The two-mile long and one street wide Roosevelt Island is located between Manhattan and Queens on the East River.

Source: https://www.wnyc.org/story/silicon-alley-moves-roosevelt-island/

Source: https://www.wnyc.org/story/silicon-alley-moves-roosevelt-island/

How to get there?

Take the Roosevelt Island Tramway for the aerial view. The cost is $2.25 with MetroCard or single pass (one-way); it departs every 15mins every day from 6 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. You can also take the NYC Ferry for a $2.75 one-way ticket, or the F train subway line, which has a stop on the island. The Roosevelt bridge (which connects to Queens) is another option to walk, bike or drive into the island.

Source: www.tracysnewyorklife.com/roosevelt-island-day-trip-from-manhattan/

Source: www.tracysnewyorklife.com/roosevelt-island-day-trip-from-manhattan/

What to see?

Source: www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/879737414

Source: www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/879737414

Chapel of the Good Shepherd

Austere church from 1888.

Source: www.amusingplanet.com/2015/12/franklin-d-roosevelt-four-freedoms-park

Source: www.amusingplanet.com/2015/12/franklin-d-roosevelt-four-freedoms-park

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park

This park is the first memorial dedicated to the former President Roosevelt. It’s located on the southern tip of the island.


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Smallpox Hospital Ruins

Built in 1854, it was the first major U.S. hospital dedicated to the care of victims of smallpox.


Source: www.atlasobscura.com/places/roosevelt-island-lighthouse

Source: www.atlasobscura.com/places/roosevelt-island-lighthouse

Blackwell Island Lighthouse

Fifty-foot-tall stone lighthouse located at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island, built in 1872.


Source: www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com

Source: www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com

The Octagon Tower

The octagonal tower, built in 1834, now part of a luxury buildings complex, was originally a mental hospital


Views from the Tram and Island

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There you have it! If you’re visiting New York City take the opportunity to walk around the often overlooked Roosevelt Island, it offers amazing views of Manhattan’s skyline, and it’s perfect for a break from the chaos of the city.

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Source: www.octagonnyc.com/views

Source: www.octagonnyc.com/views

Where: Between Manhattan (west side) and Queens (east side) on the East River. - See details on the various options to get to the island.

 

Marine Park

 
 

Exploring New York highlights cool spots around the city that are worth checking out. Where in the city do you go to feel like you’ve escaped the city? Let us know in the comments.

Last week, we explored Marine Park in Brooklyn for something distinctly different and we weren’t disappointed. The largest park in Brooklyn is located nearly as far south as you can go in the borough before Flatbush Avenue crosses the bridge into the Rockaways, Queens. In other words, it’s coastal!

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We started our journey by entering at the Seba Playground Skatepark on Gerritsen Avenue. and followed a path into the woods past the Radio Control Society of Marine Park. What’s that you ask? A model airplane flying club, complete with model-sized landing strip. It was a Sunday morning, so we got to see quite a few impressive model planes zipping around over the course of our hike.

We didn’t run into anyone on the trails in this part of the park, but we passed quite a few quiet fishermen at the water’s edge. The trails here were muddy and the coastline looked like it would have been unpassable at high tide, but even though our feet got a little wet it was cool to explore a NYC place with so few other people.

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Next we headed to the Salt Marsh Nature Center on Avenue U and Burnett Ave. This is at the northernmost end of the park and across the street from a boat & bike rental spot (if you’re looking to get even closer to the water). There is a beautiful stone patio & wall overlooking the water behind the Nature Center, complete with free scopes to watch the birds and wildlife. We saw gray heron, egrets, green herons, a variety of ducks, fish jumping, and an amazing amount of Monarch butterflies!

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We followed the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Trail loop. It’s an easy walk along a gravel path with beautiful views of the salt marsh. Not much shade though, so bring a hat and sunscreen on sunny days!

Overall, this was a beautiful place within the city limits. It can be hard to get to without a car and/or some patience, but if you’re looking for something decidedly different than what you’d expect to find in NYC, check out Marine Park.

Cost: Free!

Where: 3301 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11234 - 53 minute bus ride from Our Place

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Fort Greene Park

 

Neighborhood spotlights are a local recommendation with some quick info for must-try spots in our area. Where do you go to get your fill of green space? Let us know in the comments.

The Northern corner of the Park with the Prison Martyr's Monument peaking through the trees

The Northern corner of the Park with the Prison Martyr's Monument peaking through the trees

The biggest little park in Brooklyn, Fort Greene Park is a neighborhood staple and the perfect place to pass a summer day. A great spot to exercise, relax in the grass, or have an afternoon picnic; its grassy knolls offer views of Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn and the Manhattan skyline. With the Prison Martyrs Monument at the crest of its central hill, and it’s role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, there's plenty of interesting history to be had.

 
Farmer's Market - Saturdays from 8am - 4pm

Farmer's Market - Saturdays from 8am - 4pm

 
Spring flowers

Spring flowers

 

Fort Greene Park is the premier spot in the neighborhood for exercise with a one-mile perimeter dirt loop for running, a field often in use by soccer and frisbee players, basketball courts, a playground, yoga meetups, and some of Brooklyn's most popular tennis courts (note: tennis permit required). Humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy the Fort Greene’s abundant green space, pups abound especially during leash-free hours after 9pm and before 9am.

 

If you're looking for an outing with a bit more structure, the park is also the site of outdoor movie screenings, a weekend artisanal and farmers market, and a variety of free walking tours.

Cost: Free!

Where: Washington Park St, Brooklyn - walk from Our Place in 20 minutes or take an 8 minute bus ride

 
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