Nobody can deny the irresistible charm of New York and its silhouette. Even a mundane apartment building can boast dazzling architectural features. If you love photography and social media, your smartphone will remain glued to your hand during your trip to New York. When you look at Instagram’s New York hashtag, you will see certain spots or buildings that dominate the feed. In this article, we will cover those places and why they are so attractive to tourists and social media butterflies.
1. FLATIRON BUILDING
If you can’t associate New York with this iconic building situated in the south of Madison Square Park, you must be living in a parallel universe. This 22-story building was one of the tallest in the early 1900s, but what makes it iconic is its shape of a triangular prism. Designed by architect Daniel Burnham, it was also a pioneer in many aspects, such as its Renaissance-inspired architecture and the steel-frame. Flatiron Building’s fame increased, as it appeared in several films such as Godzilla, and TV shows like Friends.
2. WASHINGTON STREET, DUMBO, BROOKLYN
The iconic frame in Brooklyn looks like it was meant for couples. Any couple who travels to New York will immediately rush to the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street, where the Manhattan Bridge is visible. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to position the bridge in between the two brick-colored buildings. The result is possibly the most romantic photo you will take in New York. While you are in Dumbo, you can head closer to the bridge for dinner or drinks at 1-Hotel Brooklyn Bridge or Cecconi’s.
3. TOP OF THE ROCK
New York has the ability to turn skyline into a form of art. Never in another city will you see so many skyscrapers in perfect harmony. Perhaps, the best spot to gaze at New York’s concrete jungle is the top of the Rockefeller Center, nicknamed the Top of the Rock at 266 meters tall and comprising 66 stories. The observation deck at the top consists of three floors, two of which are outdoors, providing 360 degrees of New York, including the 81-story tall Empire State Building. The entrance is 38 USD, to which 10 USD extra gets added if you are visiting during the sunset. Luckily, the building never gets crowded since there is a timed entry system. However, you should book your ticket in advance. While you are up there, don’t forget to visit the gift shop and the food court to catch a break.
4. ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER OBSERVATORY
If you are not afraid of heights, you could aim for even higher than the Top of the Rock. With 102 floors, One World Trade Center is almost twice as high. After the elevator carries you to the top at a record speed of 47 seconds, you will be astounded by New York City swept under your feet. There are also a lot of fun activities on the deck. The audiovisuals illustrate the construction of the building, while there is a circular panel in the center, where you can see the streets through the 100 stories. If you are hungry, crown your visit with an A-La-Carte meal at One Dine or freshly-brewed coffee at Illy Café.
5. BROOKLYN BRIDGE
If there is a bridge that you will want to keep crossing back and forth, it would be Brooklyn Bridge, the oldest steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. Its construction wasn’t exactly easy like a child’s game, as people like the designer and many construction workers suffered from accidents. With almost 500 meters span, it remained the longest suspension bridge in the world for 20 years after its construction. Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular spots not only amongst tourists but also cyclists. Connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, it provides phenomenal views of the skyline of both boroughs.
6. THE VESSEL, HUDSON YARDS
To design a structure that will become one of the symbols of a city in less than a year, you have to come up with a design that will transcend time. The Vessel in Hudson Yards – Manhattan gained recognition in the speed of light with its honeycomb shape. Behind its futuristic contour, it boasts a network of stairs where people can climb up to 2500 stairs with various lookout points over the city. The philosophy behind the Vessel, as the designer Thomas Heatherwick states, is to design a structure that would help people to discover their own path or meet people that they wouldn’t come across otherwise.
The iconic structure’s aesthetic appeal lies in how the designer blended in influences from various cultures, such as Indian step-wells. Despite raising some controversies due to some critics resembling it to a Turkish-Kebab, it continues gaining more fame and worldwide acclaim.
7. GREENWICH VILLAGE
New York’s residential areas are all picturesque, but the brownstones in front of the apartments are the most familiar, especially if you are a movie buff. The brownstone fronts of the houses on Leroy Street and Hudson Street symbolize the dream houses of bohemian New Yorkers. Sitting on those stairs and pretending to be the resident of one of the houses is both exhilarating and Instagram-worthy. You will also most likely reminisce about the scenes from countless movies and TV shows, including Glee, Ghostbusters, and Sex and the City, as you are strolling past the houses.
8. TIMES SQUARE
The first photo of any Instagram user visiting New York has to be in Times Square. We believe this spot manifests the nickname The City That Never Sleeps perfectly. Regardless of what time you visit, the atmosphere in Times Square makes you feel like it is New Year’s Eve. Along with Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing, this corner of the world greets millions of people with its neon-lit skyscrapers, glowing billboards, jam-packed crossroads, talented street performers, and a never-ending busy pace. If you want to get everything into the frame, we suggest that you stand near the statue of Father Duffy.
9. STATUE OF LIBERTY
Even if you have never been to New York before, you will recognize Lady Liberty from Hollywood’s disaster movies, where it gets swept by gigantic tsunamis or cracked into pieces by monsters. In real life, the statue is still the most iconic piece of art, symbolizing everything about the United States of America in a nutshell. Keep in mind that you need to book a ticket in advance, which costs 18.5 USD. With your ticket, you will board a three-story ferry that will reach Liberty Island in 15 minutes. The boat ride is a bonus opportunity for capturing Lady Liberty from excellent angles. Once there, you can either take selfies or capture panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.
10. CENTRAL PARK
It is worth admiring how one of the most chaotic cities in the world can comprise a well-preserved nature amidst the concrete jungle. Covering 843 acres in Manhattan, Central Park is one of the biggest parks in the world. Unlike some of the other spots on our list, Central Park isn’t a solely touristic spot. It is rather a demonstration of the typical life in New York, as it is a mecca for joggers, elderly, students, any New Yorker who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle. From shades of red and brown in autumn to the blanket of snow in winter, it is picturesque at any time of the year. The most popular spots for taking photos include the lake and the John Lennon Memorial. If you want to find out more about the history of the park, you can join guided walking tours or take a scenic boat ride on the lake. Be sure to follow the event schedule, and you might find yourself at one of the free summer concerts.
The architectural wonders of New York are too many to fit into one article; you will find an aesthetical innovation at every corner in New York City. Nevertheless, there are places in the city you would be committing a crime if you skipped.
New York has one of the busiest airports in the world, and Cathay Pacific will ensure you fly into New York with maximum comfort and joy. Book your flight ticket now and start planning your trip to the city that never sleeps.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.