The BEST places to shoot the Manhattan skyline

Discussion in 'Travel' started by teknikal_pan, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Ok, I know this question has been answered in bits and pieces on before, but i'm hoping some
    NYC veterans can give me some advice on the best places to shoot Manhattan's skyline.

    I've already been to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and up to Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building.

    I've heard there is somewhere in Long Island City which affords a great view of Midtown, where??

    And I've also heard that Hamilton Park in New Jersey offers a stunning view. How to get there?

    Any other suggestions??
  2. I've always liked the view from Exchange Place in Jersey City. Take the Path train from
    either 33rd, 23rd, 14th, or 9th (all along 6th Avenue) and ride over to New Jersey. There's
    also a train from the WTC area. Check
    ( for a map.

    Try to catch a train to Pavonia/Newport and change to a train to Exchange Place.
    Alternatively, you can also get off at Pavonia/Newport and walk down the boardwalk
    starting at Avalon Cove apartments. It runs pretty much along the Hudson until you get to
    Exchange place. You should be able to have a few very nice vantage points along the way.
  3. I love the view from the Statue of Liberty.
  4. You might wat to also try the Staten Island Ferry heading to Manhattan
  5. Liberty State Park, or maybe from Brooklyn?
  6. david_henderson


    At sunrise I like the view from Brooklyn Height Promenade, near its junction with Montague Street or Pierrepoint Street. I spend at least one dawn here each time I visit NYC. You can reach it via the Clark Street metro. For sunset I also like Exchange Place. Its one stop from the WTC on the PATH train, and on leaving the station you just turn towards the river and there you are, with an unobstructed view of downtown. Frankly many of the rail or commuter boat stops along the shore will get you a similar view and whilst I've walked pretty extensively on this shore, I haven't found anything markedly better. One final thought is that I like the view from the cocktail bar at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the 33rd(?) floor of the very big building at Columbus Circle. The view is free, the cocktails aren't. Whilst I wouldn't take a large format camera and tripod in there and hope to pass by with no comment, its easy to spend a few minutes at the windows. Its good when evening light is falling in Central Park.
  7. The Long Island City view is from the Waterfront Restaurant. Very nice place, great food, and they have a boat that goes across the gap every half hour, but the view from the restaurant is superb. Especially at night. The shot I have listed in my portfolio is from the Circle Line when I was coming back from Ellis Island.
  8. It would be good to have this info all in one place. Here are my suggestions (and how to get to them):

    For Midtown, that includes the UN, Chrysler Building, Trumps ugly black box, etc. (No Empire State Building, though), go to Gantry State park in Long Island City, Queens. Take the 7 train from Grand Central or Times Square to the first stop in Queens (Vernon Blvd / Jackson Ave). Go towards a brick church (a block away) and turn left. The park is about two blocks away.

    For lower Manhattan, go to Brooklyn Bridge State Park in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Heights prominade is nice, but the Brooklyn bridge is not is a good photographic location here. Take the A or C to High Street. The skyline is visible from here.

    For something a little different, Go to Central Park at sunrise on the west side of the lake near the 72nd Street entrance, you can get the buildings reflected in the lake. This view will not work in the winter, as the sun sets too far south to light the northern parts of the buildings.

    The previous poster's suggestion of Exchange Place is an excellent one. Hamilton Park in Weehawken, NJ is great for the entire midtown skyline. New Jersey Transit's 166 bus leaves Port Authority every 20 minutes during rush hour and stops right at the park.

    Someone also mentioned Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. This too is great, as, in the southern end of the park, you may be able to get the entire skyline. The quickest way there, take the PATH train to Pavonia, then the light rail train to Liberty State Park. Note the waterfront is quite a hike from the station.

    Don't forget the Hoboken waterfront at sunset. The PATH stops at Hoboken and it is a block walk to the Hudson River. The Staten Island Ferry is great at sunset too, and it's free!
  9. I've just published an online article which looks at the various options. It is called "Photographing the New York City Skyline" and can be seen here:

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