On this trip to New York City, it was all about expecting the unexpected: rain in May, Obama in town for a day, and impromptu tickets to the ballet. While I was only in town for a weekend, I was still able to fit many sights into my trip. Here's what to see in New York on a weekend trip.
The first few days in the city, there was a rainstorm. I carefully dodged sudden downpours in the city. The low light and wet weather presented some challenges for shooting photos. However, I soon discovered that shooting before or after a rainstorm is one of my favorite photo opportunities besides magic hour. The clouds add drama to photos, the puddles add reflection to buildings, and the the slick water on the ground adds interest to the picture. Also, it tends to be less crowded outside which allows for prime views of buildings and other points of interest.
The second day I was in the city, Obama made a visit to the World Trade Center Memorial which was opening the museum that week to all families of victims and first responders. I decided to avoid the traffic in downtown and explore the uptown areas first. Here are the main points of interest:
1. Central Park - Bow Bridge and Bethesda Terrace
The first time I tried to visit mid-Central Park was last year when I got thwarted by 100 degree weather. This time, I tried again and I got caught in a downpour. The third time, I waited until the rainstorm blew over and hurried over to the Bow Bridge just in time for the last glimpses of magic hour. The Bow Bridge and the Bethesda Terrace turned out to be some of my favorite places to shoot in the city.
2. Lincoln Center
After visiting Central Park, I walked south when I noticed the streets change. The restaurants became increasingly nicer, when all of a sudden the next block revealed the Lincoln Center. The building is famous for its architecture and the open fountain terrace. While shooting photos outside of the Lincoln Center, a stranger came up and offered tickets to the ballet that was currently in intermission. I had always wanted to attend a show at the legendary Lincoln Center. Hats off to whoever gave me those tickets!
3. Mandarin Oriental
The Mandarin Oriental stands tall at the corner of Central Park West, with a bird's eye view of Columbus Circle. Here is the view from the 35th lobby floor. It can be tricky to get shots of the view if you are not a patron of the restaurant. Luckily, with a little chutzpah I was able to find a spot in the restaurant where I could shoot photos.
4. Stone Street, Financial District
The Financial District may be the business and financial epicenter, but there are some historic streets that will take you back in time. Stone Street is lined with Irish pubs and cobblestone streets that will make you feel like you stepped in the movie Gangs of New York.
For an extended guide to New York City sights, visit here.
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