My Photowalk: A Native's Guide For the Tourist Visiting New York City
Taking a trip to New York City this travel season? Tour guides and others will take you to the more, "touristy" areas of NYC but there is so much more to the city I've lived in my entire life. The best way to see it all is with a camera in your hand and on foot. For those of you who love photowalks, this is one that you'll enjoy on a nice day in Manhattan.
Lead Writer's Note: Before reading this, please note that I personally encourage you to veer off of my path and do some exploring for yourself.
I've given this tour to David Cardinal and his family before, and they loved it! My photowalk starts at South St Seaport all the way at the bottom tip of Manhattan. You can see Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty, and lots of other things around here.
The area features an indoor mall, lots of old ships, and beautiful cobblestone streets.
From there we journey north-east into Chinatown. Years ago, I'd walk into the area and feel like I was transported into another area: not so much anymore. However, there are still lots of great sights and street photography opportunities in Chinatown.
When you get to Canal Street, you'll be quickly whisked off up Mulberry Street and into Little Italy. On Friday nights and weekends, Mulberry Street turns into a giant street fair lined with Canoli carts, clothing displays, and loads more. Along the way, you'll see lots of great street art and shops.
Now we'll start to step into some of the more colorful neighborhoods.
We're Not Done Yet!
You'll want to keep your camera in hand at all times in these areas—not that it's dangerous, the places are just that darned beautiful. Walk down Spring Street to West Broadway for some quiet from the hustle and bustle. If you want, you can head up Broadway into the extremely heavy shopping area with lots of clothing stores.
While you're passing through the neighborhood, your ultimate goal will be Washington Square Park, which is right across from NYU. In the middle of this park, you'll find a giant fountain that is usually the center of commotion. Lots of street performers gather around it (and sometimes inside of it).
Head north and then east to St. Mark's Place. St Mark's Place is where lots of restaurants and remains of the punk rock days are kept alive. Some of my favorite cafes and restaurants are down this street. You'll find a mix of Japanese, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and American down this stretch.
When you hit 1st Ave, head north until you reach East 12th street—then head west to the Strand. The Strand is one of my favorite bookstores and the area around it is also super cool.
Now you'll be walking north a couple of blocks to Union Square and exploring the park. The layout of the park was designed for relaxation, lots of street vendors, the farmer's market (on certain days), relaxing on the grass, etc. In the farmer's market, I've seen some really amazing things like Ostrich eggs.
Take your time, but when you're all done head up 5th Ave and further into Midtown. I hope you've been taking pictures all along the way :)
But Wait, Pay Us a Visit!
Now we're heading up to Midtown. Once you get to around 19th st, I suggest that you head west to the High Line—this old train railway is now a gorgeous park where New Yorkers can come to relax and enjoy the sunshine, view of the Hudson River, and some tasty treats that are around the area.
Once you reach the end of the High Line, there are two different routes you can take. You can head to 34th St and 9th Ave where you can come fondle our cameras in the B&H SuperStore. An alternative is heading east towards 6th Ave and walking north.
Either way, your next destination is Bryant Park. Bryant Park is where many New Yorkers go to relax during the warmer seasons. Sometimes, there are even free concerts.
Finally, you'll be heading a little bit more west until you reach Times Square. And trust me, you'll know it when you see it.
Now, there are lots of other really nice spots to see in New York City, but these are just a few along a particular photowalk route that I do with visitors. What areas of Manhattan do you love? Let us know in the comments below.