Please tell me what you think.

Old Feb 20th, 2013, 12:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 48
Please tell me what you think.

We are two Brits arriving in New York on April 16th, staying Midtown for four nights, before starting a six week road trip to Texas. We're happy walking, talking, watching, taking photos, using public transport, eating real food and catching some bar music. We won't be doing night clubs, fine dining or too many expensive attractions.
All ideas are pinched from this site but please comment. correct or add suggestions to my list.
Exploring: Staten Island Ferry, walking the Highline, Brooklyn Bridge, all round the tip of Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Soho, Washington Square, Central Park etc.
Places: Grand Central Station, Museum of Modern Art, Chelsea Market, The Met (cafe), Katz Deli, Birreria, The Brass Monkey, Russ & Daughters and the Hill Country Venue.
A lot of these have been chosen because I'm hoping they will provide interesting photo opportunities. Thanks for your help.
rickydicky is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 235
An excellent selection. Whether you will be able to get it all in 4 days might be a bit of a stretch but you'll have fun trying.

To make the most of your stay, try to plan to see places that are near or within reasonable distance of each other.

Example: The Staten Island Ferry Terminal at the tip of lower Manhattan is about 12 minutes walking distance from the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

If you take the Staten Island Ferry, please know that it runs every 30 minutes and take about 25 minutes to get to Staten Island and 25 minutes to get back to Manhattan. Once at Staten Island if you run around to the main terminal you can get the next boat back. Otherwise you'll have to wait 30 minutes for the next boat. While on the Ferry, you can take pictures of the Statue of Liberty as the boat passes by. By the way - the SI Ferry is free.

The Highline is not near the tip of Manhattan, it is north of the west side of Greenwich Village and starts at Gansevoort St & Washington St (3 blocks south of West 14h St). The Highline does pass thru the western side of Chelsea (near the Chelsea Market).

If you decide take some photos inside the subway, please keep a couple of things in mind: No tripods, and keep flash usage to a minimum. Do not take flash pictures at an oncoming train.

Just to be technical (I get that way sometimes) - it is Grand Central Terminal not station.

Enjoy your stay (although brief) in NYC and your subsequent road trip.
nycguy10002 is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2013, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Definitely explore the main branch of htepublic library (the reading room is gorgeous) and the library is, I beleive, the second largest in the world. Also Bryant Park behind is - a great city type park.

You will need to be lucky for Central Park. Our weather is colder than yours and mid April a lot of trees are just in bud - not leaf yet - so the park maynot be at it's best.

For classic city architecture - have a look at Park Ave in the 50's - as well as the obvious - Flatiron, Chrysler, old Daily News Building near Grand Central

Also, be aware that NYC is on orange alert permanently - do don;t take photos of anything even vaguely military - nor set up tripods in public places. Even if police don't object you'll fin d alot of pedestrians falling on you - unless you're really backed into a corner.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2013, 03:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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"NYC is on orange alert permanently - do don;t take photos of anything even vaguely military "

The U.S abandioned that color name alert system a couple of years ago, and even when it was in place. that phrase "orange alert" is hardly self explanatory.

There's very little in NYC that's "vaguely military" and the biggest risk photographers used to have is taking photos in the subway -- which is legal and allowed, but the powers that be didn't always make it clear to the people who were enfocing the law.

I certainly agree about setting up tripods (if that's something you are even considering) as being a problem. It signals something other than a casual photographer and it some places may require you to get a permit . I'm not sure about the current rules for Central Park, for example, but don't be shocked if a cop questions you if you are doing more than just casual photography.
nyer is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2013, 04:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 131
Great question. We are also going to be in NYC in April. I will be excited to see the advice you get. We are staying 6 we might be able to get some more things in then we usually do when we have visited in the past.
ktspiv4 is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 12:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 186
Do not fret about photographing NYC, the only time I was stopped was years ago when I wanted to shot dicarded meat and fat in barrels in the old but real Meatpacking district and I was more afraid of the Mafia than the police.

Your listing sounds like it will occupy your time. For music look at Time Out NY, there are many variations on bar music.
paradeofmonkeys is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 03:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Golly, newyorktraveler, the cancellation of the color-coded alert system seems not to have reached Massachusetts because such signs are quite prominent in various public transportation facilities. But we are a backwater. I am going to Washington in a couple of weeks. I'll check it out there.
Ackislander is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Not aware of any change in the alert system. But in NY there are still armed soldiers in major transit centers and the police force's anti-terrorism unit is very active.

And there are "military" areas - not that the average tourist would find, but an explorer would - that you can;t shoot.

If you are setting up a tripod that looks more like a prof photog than a tourist and a lot of places will ask for permits and fees. (We have management photos taken every year - of about 18 people by a prof photo and his assistant - and we are always charged a fee and require advance permission - even a the fountain in central park.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 09:20 AM
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The color-coded alert system was technically phased out in early 2011, but to my knowledge, it's still in use, at least at airports.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 10:17 AM
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I didn't mean to imply that there aren't levels of alert. but the color coded system is not officially in place anymore, and why would anyone from another country have an idea what the phrase "orange alert" means anyway?

OP is coming from the UK which has it's own experience with terror alerts, so I don't think the concept would be a surprise to them.
nyer is offline  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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The photography issue can be confusing. There is a distinction between professional photography on public property, which generally requires a permit, insurance, etc, and amateur or journalistic photography, which generally doesn't, even when a tripod is in use.

"A permit is not required for filming that uses hand-held cameras or tripods and does not assert exclusive use of City property. Standing on a street, walkway of a bridge, sidewalk, or other pedestrian passageway while using a hand-held device and not otherwise asserting exclusive use of City property is not an activity that requires a permit."

This does not mean that park employees or police understand the rules.

On private property the owner can set any rules he wishes, thus in Grand Central a permit to use a tripod is required (You can get one at the office. Technically you need a day's notice, but in practice they often just give you one on the spot). Rockefeller Center doesn't permit tripods. Some cemeteries require a permit for any photography.

Hope that doesn't further confuse the issue!
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Old Feb 21st, 2013, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 48
As usual thanks for your time and help: the information about where places are and how you might connect various attractions was particularly helpful. I was highly entertained reading about the colour coded alert system and the need for sensible behaviour when taking photos.I hate to disappoint you but I will only have a small digital camera. Shame really.
Any further recommendations for interesting places to "hang out?" Thanks again.
rickydicky is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2013, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 21

For a free water ride...As an alternative to the Staten Island Ferry, I like the Water Taxi. There's a free ride to Brooklyn and back on Saturdays. The boats are pleasant and there's less hustle and bustle. But do try to get there at least 10min before the stated times.

Check the packages they offer.
TechoEP is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2013, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 21
I think the ride to and from Brooklyn(Red Hook) is free on Sundays too. I just happen to go on Saturdays.
TechoEP is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2013, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
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p.s. If you do take the Water Taxi to Brooklyn(Red Hook), it's right by the Ikea. Take a short walk to Fairway Supermarket (on Van Brunt St.) great place for lunch and good eats. Today marks their grand opening after hurricane sandy flooded the place. IMHO, One of the best places to shop for food in all of NYC. They do have multiple locations in Manhattan too.
TechoEP is offline  
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