New York City is so big, the city itself is broken up into 5 different districts – known as Boroughs – which essentially mean the city is 5 different cities that have joined forces. Most visitors – myself included the first few times I visited– spend most of their time on the island of Manhattan, where most of the major tourist attractions are located. The other boroughs aren’t as flashy as Manhattan, but still have just as many beautiful views, hidden attractions, and amazing restaurants.
This is the story about the “other” places that New York has to offer. It’s funny because the subway network that is so celebrated in the city makes traveling off the main island very easy. There are so many neighborhoods – Astoria in Queens, or Williamsburg in Brooklyn for example – that are so unique and different and worthy of your time. There are so many more “real” people living here, which means there are thousands of restaurants, cafe or craft breweries that you can visit.
One of the reasons I have traveled to New York in the past is that I have always had a friend who lives there, which means I can visit while saving $100 a day on accommodations. This, of course, means that I have actually been lucky enough to stay in the outer city and get a first-hand look at what life is like for most New Yorkers, while still taking the subway into the city to visit attractions. One of my favourite parts of New York is that most apartments have rooftops (or fire escapes) that are amazing for taking pictures.
Any adventure off Manhattan should start at the Brooklyn Bridge. Take a walk along the famous bridge and find yourself in a new city. Walk down to the waterfront, towards the old piers and into the trendy neighborhood of Dumbo. These other cities of New York take up a huge area, with many very different and distinct areas that make it into a patchwork of Neighbourhoods, each with a unique feel. Pick one and explore, you won’t regret it.
One of the attractions that I usually recommend to anyone who visits New York is to take a round trip on the Staten Island Ferry. While I have never actually stayed on Staten Island for longer than 30 minutes (waiting for the next ferry) it is free and allows for an amazing views of both downtown Manhattan over the water, as well as a free way to see the Statue of Liberty, which sits in the harbour between New Jersey, Staten Island and the southern tip of Manhattan. Oh… and they also serve cheap beer.
Don’t forget that some of the best parts about New York are located away from the island of Manhattan. Go explore. Find something new. Share it with the world. Here are a few of my top photos from the “other” boroughs of New York City.
The Manhattan Bridge with Midtown in the background. 2006.
Brooklyn Bridge Cables. 2008.
Brooklyn Bridge. 2008.
Brooklyn Bridge Cables. 2006.
The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. 2008.
The view of the Lower Manhattan skyline from the bridge. 2006.
The view of Manhattan from a Bed-Stuy rooftop. 2017.
Brooklyn Heights as viewed from Manhattan. 2008.
Manhattan as seen from the Brooklyn Piers. 2017.
Empire State Building as seen through the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo. 2017.
Brooklyn Piers overlooking Manhattan. 2017.
Floating Garden located at the Brooklyn Piers. 2017.
Brooklyn Heights. 2017.
Notorious BIG. 2017.
Night-time skyline view of Manhattan from Astoria (Queens). 2013.
Manhattan Skyline Sunset. 2017.
Astoria Rooftop Sunset. 2013.
Timelapse of Manhattan from an Astoria Rooftop. 2013.