New York City: All in the Details

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Before I even left Ohio for New York City last weekend, I knew I wanted to come home and do a big photo post from my time in the Big Apple. With a city as large and full of variety as NYC, I knew there would be no lack of interesting things and places and people to snap photos of.

But, once I got home and started going through the hundreds of photos I'd taken, I began to realize that my favorite shots were not of the “typical” New York landmarks. I didn't have any of the Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty. None of my Times Square shots were calling out to me. And you can only see so many photos of the Empire State Building in the NYC skyline before you get bored with it.

No, my favorite photos were the slightly different ones — the ones that highlighted the little details or oft-overlooked aspects that make New York City so great.

So it's those photos that I want to share with you, because these are the moments that most stood out for me this time around. Sure, this collection still includes photos of the Chrysler Building, yellow taxis, and Central Park, but hopefully the collection as a whole is a little different than your average New York City photo essay.

Here are some of the details I liked best:

Bikes tied up along 6th Avenue.


A tribute to John Lennon in Central Park.

Central Park

Columns in SoHo.


Flowers left at the 9/11 Memorial.

9/11 Memorial

This quote at the Rockefeller building.


The intricate design atop my favorite skyscraper — the Chrysler Building.


Colorful fire escapes in Chinatown.

NYC Chinatown

Hidden artwork.


The Hearst building.


Creeping vines and fall colors in Greenwich Village.


A travel wish written on New Year's Eve confetti and posted on the Wishing Wall at the Times Square Visitor Center.


A quiet autumn afternoon in Central Park.

Central Park

Old-school neon signs at NBC Studios.



And the best part? Almost every single one of these “details” can be seen for free!

It's a misconception that NYC is wildly expensive. Yes, finding a hotel in New York City can mean racking up a painful sum on your credit card. But the rest of your stay doesn't have to break the bank. Trade in the restaurants in Times Square for meals in Chinatown. Skip the Statue of Liberty boat tour and take the Staten Island Ferry for free instead. Walk through Central Park and across the Brooklyn Bridge for no charge. Ride the subway instead of taking a cab. Or, just walk. There's SO MUCH to see here on foot.

Just remember to pay attention to the details.

Which New York photo in this series is your favorite?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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42 Comments on “New York City: All in the Details

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  1. It is totally all in the details – the world already has enough photos of the Empire State building I suspect ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I can fall in love with dozens of other cities around the world, but there’s simply no place like home for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I always get so happy and excited seeing familiar photos of my ultimate playground, some of which I see on a daily basis.

      Lucky you! I never really thought I could live in a city as big as NYC in the past. But you know what? After this most recent visit, I feel like maybe I could!

    Terrific photo essay, I love these details. The most surprising photo for me was the wishing wall in Times Square. Kind of quirky version of the Western Wall in Jerusalem (where people leave notes with wishes to God)? I hope all these people get their wishes ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I suppose you could kind of compare it to that! It’s actually found inside the Visitor Center at Times Square, which is a neat (and free!) little place that most people don’t visit.

    One of my all time favorite posts on your blog Amanda!!! You have captured the colors, the sights and the sounds so very vividly!

    You know it’s a good photo essay when the pics make you want to visit there now. The bike shot is very cool. Manhattan is the one place I would never bike myself so I tip my hat to those brave (foolish?) souls.

      I’m one of those brave souls ๐Ÿ™‚ Biking around NYC is one of the most liberating feeling, and and a cheaper alternative to the MTA’s Subway… the fare adds up and starts to get expensive after awhile

      OMG, agreed! I cannot imagine biking in NYC… even just thinking about it freaks me out!

    Truly beautiful photos! I love the atmosphere in New York – I’ve never been to another city where the locals have so much pride about where they come from. It’s really inspiring.

      Thanks, Jessica! New Yorkers certainly are proud of where they come from – and I love that, too! I also think that, over the years, New Yorkers have become much friendlier than the stereotypes of them suggest!

    Ah can’t wait to get back to this city in about one month. There’s always something new to love.. will be keeping the details in mind this time. Love the photos!

      Lucky you! And yes, definitely keep an eye out for the details. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As a New Yorker born and raised, I must say you have done a beautiful job of capturing the minute details of beauty. My fav shot is either the Hurst building or the Chrystler skyline. You see that little island under the bridge in that shot? It’s called Roosevelt Island and it’s where I grew up ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Greg! They mean a lot!

    If there is one place I would like to visit in the world, it has to be New York. These set of images reiterate that desire. These amazing pictures speak for themselves.

      New York is everything it’s cracked up to be, and more. I hope you make it to the Big Apple someday!

    These pictures are amazing! You have an eye for the unusual ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you, Julika! Like I said – it’s the little details that catch my eye!

    I’m living in New York now and the details is really what does it for me. It’s easy to think of New York as big buildings and Wall st. but do a little of exploring and you’ll realize that there truly is no way to generalize this eclectic city.

    A stroll through midtown is a very different vibe then the charming homes and shops in west village or the high line and free art shows in chelsea. That’s not to mention the awesome industrial architecture in Williamsburg or the great ethnic community in Astoria. I can go on forever! It’s all in the details. Very true!

      You are so right – New York is so much more than big buildings and Wall Street. You just have to know to look for more! This trip to NYC really hit it home for me how cool and diverse New York is.

    Think this might be my favorite of all your photo posts! Really great shots! (Maybe also because I’m such a sucker for NYC). ๐Ÿ™‚

      Aww, thanks Dalene! This may be one of my favorite photo posts too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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