July 11, 2017

Top Places To Bike & Photograph in NYC

Words + Photos : Tyler Gustin

Summer in NYC... It doesn’t get better than this. Riding a bike through the beautiful city is one of the best ways to see it. The feeling of the wind in your face, buildings, people, and cars buzzing past you: it’s a rush. As a photographer, it’s the perfect way to move seamlessly from one photo destination to the next.

Here are some of the best places to ride and shoot in NYC:




DUMBO/BROOKLYN HEIGHTS

One of the best things to do in the city is ride the bridges. [Fun fact: An easy way to remember the names and order of the bridges is “BMW” (Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg bridge).] One of my favorite riding destinations is, just over the Brooklyn Bridge, into Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights.  

Brooklyn Heights is full of colorful brownstones and tree-lined streets. There are plenty of great restaurants and quaint bars (great date spot, too). In contrast, DUMBO is full of repurposed warehouses and cobblestone streets: a must-shoot for photographers visiting the city and natives alike. DUMBO also has one of the best parks lining the east river. It’s beautiful and relaxing, a definite must-see.

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CENTRAL PARK

For me, a kid who grew up around trees and water, Central Park is the perfect refuge any time the grind of the city becomes overwhelming. It’s a place where you can find a little of everything. Good vibes, good food, good music. Sitting under a tree, editing some photos and listening to street performers play are some of my favorite memories in the city. Central Park is one of those places I like to go with my camera, with no particular goal in mind, and see what comes of it.

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CHINATOWN

One of the most interesting energies in NYC comes out of Chinatown. The colors and sounds are vibrant; the people and smells are plentiful. I love shooting through Chinatown, on my way to lower Manhattan. There is a way light bounces through the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood that makes it unlike any other. If you’re a fan of good food and cool views, this is the place for you.

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WESTVILLAGE

The West Village, home of the coffee shop, as well as some of the most fun apartments in NYC, has done a great job of holding onto that old city charm that used to be all over New York. As a freelance photographer, you spend a lot of time in coffee shops, and the West Village is my favorite place to go for that.  Cobblestone streets, ivy-covered apartments, the works… not to mention, it sits right next to the water. WV wins across the board. I love to shoot a lot of my lifestyle work down in this area. I recommend this area all the time. It has a little bit of everything while giving you a healthy dose of history.

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NYC is one of the greatest cities on Earth. There is always something new to see, something new to shoot, and something new to experience. Next time you're in town, grab a bike and a camera, and see what this beautiful beast has to offer!


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