Queens has some of the best views of the NYC skyline to take pictures from. I previously wrote about Brooklyn’s best photography spots and realized I should write one for Queens too. “The World’s Borough” is the largest New York City borough with the most diversity in the world, and is home to sports havens like Citi Field, and Arthur Ashe Stadium. Queens is also home to Forest Hills Stadium, which used to be a tennis mecca but is now an outdoor music venue. The borough has its own culture and character, with so many activities and options depending on your priority, and some of the best street food. Here’s a thorough and comprehensive list of Queens photography spots to take pictures at!
Formerly an industrial hub, LIC is becoming the newest “Chinatown” in the city with a rapidly growing Asian population. With the construction of skyscrapers going up on literally every corner, Jackson Ave. and Vernon Blvd are the main streets home to some great restaurants and contemporary art museums.
In my opinion, this is arguably the best photography spot in NYC. I do a lot of client portraits here because it’s one of the only locations to get the full New York City skyline. Sure, you can get a similar view from the Weehawken side in New Jersey, but since the sun sets in the west, Gantry wins. Not only that, photographing Manhattanhenge from Gantry Plaza State Park is my preferred location because it’s not as overwhelming as Tudor City.
The iconic Pepsi-Cola sign is on the North side of the park next to the NYC Ferry Long Island City service.
Right next to Gantry Plaza on the South end of the riverfront, Hunters Point is the main area where I do most of my photography, like capturing the moonrise. In the spring, the Yoshino cherry trees lining Hunter’s Point South Park bloom first and are the perfect foreground, especially during sunset, with the skyline in the background.
There used to be a secret skyline view I discovered at the bottom of the Pulaski Bridge, where the LIRR train tracks are, that has now become obstructed by the Gotham Point residential buildings. I was devasted when I came back after a few years to see such an eyesore blocking the cityscape skyline. Be warned – this is a live train track!
The rooftop atop the Z Hotel, formerly known as Savanna Rooftop, rebranded to Lost In Paradise and is the only legit rooftop bar in Long Island City. The hotel can be found in the seedier part of LIC that’s still heavily industrial. Due to the fact that it’s the only real rooftop lounge in the area, it can be hard to grab a table, especially during sunset.
Once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods, Queensbridge Park next to the Queensbridge Housing Projects is home to some of the most iconic hip-hop legends in history and is now a great Queens photography spot. This public park is also on the East River waterfront and has a front-and-center view of the Queensboro Bridge.
I lived in Astoria for years, through the pandemic, and it was honestly the best. I love how Astoria is the perfect mix of both bustling city life and residential. Famous for its Greek food, it’s here where Queens draws that “most diverse” label mentioned above as Astoria is ranked as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world.
Like its namesake, this park has a great view of the RFK Bridge (formerly Triborough) with the Manhattan skyline in the background. In the summer, Astoria Park is bustling since it’s home to the oldest and largest public pool in the city and hosts their own Fourth of July fireworks and Carnival.
Technically, this is a photography spot for Randall’s Island rather than Queens, but I figured to include it since it crosses over from Astoria. I find the curved top to be quite ugly, but underneath is a much different story. The concrete arched bike and walking path make for a great compression shot, but I personally have yet to do a photoshoot. It’s on my ever-growing list!
Even though New York City is notorious for its “rude” people, there are also a lot of instances of tight-knit communities. Socrates Sculpture Park is one of those and is dedicated to supporting artists who create public art. Not only that, according to their website, the organization is “working to create a living Land Acknowledgment honoring the Indigenous peoples – including those of the Lenape, Carnarsie, and Matinecock Nations – who stewarded this land for generations before being violently displaced by the settler colonial United States.”
This Queens photography spot next to both Socrates Sculpture Park and the Costco in Astoria is a true hidden gem. Unless you’re a local, no one really goes to this park. It’s got some of the bushiest kwanzan cherry trees in the city that bloom in the spring and is one of my go-to spots to lowkey fly my drone.
Home of the Mets, where Citifield is, take the 7 train and get off at the Mets-Willets stop to find a bunch of Queens photography spots. The site of two 20th-century World’s Fairs, 1939 and 1964, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is one of the city’s most famous parks and there’s a lot to do in the area.
If you watched the first Men in Black, then you’ll probably recognize this iconic location. The Unisphere is synonymous when it comes to Queens photography spots!
Personally, I haven’t gone plane watching in the city, but if I were, this is where I would go. This article gets updated on occasion so check back periodically for when I get a shot from here.
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