The first image New York City conjures in the minds of many is probably its distinctive skyline. Indeed, the Big Apple is defined by its buildings, old and new, large and small. Here are a few of our favorites to sneak into your selfie background.
Grand Central Terminal
It’s one of the most-visited buildings in the world, but the bustle of tourists and commuters rushing across the floor is part of the charm at this 1913 Beaux Arts train station. No visit to New York is complete until you’ve craned your head back to stare up at the gold constellations painted on the turquoise ceiling – or until you’ve had a few bites and a glass of wine at the Grand Central Oyster Bar downstairs.
This gabled 1881 residential building on the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West is perhaps the most famous apartment building in the world. Roman Polanski used it for exterior shots in his 1968 horror film, “Rosemary’s Baby”, and in 1980, John Lennon, who was then a resident here, was murdered at the building’s south entrance.
The Plaza Hotel
Standing on the southeast corner of Central Park, this century-old 20-story hotel has long been famous for both its lavish interiors and exteriors (as well as for being the home of the titular character in the children’s book series “Eloise”). Be sure to pop inside to have a drink and take a gander at the ceiling of the Palm Court.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
No building on the Upper East Side’s Museum Mile is as recognizable as the cylindrical Guggenheim, which opened in 1959 and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to create a “temple of the spirit” for viewing the art collection. Snap a photo outside and then buy a ticket to go in and climb the circular ramp to the top.
The Flatiron Building
This distinctively triangular 22-story building – one of New York’s original skyscrapers, built in 1902 – was designed to fit into the oddly shaped block bound by Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and East 22nd and 23rd Streets. The structure became so iconic that its surrounds came to be called the Flatiron District. It’s best viewed from a seat in Madison Square Park – perhaps with a burger from the original Shake Shack location in hand?
There are bigger churches in the city – like Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and Saint John the Divine – but there’s something charming about this 1846 Gothic Revival structure, tucked into the Financial District and juxtaposed against the modern skyscrapers. Interested in history? The land has been a church plot since 1696, and none other than Alexander Hamilton is buried in the cemetery.
Metropolitan Opera House
Few New York photo ops are lovelier than the fountain in Lincoln Center Plaza, with the arched facade of the 1966 Metropolitan Opera House in the background. If you happen to get tickets for a show, you’ll be ushered into the largest repertory opera house in the world, a 3,800-seat venue with a truly vertiginous auditorium.
Located on the far west side of Chelsea, this wavy 2007 building was star architect Frank Gehry’s first freestanding structure in New York City. At the time the building opened, its lobby had the world’s largest high-definition screen, while the smooth glass cells of the exterior are meant to evoke images of a beehive.