The Big Apple, Gotham, The City That Never Sleeps: New York City goes by a handful of hyperbolic nicknames. You may have a different pick for “The Greatest City on Earth,” but you’re sure to agree that NYC is among the most photographed cities in the world. And for good reason. From the Manhattan skyline to the Brooklyn Bridge to the European streets of Greenwich Village, its picturesque history stretches back generations, and there is no shortage of evidence to prove it. Below are 19 mind-blowing stills that define New York City better than any moniker ever could.
1. A photo snapped from the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building. A rolling fog reflects the city’s fiery luminescence. Photo by Steve Kelley
2. A man stands in the remnants of the World Trade Center, listening intently for cries of help. Taken on the 11th of September, 2001. Photo by Daniel A. Norman
3. A hypnotic and linear perspective shot staring down the fence of the Manhattan Bridge. Photo by Daniel A Norman
4. An elder structural worker framed beautifully in front of a breathtaking New York skyline in 1930. Photo by Lewis Hine
5. A surreal HDR (high dynamic range) photograph staring straight down the guts of Broadway.
7. An original piece of Banksy art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. One of many NYC tags from the elusive graffiti artist. Photo by James Striebich
8. The famous photograph of construction workers on a girder, enjoying lunch while perched high above Manhattan. Taken during construction of the GE Building at Rockefeller Center on September 29th, 1932. Photo by Charles C. Ebbets
9. This is not a photograph of New York. It is however, a mosaic of photos, a collection of various angles of downtown NY that are then textured onto 3D illustrations seen in the newest edition of Google Earth.
10. A Praying Mantis takes in the sun on the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo by Abigail F. Lee
11. A photo of the pedestrian walkway atop the Brooklyn Bridge.
12. Another chilling still from 9/11 with the Statue of Liberty juxtaposed in the foreground of the smoke-engulfed skyline. Photo by Daniel Hulshizer
13. The grand reopening of the Statue of Liberty came on July 4th 2009, as visitors were once again permitted to climb the spiral stairs to the top of Lady Liberty’s Crown.
14. Wall Street on Black Tuesday, 1929. This infamous stock market crash proved to be one of the greatest contributing factors of the Great Depression.
15. Typical of what you would see in New York during the Great Depression. People would wait hours in bread lines like this one, seen extending out and wrapping around a public park.
16. A beautifully timed photo taken from the rooftop of a Manhattan skyscraper. Photo by Michael Penn
17. A student photo snapped in one of NYC’s many subway stations. Photo by Ilir Bajraktari
18. Capturing one of New York’s worst subway accidents, circa 1905.
19. The sun setting over Manhattan Bay. The shot meshes several exposures within one frame.