I still remember the very first time I've been to this particular place in New York. I was amazed at the incredible views I could experience. It was right after watching a movie The Interpreter, with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman. In the last scene of the film, I could see the United Nations building right across the East River. So I grabbed a map and figured out how to reach that exact spot. I'm sharing this local treasure with you now.

Just because when we travel to different places, one of the best things to do is taking pictures. Thousands of pictures, registering our experiences forever. Right? Well, here is one of my favorite places in New York to relax and to capture incredibly awesome moments: Long Island City waterfront. Learn more about this experience in this story.

Long Island City waterfront: Relaxing Atmosphere With Great Views

A Visual Storytelling by Lucas Compan

Imagine an oasis on the waterfront. Fresh breeze, relaxing atmosphere, breathtaking sunsets, excellent views, surrounded by a peaceful vibe. The best part is that this mini-paradise is just 2 minutes away from Grand Central Station.

That's Long Island City,  just one subway stop from Grand Central Station. It is a sprawling area bounded by the East River on the west and Newtown Creek on the south. From that spot, you have some of the best views of Manhattan. Sunsets are stunning at the LIC Piers, as well as the beautiful ballet of lights that goes from natural sunlight to the silhouette of Manhattan.

2-Minute Trip to An Oasis

Lounge chairs, so you can just sit, relax, and enjoy awesome views (Photo: Dani Blue)

Want more? Wouldn't be great to take a break from the tourist marathon and, at the same, time taking incredible photos? Gantry Plaza State Park waterfront is THE place to make it happen.

Perfect Spot, Perfect Shots

From Long Island City waterfront – at the Gantry Plaza State Park – you can photograph Manhattan skyline and awesome sunsets. You can see the Empire State Building, United Nations building, and Chrysler Building – among others.

Sunset: the magic of colors

Sunset: the magic of colors

Right across the East River, you can see the Empire State Building, the United Nations building, and Chrysler Building.

Wouldn't be great to take a break from the tourist marathon and making the time to take some incredible photos – at the same time?

The Gantry Plaza State Park, on Long Island City waterfront, is one of the top favorite places that New Yorkers love.


How to Get There?

Take the Queens-bound 7 train. One stop after Grand Central Terminal you get off the train – Vernon Blvd / Jackson Ave. You will be at one of the best spots in New York to take pictures, chill out enjoying great views of Manhattan, and also grab a bite and drink in one of the coolest small bars and restaurants in town.


The Empire State Building (left), United Nations (center), and Chrysler Building (right)

You Can Capture or Just Enjoy Breathtaking Sunsets

United Nations and Chrysler Building (Photo: Dani Blue)

An Industrial  Area Turns Into An Oasis

The park was built to transform an industrial landscape into a pleasing public space, in stages. But the good thing is that it didn't erase the past. In ways that are reverential, the gantries in the southern part – and the grounds of the old Pepsi bottling plant in the north – are not just acknowledged, they are celebrated.

The gantries (left) and the Pepsi sign (right).

Pepsi sign

The old gantries

The Old Gantry

The 1998 design by landscape architecture firm of Thomas Balsley Associates, accentuated Manhattan skyline views through the windows of the old railroad car float cranes (the gantries), a futuristic fishing pier, a great lawn, and stepping stone paths to the water.

Waves of The East River

The lines of the paths and park ripple along in soft waves, mirroring the movement of the East River and the varying terrain of the riverfront. On the fishing pier, fishermen rest their poles in elegant notches on the railings and scrape their catch on a cleaning table worthy of a five-star New York restaurant kitchen.

Airplane lands on the East River (Photo: Dani Blue)

Breathtaking Sunsets

Sunset – Natural lights mixed up with the buildings light

Manhattan Beautiful Silhouette After The Sunset

In The Movies

The film Munich took advantage of this view in its final scene, shot in 2005. The pier and the Pepsi-Cola sign to its north are visible in this scene.

Eric Bana in Munich (2005), directed by Steven Spielberg

The same location was used in The Interpreter, in the final scene where Nicole Kidman's character says goodbye to Sean Penn's character, who is sitting on a fence by Gantry Park. The Pepsi-Cola sign at the former bottling plant is visible in the scene as well.

Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman – The Interpreter (2005), directed by Sidney Pollack