The Empire State Building peeks through the Manhattan Bridge’s arches at the corner of Washington and Water Streets in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Framed by two historic redbrick buildings and largely unchanged since 1909, the view is a portal to the past. And, more recently, it’s a significant addition to the tourist circuit. The swarms of visitors, influencers, and wedding parties have effectively forced cars off the road — until the occasional Range Rover honks to clear a path.
On One Sunny Afternoon
• 194 pictures of people posing at the corner were posted on Instagram. One was liked 6,960 times.
• Up to 30 people crowded on the road at once.
• One group spent 20 minutes in the middle of the street getting the #perfectshot.
• There were visitors from seven countries.
• Two quinceañera celebrations took professional photos, as did two wedding parties.
• Visitors could buy food from two hot-dog vendors, two ice-cream trucks, one juice truck, and one popcorn cart.
• An estimated $1,000 worth of FunTime Frostee cones were sold.
• And multiple tourists thought they were looking at the Brooklyn Bridge, not the Manhattan.
How They Hashtagged
#brooklyn #dumbo #skyline #bridge #weekendvibes #newyork #bigapple #instatravel #photooftheday #traveller #america #touristvibes #nyc #bridgesofinstagram #citythatneversleeps #wanderlust #ootd
Ask a Pro Photographer
Tips from Billy Schultz, who’s taken dozens of couples photos at the corner.
➼ Avoid the Rush
“The 20 minutes before the sun comes up, you’re gonna beat the tourists, you’re gonna beat the crowds, you’re gonna beat the commuters. You’re also gonna get the most beautiful light.”
➼ Get the Right Tools
“The best camera is whatever’s in your pocket. No special training needed. Plus you can share the photo right after you click.”
➼ Dodge the Cars
“You don’t want anyone getting hit in traffic. Just keep your head up, you know? If there’s a car coming by, step out of the intersection.”
➼ Don’t Ruin the Cobblestones
“Treat it like a national park. I know it’s New York City, but bring your reusable cups for your coffee.”
➼ Keep It Moving
“Be respectful to the people around you. Even if there’s a hundred people there, everybody deserves to get that shot.”
*This article appears in the April 15, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!