Christmas is special in New York City, The shows, the Decorations, the Ice Skating and the Snow can make for a magical visit. It certainly can be bitterly cold and extremely busy but its well worth the visit. Multiple layers of clothing are needed for this winter trip with jacket, gloves and a beanie being a must have when the temperature is below -5 degrees celsius
I didn't visit for any dedicated photography but I still managed to get some very memorable images. These are more of a travel photography style to show what can be achieved by just walking around with a camera. Tripod's are unwelcome in many of NYC's streets and venues but there are options for those still wanting to shoot some long exposures(more to come on that later). Even if a tripod was allowed it would have been a serious burden given how busy some of the places are. Even at quiet times tripod's are not allowed in the area of the World Trade Center.
The memorial where the twin towers once stood is a brilliant tribute to the many emergency services personnel and civilian's who perished in early November 2001. The area below the memorial is an informative and solemn place to really understand the scale of the loss. The stories of the many victims being played is especially moving. There are self guided, audio and guided tours available to experience the memorial.
As with many things, Purchasing a ticket in advance will save some time.
Visiting Lady Liberty is a must do activity for anyone visiting the "Big Apple". Popular in many movies and stories the statue has become part of American culture, she is situated on Liberty Island about 30 min on a ferry from Manhattan.
We purchased Crown Access tickets from https://www.statuecruises.com well in advance of our visit. Tickets are limited and the stairway is narrow. for safety reasons; if you are climbing to the crown, bags are prohibited.
We climbed the stairs to the pedestal and squeezed past a few other tourists circling the statue, the cold breeze was harsh, gloves and beanie were certainly appreciated. After checking out the city skyline we went back inside the statue for the ascent to the top.
When we climbed to the start the the spiral staircase we certainly understood the no bag policy, not only is there very little room, the chance of a strap getting caught on railing is quite high. The staircase is a double spiral that is situated in the direct center of the statue, it has rest area's on the way up and down but space is limited. The rest points allow a glimpse into the construction of the statue, and a chance to see how far up you have climbed. After a few revolutions you emerge into the surprisingly spacious head of the statue (there were 6 people at the top whilst we were there). There are two National Parks Service guides to ask any questions and they have a great depth of knowledge about the structure. Looking out through the windows in the crown, it quickly becomes apparent that the windows are not designed for photography, The view is interesting and the experience is special but better photo's are available from the ground.
NYC is bitterly cold in December, there may be snow, rain and cloud but for a photographer at the Statue of Liberty there is a a significant benefit to all this. The last ferry from Statue of Liberty is at 4.30*, Sunset is also at 4.30, the chance to use this opportunity should not be missed. The light can be pretty special and there are plenty of boats in the bay.
The view of the city skyline and the statue itself at this time can be spectacular. To be able to see the Statue lit up as the ferry passes buy is kinda special as well. Finally the view from Manhattan looking back over an orange sky is a great way to get a last glimpse of the statue.