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© 2019 by The Curious Uptowner

The 10 most Instagrammable spots in Upper Manhattan (updated)

November 12, 2019

 

New York is bursting with Instagrammable places like the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square. Unfortunately, they're also frequently packed with tourists.

 

Prefer not to follow the pack? Take your camera to Upper Manhattan, which has just as many photo-worthy spots as more famous parts of the city, only they're much less trafficked.

 

Sure, some are already popular with shutterbugs, but not so much that you'll ever be short of elbow room.

 

From south to north, here's an updated list of 1o places to check out right now:

 

1. Mount Morris Fire Watchtower

 

 

Four years ago, this last-of-its-kind watchtower–built in 1857 and used to spot fires in pre-telegraph NYC–was falling apart. Now, after a lengthy renovation, it's back where it belongs on top of Marcus Garvey Park.

 

2. Lenox Avenue brownstones (between 122nd and 123rd Streets)

 

 

This perfectly preserved row of late-19th-century houses on Lenox Avenue is pretty much the defining image of brownstone Harlem. It also happens to be home to fashion legend Dapper Dan's by-appointment-only boutique he runs with Gucci.

 

3. The Apollo Theater

 

 

If a typical tourist visits one place uptown, it's usually this legendary theater. And no one passes without taking a snap of the iconic neon sign.

 

4. "Crack Is Wack" Mural

 

 

Thanks to a recent restoration, Keith Haring’s “Crack Is Wack” mural on an East Harlem handball court is just like new. It was first painted in 1986, at the height of the crack epidemic.

 

5. Under the Viaduct on 12th Avenue

 

 

The backdrop in countless movie and TV shoots (from "The Amazing Spiderman" to  "Jessica Jones"), the underside of the viaduct on 12th Avenue looks magical at every hour of the day.

 

6. "The Royal Tenenbaums" house

 

 

Wes Anderson used both the interior and exterior of this Hamilton Heights mansion to shoot "The Royal Tenenbaums," his 2001 movie about a dysfunctional family. Now a private home, it remains a popular spot on Instagram with fans of the film.

 

7. Sylvan Terrace

 

 

A perfect time warp, this small cobblestone street lined with identical wood rowhouses from the 19th century is irresistible from any angle.

 

8. The High Bridge

 

 

Reopened in 2015 after being closed for more than 40 years, this historic pedestrian bridge connecting Washington Heights and the Bronx offers stunning views high above the Harlem River. 

 

9. The Little Red Lighthouse (and the George Washington Bridge)

 

 

This lighthouse is so famous, there's even a children's book about it. Be warned: it's not the easiest place to get to. Use Google Maps–and you might want to hop on a bike.

 

10. The Billings Arcade 

 

Photo: Morgan Mackey

 

One of uptown's secret architectural gems, this stunning arcade located in Fort Tryon Park was once part of a mansion built in 1907, then destroyed by a fire a mere 18 years later.

 

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