16 Photos You’d Never Believe Were Taken In New York City

Don’t be mistaken — this concrete jungle has some real jungle too. Check out what two BuzzFeeders were able to find with just two days, five boroughs, and one Canon PowerShot camera.

1. This is not Penn Station at rush hour.

Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard, STATEN ISLAND
Also known as the Witte Marine Scrapyard, the bay is home to discarded boats of all sizes. A nearby recycling company owns the shoreline and repurposes metal scrap — nautical or not.

From Times Square: 39 minutes (by car)

2. This is not an Irish pub in Hell’s Kitchen.

Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island, MANHATTAN
Roosevelt Island was once called “Welfare Island” because it housed so many people in need. The Smallpox Hospital showcases the Gothic style favored by many NYC architects in the 19th Century. It’s located two blocks from a Starbucks.

From Times Square: 20 minutes (by subway)

3. This is not your friend’s art installation in SoHo.

Dead Horse Bay, BROOKLYN
Named for the horse carcasses that were often discarded in the bay in the 1850s, Dead Horse Bay now looks more like an urban museum than a shoreline. Venture down the shore to see thousands of broken bottles and the sea urchins that cling to them. It’s creepy to say the least.

From Times Square: 36 minutes (by car)

4. This is not the subway track, and you do not need to lean over to see if the train is coming.

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, QUEENS
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park is one and a half times the size of Central Park. The home to two 20th-Century World’s Fairs, the park is a must-see for history buffs — and foliage buffs.

From Times Square: 59 minutes (by subway)

5. This is not “cash only.”

Washington Mews, MANHATTAN
Owned and operated by New York University, the Washington Mews is a short, one-block European escape for Manhattan artists and thinkers. The cobblestone stops at the street’s end — and so does the French vibe.

From Times Square: 17 minutes (by subway)

6. This is not a Law & Order shoot.

Floyd Bennett Field, BROOKLYN
Once the most active airport in the country during WWII, this gem is located right off the Belt Parkway. The National Park Service owns the property, utilizing the expansive space for urban camping, ecology walks, and astronomy courses.

From Times Square: 36 minutes (by car)

7. This is not the Barclays Center.

General Grant National Memorial, MANHATTAN
Better known as Grant’s Tomb, the national memorial contains the largest mausoleum in North America and contains the remains of General Grant and his wife. The park is located in Morningside Heights on cliffs overlooking the Hudson River.

From Times Square: 24 minutes (by subway)

8. This is not drunk brunch.

Jamaica Bay, BROOKLYN
If you’re en route to the Rockaways, take a pit stop along the beach and see if you can hook a few. Fishing permits are available for the beaches lining Jamaica Bay as well as those across the bridge and into the Rockaways.

From Times Square: 35 minutes (by car)

9. This is not the Rockefeller Center ice rink, and your cousin is not visiting for the holidays.

New York Central Railroad 69th St. Transfer Bridge, MANHATTAN
Located near Pier 1 in Riverside Park, the transfer bridge was originally used to transfer railcars from New York to New Jersey. Just off the shore is the Pier 1 Cafe, a baseball field, and many people who have “just picked up running.”

From Times Square: 36 minutes (walking)

10. This is not the studio apartment that your broker completely lied about.

Todt Hill, STATEN ISLAND
This highly expensive neighborhood in Staten Island is a high geographic point as well. Todt Hill has the highest elevation of any point in the five boroughs, which makes for some costly real estate.

From Times Square: 33 minutes (by car)

11. This is not the overpriced spin studio that you’ll never be able to afford.

Heather Garden, MANHATTAN
A project funded by Rockefeller and designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm, the Heather Garden is truly “New York.” Heathers wouldn’t normally grow in a windy environment like Manhattan, so the garden requires extreme care. Stick around long enough and you’re sure to see a wedding — or proposal.

From Times Square: 32 minutes (by subway)

12. This is not a warehouse party.

Red Hook Grain Terminal, BROOKLYN
Situated near some of the highest rent neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the 12-story Red Hook Grain Terminal has been dormant since 1965 and has been called the “Magnificent Mistake.” The terminal, which is off-limits to explorers, is a popular photo subject for lovers of ruin porn.

From Times Square: 40 minutes (by subway)

13. This is not Gray’s Papaya.

The Cloisters, MANHATTAN
The Cloisters features art and architecture from all across Europe, bringing some heavy history to a relatively young New York City. It opened to the public in 1938 and continues to be an attraction for out-of-towners who feel out-of-place.

From Times Square: 46 minutes (by subway)

14. This is not the security line at LaGuardia.

9th Street Community Garden Park, MANHATTAN
Amongst the many community gardens in New York City, this one certainly stands out. Since 1978, residents of the Lower East Side have smattered together wildlife from all over the world into one small corner block.

From Times Square: 26 minutes (by subway)

15. This is not the billboard for Mamma Mia!

Green-Wood Cemetery, BROOKLYN
Arguably one of the most historic sites in New York, Green-Wood Cemetery has some of the highest hilltop views of all five boroughs. From Leonard Bernstein to Jean-Michel Basquiat, a range of cultural icons are buried here.

From Times Square: 47 minutes (by subway)

16. This is not a double-decker tour bus in the bike lane.

Little Red Lighthouse, MANHATTAN
This plucky lighthouse was made famous by the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, which told the story of the lighthouse’s friendship with the George Washington Bridge. The lighthouse was scheduled for demolition in 1951, but fans of the book led a nationwide movement to preserve it as a landmark.

From Times Square: 24 minutes (by subway)

Photos by Aubree Lennon & Ryan Hynes / ©BuzzFeed

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