Neighborhoods of New York

May 5 – 10, 2024 —sold out – sign up for wait list below!

Join us on a five-day, small group photographic exploration of the many diverse and ethnic areas that comprise this grand mosaic that is New York.  The photo locations are ones that out-of-town visitors and many residents rarely visit. We will walk the streets, ride the subways, and be always in the thick of it.  Lunches are in restaurants that are consistent with the ethnic demographic of the neighborhood. The experience offers you many opportunities to photograph the daily life of people and explore colorful and remarkable locations that make up the richness of this city.


Bobbi & Lee assist you on your photographic journey in the field, and share insights on composition, lighting, scene selection, and maximizing the use of your camera. We provide each participant a private one-hour critique on your photography—the goal is to take your photography to the next level. The emphasis is on storytelling and finding the essence of each unique neighborhood we visit. We hope that over the course of a week you will create a body of work that fits your style and makes you proud.

A few days into the tour, we have a group critique so that you all can share your images and help and inspire each other.

This photo tour will NOT include stops at the typical tourists: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station. You can easily visit them in your free time.

Photographic Opportunities

Brighton Beach

Elderly women with rosy cheeks and red lipstick shop under the elevated subway tracks in this neighborhood that is called Little Oddessa. The store front signs are in Cyrillic, the fur coats displayed in the windows elaborate and the grocery stores have food that is alien to your palette. The street vendors sell fruit, vegetables, and relics from the Soviet Union, while the  rumble of the train overhead adds to the aura. A great group of characters are scattered on the beach, people of all ages working out and enjoying life.

Coney Island

The grandeur is gone, but the iconic boardwalk survives, with sun worshippers and Dominican musicians playing day and night. Signs advertising the amusement park rides are colorful and bold. Fisherman line the pier. The boarded up arcades on Neptune Avenue have illustrative art that tells a story of a bygone time.  The hot dogs and french fries at Nathan’s are still the best, and a colorful experience for lunch.

Jackson Heights

This section in Queens is the most ethnically diverse zip code in the country. One entire street is dotted with sari stores, gold dealers, and the largest South Asian grocery store in New York. Indian sweet shops butt up against Muslim prayer rug sellers. Under the train tracks are bars that cater to men that have left their villages and families in Central America. Food trucks selling tacos and burritos clog the avenue. A few blocks over is the Tibetan cultural center.


Washington Heights

Street art is everywhere in this predominately spanish speaking neighborhood, with pictures of birds covering walls and fences. The  1000 foot graffiti tunnel leads to the deepest  train station in New York, 173 feet below ground. A hidden street of perfectly preserved 19th century wooden houses, as well as the only active community mausoleum, are on the walkabout, as is the ballroom where Malcom X was murdered.  Barber shops, and beauty parlors line the streets.


Open front stores selling fish, and the fishmongers, with cigarettes dangling from their lips, line bustling Canal Street. Fire escapes above, and interesting store signs below, mark the narrow and congested streets. Asian women pushing four wheeled shopping carts compete with street stalls selling clothing, plants, and those hawking fake Gucci bags and Rolex watches.



Westfield World Trade Center, also known as the Oculus, is a shopping mall at the World Trade Center complex in Manhattan, New York. The mall opened on August 16, 2016, as the largest shopping complex in Manhattan, with 125 retail spaces. The stunning architecture rewards photographers with numerous opportunities to explore composition, form, and light. Interior and exterior space is presented with soaring abstract wings folding light into incredibly powerful gemometric displays.

Central Park

Central Park in New York City is a photographer’s paradise, with countless opportunities to capture stunning images. From the iconic Bethesda Fountain to the picturesque Bow Bridge, there are plenty of landmarks and scenic spots to explore. The park’s lush greenery and diverse wildlife also provide unique photo opportunities, such as capturing a shot of a red-tailed hawk soaring overhead or a family of ducks swimming in one of the park’s many ponds. 

Ellis Island

Closed for over 60 years, the historic Ellis Island Hospital Complex is now open for guided tours. The 90-minute tour takes you through select buildings and grounds of the hospital.

Anyone identified by the medical inspectors as unhealthy upon arrival would not be allowed to enter the country and would find themselves in the hospital complex.  Here they were cared for in what was, in its day, a state-of-the-art complex.

In a place full of hope for a better life, the hospital buildings were islands of both sorrow and redemption.

A sense of both is evoked in the remarkable images pasted in the rooms and hallways, part of the current exhibit by French artist JR, titled “Unframed–Ellis Island. The images draw visitors into a world that no longer exists. Rooms filled with quiet anticipation, the massive steel doors of the long silent autoclave, broken windows, half-open walls capture the stories of the Ellis Island Hospital, and the 1.2 million immigrants treated there.

Dawn & Dusk & More

There are many photo opportunities you can enjoy on your own, or in a smaller group, like:

  • Early morning photo shoot of the cast iron buildings in Soho. 
  • Night photography of the lights at Times Square and Broadway.
  • A visit to Central Park at the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, where there are always a variety of musical and theatrical performances.

There may be some surprises thrown in during the week, too!

Click here for a gallery of images

Street scenes of New York from the locations visited on the tour.


Photography Mentors: Bobbi Lane & Lee Varis

Local Guide: Herb Leventon

Dates: May 5 – 10, 2024

Trip Fee $2,100

Group Size: 8 – sold out, sign up for waitlist below 



Your trip fee includes 4 lunches, 2 dinners. Ellis Island tour, unlimited subway/ bus pass.  Individual & group photo critique.


Hotel Accommodations. Transportation cost to New York


Trip participants will be responsible for their lodging. Our base will be on the upper west side of Manhattan and so we suggest the Lucerne Hotel You can book it directly on hotels.com at an excellent rate. The Lucerne is in a wonderful neighborhood that has restaurants, wine bars and is walking distance to Central Park and museums. Please let us know where you will be lodging at your earliest convenience. Other worthy hotels in the neighborhood are The Beacon and the Arthouse Hotel.


The photo tour will begin on Sunday evening, May 5th at six o’clock when we will meet for a welcome dinner. Transportation from metropolitan New York airports are easy to access. A metered yellow taxi, uber or car service will get you to your hotel. Carmel Car Service 866.666.6666


The trip will end after a farewell dinner on Friday, May 10th.

What To Know

New York is a city that has something for everyone.  Museums, shopping, restaurants, tourist attractions are all there for you during your free time. The city is safe, very easy to navigate, and people are covid conscious. You must be vaccinated to join this group. All public spaces require proof of vaccination for admittance. This is an intense walking tour, so please wear comfortable shoes, and expect a good amount of physical activity.

Companions are welcome to join the group for the opening and farewell dinner as well as the full day in Brooklyn and the evening shoot in Times Square. The fee for them is $300.


A deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Trip insurance is recommended.

Pay deposit below, then click on “sign-up form” link…

You must fill out the sign-up form, and pay the $500 deposit to secure a place in the tour. The balance of $1500 is due March 9, 2024, 60 days before the start date.