To find scenic places in New York City all one has to do is look up. The real dilema is deciding what to see and do. The best place to start is the 86th floor observatory at the Empire State Building. For $18 you get a bird's-eye view of a sea of skyscrapers. If you want a great picture of the Chrysler Building, bring a telephoto lens and go up later in the day when the sun casts golden highlights on the New York icon. From Grand Central Station it is a 15-minute walk southwest. Wait times vary from 15 minutes to over 2 hours. So if the line to the observatory is long, consider taking the train to Central Park or the Brooklyn Bridge then check back later.
If you have the time, go see the Statue of Liberty. But keep in mind any photos of the statue are best taken in the morning since Lady Liberty faces east. Also, a trip to Liberty Island can take a half-day since it requires ferry rides and a possible long wait.
Plan your visit to Times Square at nightfall for the full visual effect. There is a good Irish pub nearby named O'Lunney's that serves delicious food with great service, and has a more authentic New York atmosphere than the brand name franchises.