Video calls have become the new normal for work meetings, hangouts, and even public hearings, as New Yorkers are asked to stay at home as much as possible to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. [Source: Curbed]
And if you’re using Zoom, the video platform allows you to add an image to change your background (and maybe hide the mess inside your apartment). And if you’re missing your regular trips to your local park or visits to the Met, the good news is that there are tons of NYC-themed Zoom backgrounds available to download for free through city agencies and cultural institutions.
Check out some of our favorites below, from pretty photos of Central Park (and other green spaces) to historical black and white images of New York City structures.
As part of its Parks@Home series, the NYC Parks Department has made several photos of the city’s green spaces available to download, including Central Park’s cherry blossoms, a shot of Astoria Park, and a lake at Blue Heron Park.
The Tenement Museum
If you’re a New York City history fanatic, you’re going to love the Tenement Museum’s backgrounds. The institution has made several images of historic tenement apartments available for use on Zoom: two kitchens, a German beer saloon, and a family parlor, all from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
NYC Department of Records
Another option for NYC history geeks: The Department of Records has over two million historical city photos, maps, and posters that could make for great Zoom backgrounds. Some of the categories include ports and terminals, parks and recreation, and public works. You can download the watermarked images for free or buy the non-watermarked digital versions from the agency’s website.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York’s most famous museum has created 10 background images of its various galleries available for download. Options include a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed living room from the summer residence of Francis W. Little, and a dressing room from Arabella Worsham’s West 54th Street home, among others.
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library also has a ton of options to spruce up your Zoom calls, including the sprawling Rose Main Reading Room and its famed literary lions, Patience and Fortitude. You can also browse through its digital collections to find more images. [Source: Curbed]