Since 2009, Untapped Cities has ventured into the unexplored and forgotten realm of New York City. From boat graveyards to abandoned hospitals, we have charted the uncharted voids of the city. Our curiosity led us underground to explore abandoned stations and tunnels in the making. From the depths of the Second Avenue Subway we ascended to the top of 1 World Trade Center, Google glasses included! We even ventured off the grid and took to New York’s celebrated waterways for a 360 degree view of Manhattan.
But to explore the ever changing city, now rising to new heights, Untapped Cities ascended even higher up, taking our thirst for urban exploration to a new level, viewing the Big Apple from the sky with New York on Air– the aerial content company that rocked Instagram as one of the top brands in 2014!
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Through unprecedented access to the skies above New York City, state-of-the-art helicopters, and a talented team of photographers and cinematographers, NYonAir has been at the forefront of providing breathtaking aerial views of New York. As their popularity sky rocketed, they also started offering “photo experience flights” where New York enthusiasts can experience the thrill of hanging out of an open door helicopter while capturing the tranquility of the urban wonder that hustles and bustles down below.
So, on a frigid afternoon in January, the Untapped Cities crew buckled up for a scintillating ride in the sky. After a short tour of the hangar, filled with a fleet of single and twin engine helicopters, our host (and a NYonAir photographer) Jillian O’Brien prepped us for our frosty ride and within minutes of taking off from the helipad in Kearney, NJ, we were flying over the peaking towers of Manhattan, brimming with excitement of seeing the entire city in just one glimpse. Piloting our Eurocopter Twin Star was Vice President of Production, Rob Marshall, whose knowledge of the Manhattan grid and flying experience spanning more than three decades, opened up the city for us in an incredibly dramatic fashion.
In just two short years, NYonAir has forged fruitful collaborations with upcoming photographers as well as famous professionals, including Vincent Laforet, Artist Daniel Arsham and Nat Geo photographer Jimmy Chin. By bridging non-traditional aerial photographers with established professionals, NYonAir is generating a continuous stream of incredibly dynamic stock images and aerial footage. Their most recent venture with Travel Channel gave a completely new dimension to the documentary Metropolis by capturing New York’s energy, allure and constant evolution like never before.
The company that took off just three years ago to span the skies of New York, is now spreading its wings to other cities such as San Francisco, Las Vegas and Dubai by organizing helicopter operators around the world into one network. And as cities continue to grow ever higher, the thrill of absorbing these magical urban-scapes from the sky with NYonAir, will yield more memorable experiences than a fixed view from a $100.5 million penthouse.
Catherine is a Project Manager with the Trees & Sidewalks Program at NYC Parks. Bhushan is an Architect and Urban Designer. Get in touch with them at @bhushan_NYC and @catherine2m