Jeffrey Milstein-Aerial Photography-NYC.51 AMAerial photo of Stuyvesant Town. Photo by Jeffrey Milstein.

It’s hard not to love the look of New York City from an airplane. At a certain point, all the buildings and elements become the size of toys. Zooming out also reveals the urban layout of our cities, giving form to city fabric we usually experience at street level. Jeffrey Milstein, an architect turned photographer, has a stunning series of aerial photos on New York City (and Los Angeles) that are so geometrically framed and shot, it’s easy to see what he was trying to say. Through a range of sites, from Coney Island to Midtown (and even some islands), he shows that there’s a beauty to the man-made.

Columbus Circle, with a hint of Central Park. You can easily see where 59th Street was de-mapped, first in the construction of the New York Coliseum which doesn’t exist anymore. This gleaming image of Columbus Circle is also fairly recent. Those of us that grew up in New York City remember when it was rather run-down and completely forgotten part of town.

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The cacophony of Coney Island‘s sounds and colors become a rather peaceful layout of circles and pinswheels when viewed from above. In this shot, you can see the Wonder Wheel and the new Luna Park.

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Times Square, named for the New York Times, is the result of a diagonal-cutting Broadway. Here you can see the pedestrianized portion of the famous thoroughfare as well as One Times Square, one of the emptiest but most lucrative buildings in Midtown.

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Here’s Bryant Park at night, an luscious oasis of green and hub of activity. Next door is the New York Public Library.

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This is Liberty Island, with the Statue of Liberty atop former Fort Wood, whose geometry can be seen clearly in this photograph.

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Zooming in closer, here is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, built gradually over time (the original is still in the center) and is still unfinished.

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Similarly, below is the American Museum of Natural History, which has also expanded over time and is about to undergo yet another expansion.

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Union Square, which is clearly not square but oval:

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Washington Square Park, with the arch on the right:

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Grand Central Terminal, with the Park Avenue Viaduct extending southwards, and the Pan-Am Building, which used to have a helipad on top:

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Midtown Manhattan:

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The Empire State Building:

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See more works on Jeffrey Milstein’s website. Check out an amazing vintage photograph of NYC from the air by LIFE photographer Andreas Feininger and find out how you can take your own aerial shots by helicopter.

 Jeffrey Milstein, photography

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