Earlier this week, 6sqft shared National Geographic’s interactive map of what the NYC skyline will look like in 2020. To accompany it, the publication has released a piece by New York’s resident journalist Pete Hammill, in which he “reflects on 72 years of transformation as his hometown is continuously rebuilt.” Hammill laments on loss (Ebbets Field, the old Madison Square Garden, and Stillman’s Gym, to name a few), but says of the present-day city that it’s “in a bad way.” Though he says New York is “wealthier and healthier” than when he was young, he feels that “its architectural face is colder, more remote, less human, seeming to be sneering.”
While describing the shadow-casting supertalls and influx of the super-rich, Hammill points to the stunning aerial photography of George Steinmetz, since “the best view of New York might be from above.” Steinmetz’s photos, taken from a self-designed helicopter, appear in the December issue of National Geographic magazine as an illustration to Hammill’s essay. They’re part of his new book “New York Air: The View from Above.” We’ve chosen five of our favorite photos that represent the changing landscape of New York City.
You might remember George Steinmetz’s name from 6sqft’s post about a family who lives in a cabin with a meadow on the roof of their West Village building. He discovered the gem while on a trip in his motorized paraglider, the lightest powered aircraft in the world. On his site he describes how it works:
The aircraft consists of three components: the “wing” of a paraglider (similar to an aerobatic parachute), a back-pack mounted motor, and a single-seat harness that ties the three pieces together. It is launched by laying the paraglider out on the ground behind me like a kite, and with the motor idling I run forward, inflating the cells of the glider as it rises overhead.
He likens the aircraft to a “flying lawn chair” and says it provides 180-degree views in both horizontal and vertical directions.
Bjarke Ingels’ VIA 57 West © George Steinmetz/National Geographic
The 850-foot Pier 45 at Christopher and West Streets in Greenwich Village was refurbished as part of Hudson River Park, the longest riverfront park in the country; © George Steinmetz/National Geographic
Read Hamill’s full piece and see more photography from George Steinmetz on National Geographic >>
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