New York Air—
The View from Above
by George Steinmetz
book review by Richard Rivera
Photographer George Steinmetz’ New York Air—The View From Above is a WOW(!) arousing book. A loud cheer for breathtaking views of an amazing city that continues to thrill with its rich architectural legacy, varied neighborhoods, and geography.
As someone who spent the greater part of their life in New York City but never had the birds-eye view from a helicopter, Steinmetz’s book is a wonderful surprise. Many familiar scenes gain a new dimension and richness when viewed from the air with Steinmetz’s point-of-view as a master photographer. He lets us glimpse the hidden treasures on rooftops that are never seen by pedestrians many stories below. Rooftop swimming pools, stadiums, waterfronts, beaches, and parks all take on a different and magical appearance when viewed from the air.
Amidst views of Central Park’s Belvedere Castle, Frank Gerry’s rippled skyscraper, the Mercedes House, and the Guggenheim Museum, Steinmetz also gives us potter’s field on Hart Island, and marathon runners crossing the Verrazano Bridge; the very high all-encompassing points-of-view as well as the detailed low flying perspectives. Remarkable!
The reproduction of this veteran National Geographic photographer’s images are excellent in tone and color. At times pure abstraction but more often than not offering a unique perspective, the book is filled with intriguing shots and fascinating historical descriptions of the neighborhoods, landmarks, and buildings that populate the great City.
George Steinmetz is a brilliant photographer who since 1986 has completed more than 40 major photo essays for National Geographic. All of his experience and vision are on display in this large format hefty hardcover volume with its 224 pages of gorgeous color and stupendous views. It is a book that will be treasured by lovers of New York City for many years to come.
Richard Rivera's review also appeared on the New York Journal of Books website
December 14, 2015
A replica of a World War I Sopwith Camel (left) on the rooftop of 77 Water Street; and (right) a country cottage surrounded by greenery on the roof of 719 Greenwich Street.
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