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These Aerial Photos Of L.A. And N.Y.C. Show That Cities Can Be Beautiful

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Seen from hundreds of feet in the air, Los Angeles and New York City take on a beautiful and hypnotizing geometry in the aerial photography of Jeffrey Milstein.

Milstein has photographed everything—including airports, container ports and cruise ships—from dizzying heights, offering vivid and strangely beautiful perspectives on his subjects. Prior to taking to the sky, he also aimed his camera at the underbellies of aircraft, including jets, helicopters and a blimp. And now for his latest project, entitled LA NY Milstein dangled from the window of a helicopter to capture stunning high-res views of L.A., where he grew up, and N.Y.C. where he currently resides. The photographs, on exhibition in both cities this weekend, reveal the incandescence, surprising symmetry and the mesmerizing textures of both cities.

The photographs from LA NY—some of which are featured here—range from the seemingly endless rows of suburban Los Angeles to the urban canyons of New York. Familiar sights from the ground, such as Universal Studios or the Statue of Liberty take on a charming, otherworldly appearance from high above.

Milstein's fascination with seeing the city from high above came at an early age. He tells LAist, "When I was 17, I earned my pilot's license at Santa Monica Airport. I flew around LA with an 8mm camera filming the city. I always loved the birds eye view. Interestingly I found my old movies and I had filmed some of the same places, like Park La Brea."

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By revisiting locations from his early years of piloting and seeing new ones for the first time, Milstein learned about many of the engineering marvels that helped shape each city. Many of which might otherwise go unnoticed without a bird's eye view:

Park La Brea was a discovery in LA. It is based on Masonic geometry and you would never know from the ground view how the circles, spirals, squares, and diagonal roads, and paths all link up to make these amazing patterns. I learned it was built using Masonic geometry only after I had been contacted by the owners who had seen the work on the web. In NYC, the picture of the Met was a surprise how it looked like an alien space station in the dark. And how some of the midtown buildings have powerful LED lighting that looks like a three dimensional light show.

Milstein's exploration of Los Angeles and New York from such great heights has inspired him to continue searching new subjects from the helicopter seat, "There are so many things that are fascinating from the air, I will continue looking for interesting subjects, and discovering things by flying around. Maybe some cities abroad too."

LA NY by Jeffrey Milstein will be on view in Los Angeles beginning this weekend until August 22 at the Kopeikin Gallery, 2766 South La Cienega Blvd., and is currently on view in New York until August 22 at the Benrubi Gallery, 521 West 26th Street.