These aerial views of New York City will take your breath away

October 30, 2015, 2:30 PM UTC
At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings.
At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings.
Photograph by George Steinmetz

Ever feel like you are constantly being photographed? Well for a New Yorker that is everyday life. As the most photographed city in the world, according to, it is difficult to find a new way to capture something that has been taken in every way imaginable.

Photographer George Steinmetz does just that. While we only see what is below, Steinmetz takes to the skies to give us captivating views of this diverse and historic city. From iconic places like Times Square, to lesser known places like the Marcus Garvey swimming pool in Harlem, and even new landmarks like the High Line, he takes us on a journey of the view from above. He shoots in all seasons and even captures New York’s traditions like the U.S. Open and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. In his book, titled New York Air, Steinmetz even adds a bit of detail and some historical facts to each of his images of the five boroughs.

An exhibit of Mr. Steinmetz’s aerial portraits of New York City will be on view at the Anastasia Photo Gallery in Manhattan from November 3 through January 9. The exhibition will be his fourth to take place at the gallery.

Take a look at a few of the images you can see from the exhibition and his book below.

The design is fabricated from chrome-nickel steel and symbolizes the twentieth century. The Chrysler Building had sheet-metal shops on the 65th and 67th floors, and the design motif is points radiating out from a rounded base, a sunburst to greet the world. William Van Alen’s seventy-seven story Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest for only eleven months, until the Empire State Building surpassed it in 1931, but no skyscraper has ever surpassed its harmonious design, the grace with which its crown emerges from its shaft, the seamless transition from brick to steel. The Chrysler Building owes its existence to Walter P. Chrysler, who backed Van Alen’s dazzling plan with his own cash after the original developer got cold feet. An industry study in 1929, just before the Crash, argued that construction costs rendered Midtown buildings above sixty-three stories unprofitable ventures, and the top seven floors of the Chrysler Building are barely rentable thanks to that gorgeous crown. Chrysler was paying for immortality, but he made Van Alen sue for his fee.The Chrysler Building on an early summer evening in New York City.Photograph by George Steinmetz

In this view, the trees are not the only things that have burst into sight. In the middle distance, amid the towering wall of buildings that fills the frame just south of the park, 432 Park Avenue, has poked its orange-swathed bulk above the skyline, on its way to record heights. Among the many other small things worth noting here: The fountain in the Central Park reservoir is sited close to the central north-west axis of the park (see page xxx), and there is a cruise ship in the Hudson approaching the Manhattan Cruise Terminal at West 52nd StreetLooking south from the North Meadow baseball fields in Central Park in New York City on a Sunday morning in early spring.Photograph by George Steinmetz

The rate of fare for trips between Manhattan and JFK International Airport, “is $52.00 plus any tolls using Rate Code 2 on the meter. A NY State Tax Surcharge of $0.50 will be added to each trip.” According to the 2014 Taxi Factbook, people traveling to and from the city’s airports represent 5 percent of all taxi trips, and about 10 percent of all passengers arriving at and departing from JFK use a taxi. Here, taxis wait in JFK’s Central Taxi Hold lot for a call to one of the terminals.Taxi waiting area at JFK airport in New York City on a spring morning.Photograph by George Steinmetz

The New York Road Runners, which produces the marathon, stocked 2.3 million paper cups for the event. In 2014, 50,530 runners finished the race, with an average time of 4:34:45.Three percent of their run (0.8 miles) will be between the two towers of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world when completed in 1964. It was the last project of master planner Robert Moses, who was responsible for much of the highway infrastructure that serves the New York City metropolitan area. Moses loved bridges, and had hoped to build one more East River bridge at the Battery in Manhattan in the 1930s. After much political infighting, it was quashed by President Roosevelt. Projects for a crossing of the Narrows began to be launched in 1888, but the will and resources weren’t available until the 1950s. The bridge may not arouse the love that the Golden Gate does, but it’s a majestic gateway to Upper New York Bay. Running in the marathon is a great way to visit all five boroughs. The 26.2-mile race starts at the tollbooths of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, on the Staten Island side. Here, Wave One of more than 50,000 contestants is waiting at the start of the run on November 2, 2014. The cost of going through those toll booths starts at $216, for members of the New York Road Runners Club. Normally, for cars, it’s $15.00 for a round-trip over the bridge (less for E-ZPass holders). This will be the only toll bridge the marathoners have to cross. New York eliminated tolls on the East River bridges in 1911: “For my part, I see no more reason for tollgates on the bridges than for tollgates on Fifth Avenue or Broadway,” said Mayor William J. Gaynor. More than 50,000 runners covered the 26.2-mile, five-borough course of the TCS New York City Marathon Sunday, beginning at Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth and ending at Manhattan’s Central Park. Organized by the New York Road RunnerRunners take cups of water from volunteers along 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.Photograph by George Steinmetz

Looking down on Times Square in NYC on a summer evening.Photograph by George Steinmetz

Here’s the heart of Rockefeller Center, the Art Deco complex that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., spent the entire decade of the 1930s building with his architect, Raymond Hood. We are looking directly down on the Channel Gardens, which lead pedestrians from Fifth Avenue, left, to the plaza in front of the GE Building (aka 30 Rock), which was being used by a café when this photograph was taken in May, but becomes a skating rink in winter. The small platform with scaffolding, right, where the Christmas tree stands tall in December, is being readied for the installation of a sculpture by Jeff Koons. Some of the buildings have exquisite rooftop gardens kept mostly for the pleasure of people who work in the complex.Rockefeller Center on a busy shopping day a week before Christmas, as seen from the roof of Saks Fifth Avenue.Photograph by George Steinmetz

Steinmetz taking aerial photos of Coney Island from a helicopter piloted by Dennis Leaver, on Labor Day weekend in New York City.Photograph by George Steinmetz

DO NOT USE! SteinmetzNew York Air book.Photograph by George Steinmetz

George Steinmetz is no stranger to Fortune. He has photographed for the magazine for a few years and has produced such amazing photographs for us like our 2014 portraits of the Fortune 500 and of Williston, North Dakota for our coverage on fracking.

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