Public Spaces
Project info

Jeffrey Milstein’s unique geometrical style of aerial photography document urban scenes in Los Angeles where he grew up, and New York where he now lives. The work will be published this fall in a book titled LANY, Thames & Hudson. He calls this part of the portfolio Parks and Recreation and it consists of public gathering places like Times Square, urban parks like Bryant and Washington park, museums and monuments like Getty museum, and Griffith Planetarium, and The Statue of Liberty, and sports and amusement parks like Venice skate park, Santa Monica pier, and Coney Island. 

From earliest times people gathered in public spaces for community events, sharing of information, and sporting competition. Italian towns formed around public piazzas. The Greeks had the agora, the Acropolis, and outdoor theaters. Great cities like London and New York have devoted valuable land to public parks. 

Parades are group activities where people can share common myths. 
The Macy's Thanksgiving day parade, watched by tens of millions has its roots in European religious holiday parades. The live animals that once marched in the parade have now all been replaced by helium-filled balloons.

Great cities are known for their great public spaces. London has its vast urban parks and squares, Venice has St. Marks Square, Paris has the Jardins des Tuileries and Champs-Élysées, Athens has the Acropolis. New York is greatly enhanced by the genius of Central Park. Placed right in the center of the city, it is lined with apartment buildings overlooking its many attractions available to everyone for a verdant escape from the city. At an opposite extreme is Times Square, where the bright lights and cabs and crowds of people create a frenetic and colorful energy unique to Midtown. Smaller parks and squares like Bryant Park, and Washington Square Park dot the city, providing local communities with greenery and benches to sit and people watch, have a bite at an outdoor café, or play music as Bob Dylan did in Washington Square Park early in his career.

Los Angeles, by comparison, is much more spread out with a small but growing downtown not yet having the energy and lights of Times Square. Los Angeles does have it’s own kind of crowd however (though not a favored one): Angelinos encapsulated in their cars on the 405 at rush hour. But the laid back Angelinos can enjoy through much of the year, miles of beautiful golden sand beaches lined with umbrellas and surfers enjoying the waves. The pleasant LA weather has fostered world-class amusement parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios; and museums like The Griffith Planetarium and the Getty Museum; filled with outdoor gardens and activities.