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Aerial Photos of Tiny NYC Scale Model Show Beautifully Dense City

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A mini Gotham, as seen from the sky

New York Design Week isn't the only circus in town in the month of May: the art fair Frieze New York also touched down in the Big Apple—on the city's remote Randall's Island, in the East River, to be precise.

Perhaps one of the most striking exhibitions at Frieze was this series of photographs of a 1:1200 (where one inch is equal to 100 feet) architectural scale model called the Panorama of the City of New York. The full, 9,335-square-foot model, which encompasses all five of the city's boroughs and was commissioned by urban planning mad scientist and controversial figure Robert Moses for the 1964 World's Fair, lies in residence at the Queens Museum and is a sight to behold.

In a series simply called "New York, New York, New York," L.A. photographer Spencer Lowell turns his lens on this scaled-down version of the city, with its etched-brass bridges and hand-painted-paper towers (the Empire State Building clocks in at just 15 inches tall here). Rendering 900,000 buildings in colorful detail, the photographs, like the model itself, offer a new perspective on the city, and an immediate tactility and sense of lording over it all that you can't quite get from an airplane. Take a look.