NYC Helicopter Tour
The reservations were for 10 AM, so at 9:30 I left my apartment in Fort Greene, biked over the Brooklyn Bridge, and met my parents near the South Street Seaport. At the heliport (a few blocks south of the Seaport) my mom waited outside with a camera as my dad and I listened to the safety instructions and snapped on some yellow belt-style safety vests. The helicopter holds six passengers. Five unlucky riders are cramped in the back, while the sixth "chosen one" gets to sit in the copilot seat with plenty of leg room and a great view. As we were lining up to walk to the helicopter, the employee who loads the passengers pulled me aside and led me to the front seat. Once all the passengers were loaded we took off. For the entire fifteen minute trip my finger twitched furiously over my digital camera as I snapped out 233 photos (along with a couple minutes of video).
The helicopter starts off the tour heading north, does a quick U-turn before the Brooklyn Bridge, goes over Governors Island and Ellis Island, travels up the Hudson River to about 75th Street, turns around and follows the same path back. At no point does the helicopter go over any land or buildings because it is against NYC air traffic regulation. The cost of the the ride is $150 per passenger ($10 a minute for the 15 minute ride), but it is definitely worth it if you visit or live in NYC.
The brown stepped building (left on the 4th picture, middle on the 5th) houses the law firm where my dad works, and where I spent a summer in the mail room. I have some photos taken from that building in my Urban Exploration Instructable.
The full photoset can be found on flickr here.
A few sewn together clips I took with my digital camera:
The footage my dad took with my digital video camera: