TIME portfolio

See New York’s Beaches and Parks From Above

Tobias Hutzler photographed them from a helicopter

Memorial Day 2015 is upon us—and, with it, the unofficial start of the summer season. In New York City, thousands of people will crowd the five boroughs’ beaches and pools, putting behind them the long winter months and their freezing temperatures.

For German photographer Tobias Hutzler, Memorial Day is the perfect example of what makes New York so attractive. “I’m fascinated by the energy of this city,” he says. “It’s pure life.”

Ever since he moved to New York, Hutzler has been documenting how people interact with the city, often shooting from a ladder or a cherry picker to find a different angle.

A year ago, during Memorial Day, he took to the sky, boarding a helicopter to photograph the city’s parks, pools and beaches. “I’d open the door, strap myself, stand up and lean out so I could shoot straight down,” he tells TIME. “I wanted my images to be very graphic, so I shot around noon when the sun was straight up. There are no shadows, so it’s really about the people — the constellations of people.”

Hutzler’s images are devoid of any distracting landmarks or features, concentrating instead on New Yorkers and how they appropriate these spaces. “I like the abstraction of it,” he says. “It’s not about the iconic places. I’m really interested in the people and the energy. My work is a study of the variety of life, and that’s what makes New York City such a great place: this juxtaposition of colors and people. It’s so beautiful and complex.”

To produce these images, Hutzler partnered with the firm NYonAir, which owns a fleet of helicopters. “The pilots know what I’m looking for, they know the visuals I like,” he says. “To get these images, you have to hover at a certain altitude and at a certain angle. I’m working with a very long lens, and I have heavy stabilizers on the cameras as it can be very shaky.”

Hutzler works fast. His subjects often have no idea he’s there, hanging from a helicopter 300 feet above ground. “It’s a quick shot and we’re already gone,” he says. “It’s like shooting on the streets.”

Tobias Hutzler is a German advertising and editorial photographer based in New York.

Kira Pollack, who edited this photo essay, is TIME’s Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise.

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent


Los Angeles Just Raised Its Minimum Wage to $15

May Day Rally Held in Los Angeles
Sandy Huffaker—Getty Images Protesters chant during a May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles, California.

The increase will kick in by 2020

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to ramp up the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour from $9 over the next five years.

The urban center is the largest among several cities—including Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland, California—that have moved to increase pay for their lowest-earning workers. Once signed by the mayor, the L.A. law could affect as many as 800,000 workers, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Other cities, including New York and Washington, D.C., are still considering laws that would also set the local minimum wage at $15. (See this map of places where local minimum wage increases have been enacted or proposed.)

The first pay bump would occur in July 2016, increasing wages in Los Angeles to $10.50 per hour.

Read next: These Are the 25 Best U.S. Cities for Jobs

TIME New York

No Charges Against Engineer Who Caused Deadly NYC Derailment

In this Dec. 1, 2013, file photo, a police officer stands guard at the scene of a commuter train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York
John Minchillo—AP A police officer stands guard at the scene of a commuter-train derailment in the Bronx borough of New York City on Dec. 1, 2013

"There was no criminality in the act, therefore no criminal charges"

(NEW YORK) — No criminal charges will be brought against the engineer who fell asleep at the controls of a New York City commuter train in 2013, leading to a derailment that killed four people, prosecutors said Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded last year that the Metro-North Railroad engineer, William Rockefeller, nodded off because he suffered from an undiagnosed sleep disorder and had a drastic shift in his work schedule.

“There was no criminality in the act, therefore no criminal charges,” said Terry Raskyn, spokeswoman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson. She said Johnson had decided several months ago not to bring charges.

The decision was made public in the midst of an investigation into a similar railway accident, the derailment of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia that killed eight people this week.

Rockefeller’s lawyer, Jeffrey Chartier, said the district attorney “came to the only logical conclusion, which is the same as the NTSB — which is that there’s no criminality on the part of Mr. Rockefeller. It was simply a tragic accident.”

He said Rockefeller is struggling with post-traumatic stress stemming from the crash and is unable to work.

“It’s something that haunts him every day, and I’m hoping the public acknowledgement that he didn’t do anything wrong will be some healing and closure for him,” Chartier said. “His heart is still broken for all those people who were affected by this.”

The dead were Kisook Ahn, a nurse returning home to New York City from an overnight shift in Ossining; Jim Lovell, a “Today” show lighting technician on his way to work on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree; Donna Smith, a paralegal heading into the city to hear her sister sing Handel’s “Messiah” with a choral group; and James Ferrari, a building maintenance worker putting his daughter through college.

Calls to several survivors of the victims were not immediately returned.

In the crash Dec. 1, 2013, Rockefeller’s train was headed for Grand Central Terminal from Poughkeepsie when it derailed as it hit a curve in the Bronx at 82 mph, the federal investigators said. The speed limit on the turn was 30 mph. In addition to the four people killed, more than 70 were injured.

Rockefeller told investigators that right before the crash, “it was sort of like I was dazed, you know, looking straight ahead, almost like mesmerized.” He said he was roused only when he sensed “something wasn’t right” with the train and threw on the emergency brake.

After testing, the NTSB concluded he had undiagnosed sleep apnea, which robs its victims of rest because they are repeatedly awakened as their airway closes and their breathing stops. The NTSB said Rockefeller’s apnea interrupted his sleep dozens of times each night.

The board recommended better screening for sleep disorders in engineers.

Chartier said New York allows for charging someone who knowingly or recklessly disregards a risk or fails to perceive one when a reasonable person would. But “none of that existed in this case” because Rockefeller didn’t know of his condition, Chartier said. “He couldn’t be held responsible for something he had no knowledge of.”

Meanwhile, investigators are trying to determine why the Amtrak train that crashed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night was careering through the city at 106 mph before it ran off the rails.

Associated Press Writer Jim Fitzgerald in White Plains, New York, contributed to this report.

TIME Accident

At Least 6 Killed, Dozens Injured as Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia

More than 140 passengers were taken to nearby hospitals

An Amtrak train bound for New York City derailed in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, leaving at least six people dead and more than a hundred injured, officials said.

The train appeared to go off the tracks while going into a turn about 9:30 p.m., according to the Associated Press, one of whose own staff members happened to be on board.

“The front of the train is really mangled,” AP employee Paul Cheung said. “It’s a complete wreck. The whole thing is like a pile of metal.”

Images and videos posted to social media showed passengers struggling to crawl out of train cars that had flipped onto their sides. “There was dust and debris, I was choking,” Patrick Murphy, a former congressman who was on the train, said on MSNBC early Wednesday morning.

The train, the Northeast Regional 188, had departed from Washington, D.C., earlier that day.

Officials initially said 140 of the 243 people on board the train had been taken to local hospitals, with six people in critical condition. As of early Wednesday morning, there were at least eight patients in critical condition at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, one of the facilities treating victims of the crash, according to NBC Philadelphia.

Hundreds of first responders rushed to the scene following the crash, including police, fire and rail officials. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board was due to arrive Wednesday morning to investigate the crash, and the Federal Railroad Administration said at least eight of its investigators would be dispatched to the scene.

“It is an absolute disastrous mess, never seen anything like this in my life,” Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said, adding that all seven train cars were in “various stages of disarray.

“We walked the entire length of the train area, and the engine completely separated from the rest of the train, and one of the cars is perpendicular to the rest of the cars. It’s unbelievable,” he added.

Other passengers on the train included Jannelle Richards, a producer for NBC Nightly News, and Murphy, who tweeted photos of firefighters helping people escape a lopsided train carriage.

Richards said she heard a loud crash and saw people fly up in the air, followed by “jerking back and forth” and “a lot of smoke.” She also saw several passengers bleeding.

Amtrak announced earlier that it has canceled all train service between New York City and Philadelphia for the rest of the evening, and the incident will likely impact service in heavily trafficked Northeastern corridor for much longer. More than 11 million people traveled along that corridor, which runs between Washington and Boston, in 2014.

“There’s no circumstance under which there would be any Amtrak service this week through Philadelphia,” Nutter said.


TIME Fine Art

The ‘Scary Lucy’ Statue Will Get a New Home

A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron, N.Y., in her hometown.
AP A bronze sculpture of Lucille Ball is displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron, N.Y., in her hometown.

The tribute was mocked in a New York town for its lack of resemblance to the actress

A statue of Lucille Ball that upset residents in Celoron, N.Y., but amused the Internet, is relocating.

Dubbed “Scary Lucy,” the bronze likeness (which critics say bears little resemblance to the actress) will be featured in the National Comedy Center, a new attraction in nearby Jamestown that will open sometime next year, according to the New York Times. Celoron will maintain ownership of the statue, and it will stay in that village until a replacement is found.

The Center’s chairman said in a statement that he was excited about the work as “a tribute to what [Ball] was all about—making people laugh. This piece of comedy history has made millions of people laugh since going viral.”


TIME Workplace & Careers

New York Governor Acts to Protect Exploited Nail Salon Workers

A customer receives a manicure at Castle nail salon in New York City on Jan. 8, 2015.
Bebeto Matthew—AP A customer receives a manicure at Castle nail salon in New York City on Jan. 8, 2015.

Andrew Cuomo's emergency measures include a multiagency taskforce conducting immediate salon-by-salon investigations

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled emergency measures on Sunday to protect thousands of workers in his state’s nail salon industry from wage theft and health hazards.

A new multiagency task force will immediately conduct salon-by-salon investigations, protect manicurists from chemicals in nail products, and educate workers on their rights, Cuomo said in a statement.

The measures come days after the New York Times published online an indepth investigation into the exploitation of nail manicurists, many of whom are severely underpaid and regularly exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals.

“We will not stand idly by as workers are deprived of their hard-earned wages and robbed of their most basic rights,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to the New York Times.

Nail salons that do not comply with orders to pay workers back wages will be shut down, according to the new rules.


TIME World War II

See Photos of Jubilant V-E Day Celebrations in New York City

At the news that the war in Europe was over, revelers swarmed city streets to celebrate

When news came on May 7, 1945, that the Nazis had surrendered and the war in Europe was over, cities across the globe played host to raucous celebrations.

The original V-E Day, or Victory in Europe Day—which is commemorated on May 7 in Great Britain and Commonwealth territories and on May 8 in the U.S.—was particularly colorful in New York City. And though the photographs LIFE captured are in black and white, they pulse with the energy of revelry. LIFE described the mood in Manhattan:

The nation could feel proud of itself for the way it acted when the big news came on Monday, May 7. There was a little cheering, a little drinking and a few prayers. There was a great sense of relief and of a dedication to the job ahead. Only in New York was there a real hullabaloo. There wild street celebrations were whitened by snowstorms of paper cascading from buildings in Times Square, Wall Street and Rockefeller Center. Ships on the rivers let go with their sirens. Workers in the garment center threw bales of rayons, silks and woolens into the streets to drape passing cars with bright-colored cloth. Then the workers swarmed out of their shops, singing and dancing, drinking whisky out of bottles, wading in their own weird confetti.

The war, of course, would continue in the Pacific until the surrender of Japan that August, following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But for one day, at least, revelers would celebrate this critical milestone.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Airlines

JetBlue Announces Weekly Flights from New York to Havana

Deal shows growing ease of travel between the two countries

JetBlue will begin operating a weekly flight from New York to Havana, Cuba this summer following the lifting of several travel and trade restrictions on the country.

The new flight will travel between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana Jose Marti International Airport each Friday at noon, with a return flight from Havana to JFK every Friday at 4:30 p.m. This makes JetBlue the first carrier to announce additional flights to Cuba from New York since restrictions were lifted earlier this year.

Fliers will have to book flights through Cuba Travel Services, a company that organizes charter flights to Cuba, rather than JetBlue. But Americans are still not authorized to travel to Cuba as tourists and must instead visit for one of 12 specific purposes like visiting a close relative or participating in an academic program.

The partnership follows a recent trade mission by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to Cuba, where he and JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes hashed out a deal with Cuban officials. “By leading one of the first state trade missions to Cuba as the United States reestablishes diplomatic relations, we placed New York State businesses at the front of the line for new prospects in Cuba, that will in turn support jobs and economic activity here at home,” Cuomo said in a release.

The flights begin on July 3.

TIME Crime

New York Police Chief Defends ‘Broken Windows’ Policing

Broken store windows remain as members of the Anne Arundel County Police guard the intersection of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore.
Patrick Semansky—AP Broken store windows remain as members of the Anne Arundel County Police guard the intersection of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, on April 29, 2015, in Baltimore.

But Commissioner Bill Bratton also said he would reform strategy of targeting low-level crimes

The New York Police Department issued a 41-page report Thursday attributing the city’s low levels of crime to the so-called “broken windows” strategy.

The year-long investigation defends the practice of misdemeanor arrests, Reuters reports — but New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said on Thursday he would reform the practice of focusing on lower-level crimes, which has been called discriminatory by civil rights groups.

“We need a new form of quality-of-life broken windows policing,” he said.

The broken windows theory of policing holds that cracking down on petty crimes such as unruly behavior or vandalism creates a lawful environment that prevents worse crimes from happening. Bratton implemented zero tolerance policies inspired by the theory in New York City during the 1990s, a time when the crime rate dropped precipitously. But critics say that broken windows policing leads to racial profiling and overfilled jails.

The strategy came under scrutiny last summer when Eric Garner died following an incident with NYPD officers in Staten Island. Garner was accused of selling loose cigarettes and was detained by police, setting off weeks of protests over his death.

Similar charges have been made of the Baltimore Police Department following the death of Freddie Gray, who was detained after “making eye contact” with officers and running away. Gray, who died on April 19 from a severed spine, was carrying a switchblade.


TIME Crime

See Freddie Gray Protests Spread Across the Nation

Demonstrations inspired by those in Baltimore spread to more than 7 major U.S. cities on Wednesday, including New York, Boston, and Chicago. While the protests were mostly peaceful, there were at least 25 arrests nationwide

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