Ever since, New York has existed for me simultaneously as a map to be learned and a place to aspire too-a city of things and a city of signs, the place I actually am and the place I would like to be even when I am here. As a kid, I grasped that the skyline was a sign that could be, so to speak, relocated to New Jersey-a kind of abstract, receding Vision whose meaning would always be "out of reach, " not a concrete thing signifying "here you are." Even when we are established here, New York still seems a place we aspire to. Its life is one thing-streets and hot dogs and brusqueness-and its symbols, the lights across the way, the beckoning skyline, are another. We go on being inspired even when we're most exasperated.
To try to save for everyone, for the hostile and independent as well as the committed, some of the health that flows down across the green ridges from the skyline, and some of the beauty and spirit that are still available to any resident of the valley who has a moment and the wit to lift up his eyes unto the hills.
When I was 2, I used to put pictures of the Manhattan skyline in a little scrapbook. And I used to wear American 'stars and stripe' vests and Daytona Beach stuff and they used to call me 'The Little Yankee.' Thank you to my producers for having faith in a little nobody from Lancashire.
I think it's necessary to evaluate a skyscraper at multiple scales, since that's how we experience it: from right next to it on the street to from across the river, as well as at all kinds of points in between. It's important to think of it as an element in a larger skyline, but also as an element in an immediate streetscape.
Meanwhile, we have carved out a place for ourselves among the dead; the glittering pinnacles of commerce rise along the skyline, their foundations sunk in a charnel house; and the lost lie forgotten below us as, overhead, we persaude ourselves that we are immortal and carry on the business of life.
You can't put the Hollywood sign in a movie without paying them. That is a landmark in L.A. I'm sorry, remove it from our skyline, then. You know? How dare they. That should be public domain, right? But it's privately owned, and they enforce that. They sue people. If you see it in the movie, they've paid for that.
I started writing rather late in the game. I was fascinated about the story about how Bob Dylan, for 'Nashville Skyline,' wrote between takes. So I'd try to sing new songs off the top of my head. I had rather less than spectacular success on that. But a lot of my songs were done that way.
For me, it feels like driving from truth into a lie, from adulthood to childhoold. I watch the land of pavement and glass and metal turn into an empty field. The snow is falling softly now, and I can faintly see the city's skyline up ahead, the buildings just a shade darker than the clouds.
Dear Chicago, when I wake up in the morning and see your skyline - the terra cotta of the Wrigley Building, the height of the Willis Tower, the shiny sides of my beloved Trump Tower - I know I'm home. I feel a certain energy walking between your spires, but recognize that what makes you special to me is that my roots are here.
And hate the bright stillness of the noon without wind, without motion. the only other living thing a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended in the blinding, sunlit blue. And yet how gentle it seems to someone raised in a landscape short of rain- the skyline of a hill broken by no more trees than one can count, the grass, the empty sky, the wish for water.
Between the villages of Aubiere and Romagnat in the ancient Province of Auvergne there is an old road that comes suddenly over the top of a high hill. To stand south of this ridge looking up at the highway flowing over the skyline is to receive one of those irrefutable impressions from landscape which requires more than a philosopher to explain. In this case it is undoubtedly, for some reason, one of exalted expectation.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a fitting tribute to so great a man and Mason. Its message should be as prominent in our lives as the Memorial itself in the skyline of the Federal City. Wherever we are, in Alexandria, Virginia, the District of Columbia of should be in our moral horizon, beckoning us to greater achievements as citizens and Masons.
The night skyline was stunning. I could see the Monas and Istiqlal Mosque bathed in brilliant white lights and a dozen other places of cultural and historical significance. It's an amazing, beautiful world we live in ... despite Uncle Google's abysmal view of American schools, the security checkpoints and vehicle inspections that seem to be everywhere, and the need to be vigilant because of the things we do to each other.
Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We've blunted the Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn't have known.
We were the children of white flight, the first generation to grow up in postwar American suburbs. By the time the '60s rolled around, many of us, the gay ones especially, were eager to make a U-turn and fly back the other way. Whether or not the city was obsolete, we couldn't imagine our personal futures in any other form. The street and the skyline signified to us what the lawn and the highway signified to our parents: a place to breathe free.
Still others make gardens because it is part of a full life. To live happily they must invest their hours and aspirations in the activities of another world. And they draw the interest of delight and refreshment according to the measure of their investment. These are usually quaint folk, other-worldly in their manner, but capable of comprehending the idiosyncrasies of Nature as she displays them in a tree and bush and passing season, across the skyline and in the infinite zenith. These, moreover, are the successful gardeners.
He fell in love with Manhattan's skyline, like a first-time brothel guest falling for a seasoned professional. He mused over her reflections in the black East River at dusk, dawn, or darkest night, and each haloed light-in a tower or strung along the jeweled and sprawling spider legs of the Brooklyn Bridge's spans-hinted at some meaning, which could be understood only when made audible by music and encoded in lyrics.
Each night the sun sank right in our eyes along the sea, making an undulating glittering pathway, a golden track charted on the surface of the ocean which our ship followed unswervingly until the sun dipped below the edge of the horizon, and the pathway ran ahead of us faster than we could steam and slipped over the edge of the skyline - as if the sun had been a golden ball and had wound up its thread of gold too quickly for us to follow.
But we didn't, not in the moonlight, or by the phosphorescent lanterns of lightning bugs in your back yard, not beneath the constellations we couldn't see, let alone decipher, or in the dark glow that replaced the real darkness of night, a darkness already stolen from us, not with the skyline rising behind us while a city gradually decayed, not in the heat of summer while a Cold War raged, despite the freedom of youth and the license of first love-because of fate, karma, luck, what does it matter?-we made not doing it a wonder, and yet we didn't, we didn't, we never did.
He was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons. You could see a bare tree on the skyline bent by the wind, holding up twisted branches and bent twigs, and suddenly its formless form would resolve itself into that of the trickster.
A. S. Byatt
In the realm of Ahura, there are two lands, one of light and one of dark. The land of light is where the mountain lay, and near its top is where the Zoroastrians dwell. They are the people of the land, and the chosen Twelve are their most powerful leaders and protectors. It is a beautiful sight, not like anything in mortal existence. The peak stretches up toward a sky of amber and blue. During certain hours, a purple hue explodes along the skyline, stretching out into the distance of one side of the mountain, extending farther than the eye can grasp. This is a constant. Never without light.
The silhouettes of Lovat now dominated the skyline. Nine levels stretching skyward. Five hundred meters high at its apex. Each level housing buildings of various sizes sagged on the backs of buildings below. Thousands of sodium lamps twinkled in their recesses. Lovat was the oldest and largest city on the coast, and it showed its age by the haphazard mess it had become. Roads rose and dipped, elevators and staircases criss-crossed, and floors would end and then begin across the city leaving large empty spaces between levels.
I have this theory, that this will be the only city that future archaeologists find, Las Vegas. The dry climate will preserve it all and teams of scientists in the year 5000 will carefully sweep and scrape away the sand to find pyramids and castles and replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the New York skyline and stripper poles and snapper cards and these future archaeologists will re-create our entire culture based solely on this one shallow and cynical little shithole. We can complain all we want that this city doesn't represent us. We can say, Yes, but I hated Las Vegas. Or I only went there once. Well, I'm sure not all Romans reveled in the torture-fests at the Colosseum either, but there it is.
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.
I know when people think of New York, they think of theater, restaurants, cultural landmarks and shopping, ' I told him. 'But beyond the iconic skyline and the news from Wall Street, New York is a collection of villages. In our neighborhoods, we attend school, play Kick the Can, handball and ride our bikes. I grew up knowing the names and faces of the baker, the shoe repair family, the Knish man and the Good Humor man who sold me and the other kids in my neighborhood half a popsicle for a nickel. My father took me to the playground where he pushed me on the swing, helped balance me on the seesaw and watched as I hung upside down by my feet on the monkey bars. Yes, ' I told the interviewer, 'people actually grow up in New York.
It was a perfect spring day. The air was sweet and gentle and the sky stretched high, an intense blue. Harold was certain that the last time he had peered through the net drapes of Fossebridge Road (his home), the trees and hedges were dark bones and spindles against the skyline; yet now that he was out, and on his feet, it was as if everywhere he looked, the fields, gardens, trees, and hedgerows and exploded with growth. A canopy of sticky young leaves clung to the branches above him. There were startling yellow clouds of forsythia, trails of purple aubrietia; a young willow shook in a fountain of silver. The first of the potato shoots fingered through the soil, and already tiny buds hung from the gooseberry and currant shrubs like the earrings Maureen used to wear. The abundance of new life was enough to make him giddy.
It was growing dark on this long southern evening, and suddenly, at the exact point her finger had indicated, the moon lifted a forehead of stunning gold above the horizon, lifted straight out of filigreed, light-intoxicated clouds that lay on the skyline in attendant veils. Behind us, the sun was setting in a simultaneous congruent withdrawal and the river turned to flame in a quiet duel of gold... The new gold of moon astonishing and ascendant, he depleted gold of sunset extinguishing itself in the long westward slide, it was the old dance of days in the Carolina marshes, the breathtaking death of days before the eyes of children, until the sun vanished, its final signature a ribbon of bullion strung across the tops of water oaks.
Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn't have known. The only things I noticed were silver bracelets on women's wrists and popsicle sticks in potted rubber plants. There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night. No car, no car stereo, no silver bracelets, no shuffling, no dark blue tweed suits. My world foreshortened, flattening into a credit card. Seen head on, things seemed merely skewed, but from the side the view was virtually meaningless-a one-dimensional wafer. Everything about me may have been crammed in there, but it was only plastic. Indecipherable except to some machine. My first circuit must have been wearing thin. My real memories were receding into planar projection, the screen of consciousness losing all identity.
You sit there in your heartache Waiting on some beautiful boy to To save you from your old ways You play forgiveness Watch him now, here he comes He doesnt look a thing like Jesus But he talks like a gentleman Like you imagined when you were young Can we climb this mountain? I dont know Higher now than ever before I know we can make it if we take it slow That's takin' easy, easy now, watch it go Were burning down the highway skyline On the back of a hurricane that started turning When you were young When you were young And sometimes you close your eyes And see the place where you used to live When you were young They say the Devils water it aint so sweet You dont have to drink right now But you can dip your feet Every once in a little while You sit there in your heartache Waiting on some beautiful boy to To save you from your old ways You play forgiveness Watch him now, here he comes He doesnt look a thing like Jesus But he talks like a gentleman Like you imagined when you were young (Talks like a gentleman) (Like you imagined when) When you were young I said he doesnt look a thing like Jesus He doesnt look a thing like Jesus But more than youll ever know
Sooner or later, all talk among foreigners in Pyongyang turns to one imponderable subject. Do the locals really believe what they are told, and do they truly revere Fat Man and Little Boy? I have been a visiting writer in several authoritarian and totalitarian states, and usually the question answers itself. Someone in a cafe makes an offhand remark. A piece of ironic graffiti is scrawled in the men's room. Some group at the university issues some improvised leaflet. The glacier begins to melt; a joke makes the rounds and the apparently immovable regime suddenly looks vulnerable and absurd. But it's almost impossible to convey the extent to which North Korea just isn't like that. South Koreans who met with long-lost family members after the June rapprochement were thunderstruck at the way their shabby and thin northern relatives extolled Fat Man and Little Boy. Of course, they had been handpicked, but they stuck to their line. There's a possible reason for the existence of this level of denial, which is backed up by an indescribable degree of surveillance and indoctrination. A North Korean citizen who decided that it was all a lie and a waste would have to face the fact that his life had been a lie and a waste also. The scenes of hysterical grief when Fat Man died were not all feigned; there might be a collective nervous breakdown if it was suddenly announced that the Great Leader had been a verbose and arrogant fraud. Picture, if you will, the abrupt deprogramming of more than 20 million Moonies or Jonestowners, who are suddenly informed that it was all a cruel joke and there's no longer anybody to tell them what to do. There wouldn't be enough Kool-Aid to go round. I often wondered how my guides kept straight faces. The streetlights are turned out all over Pyongyang-which is the most favored city in the country-every night. And the most prominent building on the skyline, in a town committed to hysterical architectural excess, is the Ryugyong Hotel. It's 105 floors high, and from a distance looks like a grotesquely enlarged version of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (or like a vast and cumbersome missile on a launchpad). The crane at its summit hasn't moved in years; it's a grandiose and incomplete ruin in the making. 'Under construction, ' say the guides without a trace of irony. I suppose they just keep two sets of mental books and live with the contradiction for now.