Empire State of Mind

Screen shots of Jay-Z's video for Empire State of Mind

I am not a big Jay-Z fan, but this video, directed by Hype Williams, just captures the timelessly seductiveness of New York, with its intricate layers of architecture and life in myriad configurations. The history of celluloid is filled with intoxicating footage of this concrete jungle, and I never seem to tire of looking at it. I am reminded of what LeCorbusier once wrote upon seeing the New York skyline at night:

"The night was dark, the air dry and cold. The whole city was lighted up. If you have not seen it, you cannot imagine what it is like. You must have it sweep over you... The sky is decked out. It is a Milky Way come down to earth; you are in it. Each window, each person, is a light in the sky. At the same time a perspective is established by the arrangement of the thousand lights of each skyscraper; it forms itself more in your mind than in the darkness perforated by illimitable fires. The stars are part of it also–the real stars–but sparkling quietly in the distance. Splendor, scintillation, promise, proof, act of faith, etc. Feeling comes into play; legs strengthened, chests expanded, eager for action, we are filled with confidence."
The Fairy Catastrophe, 1936

I heart New York, in all of its complicated, mythical, and endlessly photogenic iterations.

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