Long before I lived in New York, I longed to live in New York, and I blame my geographical preoccupation on my pop-cultural ones. In particular, I attribute my long-tended New York love affair to the movies.
See, everything seems more iconic when it’s in a movie, and no city is more iconic than New York. Combining the two, then, is like an ouroboros of iconography from which there is no escape, and no moment in film better cements this feeling than the beginning of Woody Allen’s Manhattan:
Sure, the combination of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Gordon Willis’s black-and-white cinematography is so transformative it makes neon parking signs romantic, but one of the things I’ve only come to appreciate in my years since I’ve worked at CTA is how much architecture plays a role in New York City’s iconographic stature. And not just in Manhattan, but in every New York movie.
The Empire State Building isn’t just an art deco prop to be climbed by King Kong or blown up by aliens in Independence Day. It’s the culminating efforts of architectural design. When you think about it like that, you realize that every one of the buildings that stretches up from the streets and dots the skyline is the product of architectural vision, and while the movies might make the images, architects are the unspoken artists that have made these indelible images that bring so many of us to New York City possible.
"New York Movie Moments" -by Ben Horner