Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Empire State Building

So, the Empire State Building is (once again, post-9/11) the tallest building in New York. Which makes it useful as a reference point when you come out of the subway and want to know which way is north - or, when you're north of 34th street, which way is south (confused the fuck out of me the time I went to the DMV west of it, on 34th. I literally had to force myself to put one foot in front of the other down 34th to get crosstown, in defiance of my internal compass screaming that I was walking north-south).

The Empire State Building was my first object of recognition during the cab ride from the airport to the dorm, the night I first arrived in the city, and it is also in clear view up Fifth avenue from the entrance to the New School.

Every night, the top portion of the building is lit up in three tiers. Each tier is lit up with one of several colours (blue, red, green, yellow, white, or orange). The lighting schematic varies every day or two, so the building looks different all the time. The night I arrived it was all green. At Christmas it was red and green. My favourites are all white, and blue-white-blue. I just learned that the lighting schedule has some significance, which you can look up here. In fact, you can request a certain lighting schematic to commemorate an event (nothing corporate or purely personal, though). I'm thinking May 1 red-white-red. You know, for the workers.

Anyway, if ever you want to look at something that I have probably looked at too that day, log onto this webcam. Eventually, its view will be obstructed by the high-rise that is being built in between, but for now it's a great shot. Also note that the lights on the Empire State Building are switched off in fog, as tonight.

7 comments:

Suzanne said...

how fascinating about the fog-related lighting policy! rob, karl and i nearly lost it when we got out of class tonight and couldn't make it out whatsoever. i feel so much better now; oh answers, answers!

p.s. if you get it to be red-white-red on may 1st, i will totally lose my shit.

Marianne said...

Yeah - I can't see it from the dorm, but I was crawling other webcams tonight to see whether my fave was just malfunctioning. Not there! Apparently, killing the lights has something to do with protecting the birds.

Anonymous said...

Well I thought "this webcam sucks!" And maybe if you told them the colours were for your birthday you'd have a better shot at it.
Mom

Aaron, Kate & Will said...

I'm all for the red-white-red. Let's start a petition...let's call our MLA...let's, um...WTF do we do to make it happen??? When I first read about the lights being shut off in fog the thought that immediately came to mind was "Probably so a plane won't hit it." My next thought was "Wow, that comment was in poor taste and I didn't even try."

Marianne said...

That's what I thought of too, except how does blacking it out help planes to *not* hit it?

Aaron, Kate & Will said...

Yeeeaaahhhh....you do make a good point. I was thinking more along the lines of preventing the planes from being attracted to it. Like bugs to those electrical zapper things. Man, when I try to explain what was going through my head at the time it just makes me sound more like I actually fit in here. SIGH.

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