Wednesday, 14 September 2011
I've had landscapes take my breath away before, but it's typically been plunging ravines or towering cliffs, windswept oceans or bleak desert. The only man-made scene to physically take my breath away was the Great Wall of China, and that snakes through mountains that are more than impressive enough in their own right.
I'd seen the New York skyline before, of course. In endless panoramic film shots, which didn't really give me a sense of scale. And in the daylight, which simply didn't give me this hit of pure and overwhelming beauty.
It put me in mind of Christmas lights: quite possibly the biggest display of fairy lights on earth. Chatting to a colleague today, she said it made her think of black velvet studded with diamonds. But whatever your analogy of choice, it was certainly breathtaking.
I don't really do cities. But staring wide-eyed across the water, I could suddenly understand why someone might want to wake up to this view.
(I'm just sorry that the picture really doesn't do it justice. Sorry, but - since I've never seen an image that did really capture it - not terribly surprised.)