The New York City Skyline

It has been (lovingly, I hope) brought to my attention that I am, perhaps, obsessed with the phrase “New York City skyline,” and its variations. It is a key lyric in (duh) ‘New York,’ has appeared in at least three unreleased tracks (as far back as September 2001), and in multiple Daily Journal postings (ex: “a brilliant gold firework exploded, cascaded and faded in front of the sliver moon and jagged city skyline”). Running eastward on 72d Street this morning, tracing the edge of The Dakota against the rising sun, I think I figured out why…

Those of us born in the Midwest know only the horizon. While it may be occasionally punctuated by a grain silo or radio tower, generally, the boundary of earth and sky is unbroken. There is only nature on nature.

Here in the Big City, where so many of us have come to make our mark, to “reach for the sky” (from ‘Hollywood Arms’), the skyline is the boundary between Man and God, between what we build, and what is beyond our imagination.

That’s why.

I moved to New York City nearly ten years ago to build. To build a career, a life, a family, and a dream. I moved to New York to stretch myself as far and as high as is possible; to reach for the sky. Like the Empire State, or Chrysler, or any of the other great edifices built by hand, brick by brick, I endeavor to shake the bounds of gravity, and to scrape the very Heavens.

Lofty? Yes. Dreamy? Maybe. But what else is there? And where else is meaning found but on the edges of everything? Where else are dreams made other than the border between Heaven and Earth? You’ll find me there — always — reaching.

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