One of the fun things about flying is getting a great view of the ground below. It’s a revelatory experience, a way of seeing the world of one’s everyday, ground-bound experience from the outside. It reveals a lot about the history and development of a city.
Chicago from above, for example, is a bit like a circuit board — it’s a brilliant set of lighted grids framed by the dark expanse of Lake Michigan. Viewed at night, it’s curious to see its other dark spaces, and to imagine the life of the city as a set of electrical signals and codes.
Boston, on the other hand, is a scattering of jewels across the dark, in which it’s possible to imagine a difference between older and new parts of the city by looking for those bright spaces in which the lines get straighter and more regular.
The lights are the living history of a city, growing as it does under whatever conditions happen to obtain.
[See the rest of this set of shots from the sky here.]