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Empire State Building, tower lights, New York City
Photograph: Ann Sullivan

See the Empire State Building turn into a giant ambulance siren

Written by
Howard Halle

Last night, the Empire State Building launched the first of its light shows meant to bolster the morale of New Yorkers during this time of crisis. Promising that "we’ll never stop shining for you," the ESB's twitter account unveiled an image of the event, which replaces the building's signature white lights with a spectacle they described as "the heartbeat of America with a white and red siren in the mast for heroic emergency workers on the front line of the fight." And indeed, many among the fine citizenry of Gotham were inspired by the sight, posting videos of it on their social media accounts.

However, this being New York City, where good deeds rarely go unpunished, there were some, shall we say, less than charitable reactions to the ESB display, which some people saw as tone deaf if not downright alarming. GIFS comparing the ESB to the Eye Of Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, for instance, cropped up in a couple of tweets, as did ones taken from the famous Kenny Rogers fried chicken episode of Seinfeld, where Jerry and Kramer find themselves driven mad by the infernal glow of the fast-food joint's neon sign across from their building. Another likened the ESB to Mustafar, the hellish, volcanically active world that’s home to Darth Vader’s lair.

Perhaps, turning itself into a giant ambulance siren isn’t the best look for the ESB just now, but judge for yourself: We’ve gathered examples, both pro and con, on the whole deal—which, whatever its intended message, offers proof that every New Yorker’s got an opinion. What's yours?



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