BRAMA, Aug 25, 2004, 11:00 am ET|
Empire State Building lights up a second night for Ukraine (this time, to match the flag)
BRAMA, New York For many years now the Empire State Building (ESB, as far as TLA's (Three Letter Acronyms) go) has used its prominence to be a seasonal and tributary beacon. To that end on the occasion of national holidays such as Independence Day the ESB sheds its plain white lighting in favor of the colors of the US flag - red, white, and blue.
When Valentine's Day comes around on February 14th you can be sure that the tower's top is dressed in lush red; and during Christmas it broadcasts its colors in green and red, of course.
Other lighting tributes favor the colors of nations. This month four countries are or have been favored by the ESB's evening attire of light - India, Pakistan, Brazil and Ukraine - each lighting commemorating that country's independence day.
Ukraine's Independence Day is celebrated on August 24th (Slava Ukrayini!) - yesterday, as of this writing. Thanks to the spirit and energetic lobbying of committed individuals the ESB agreed to dress itself in the colors of Ukraine's flag - blue across the top and gold below - for the first time since Ukraine became an independent state in 1991.
This is no small feat to accomplish, requiring a crew of 6 individuals and 4 hours preparation. At dusk in keeping with its illuminating spirit, the building's lights came on and as the light of day continued to fade into darkness the ESB as New York City's most visible beacon began to fully broadcast Ukraine's colors. Only it was gold across the top and blue along the bottom (fields of wheat resting on a blue sky ???).
"A" for effort, but "Gee!" Wouldn't it be great to get it right? During the evening calls to the ESB's public relations office went no further than their night crew and voicemail.
Nevertheless, the city was graced with a cool and mostly clear evening and the ESB makes for a spectacular NYC skyline, no matter what colors it's wearing. Consequently, Brama's paparazzi shuttled across the city catching the display from various directions. As an added bonus the Metropolitan Life Tower on 23rd street (not to be confused with the Met Life building over Grand Central) also was dressed in blue and gold lights - but in the correct sequence. The National Board of Ukrainian American Youth Association (CYM), which placed the request for the ESB lighting, sent the same request to Met Life. You can see the digital slideshow here: ESB on Ukraine Independence Day.
However, imagine our surprise when an early morning call the next day from Lydia Ruth, the ESB Public Relations Director, came in. Ms. Ruth very graciously apologized to Ukrainians for the mix up, and (best of all!!!) ... since the lighting of August 25th was not committed, the ordering of the colors would be corrected and the display of blue above gold would shine from the the top of the ESB in honor of Ukraine's independence.
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