Hollywood to New York: Drop Dead
After seeing "I am Legend", I pondered the same question as this New York Times article: Why do filmmakers seem to take such joy in destroying New York City? This seems like the most obvious answer:
James Sanders, the author of “Celluloid Skyline,” about the history of New York in movies, ascribed the resonance of disaster scenes involving New York to the prospects for special-effects shock. “What would be the point of showing a demolished suburban street? You’d get the point but it just wouldn’t have the punch. You take the most familiar, iconic symbol of civic society in the world — a big city, and for Americans, that’s New York — and that’s where disaster is going to be the most powerful.” He added that New York serves as a yardstick — what architects would call a scale — that illustrates the magnitude for a disaster.
(Hat tip to The House Next Door.)