... this thread is interesting to me because some of the predictably most petulant contributors have stated no issue with this obvious use of compositing...
I guess you had me in mind.
There is compositing and then there is compositing. There is a clever one and a cheap one. There is compositing with a profound concept behind (like in the OP case) and there is compositing for compositing sake. There is compositing with a philosophical, poetic concept behind (e.g., Jerry Uelsmann) and compositing aimed at unwashed masses' taste.
In the OP case, compositing serves to recreate reality that is both theoretically and practically possible (like NY during blackouts 1977 and 2003). He composites the exact sky New Yorkers could have seen, providing the night was cloudless.
Slapping any sky or any moon, in any position over any city is... let's just say not my cup of tea, regardless of commercial success.
the thread also clearly shows that people project their own values into scenes...
Is that really surprising? Isn't that what we all, and always do?