At night the skies are crystal clear by me. Almost no other lights in sight in my backyard anyway. I wish I had a camera capable of capturing the enormity of it. All I can get are pictures of a few dots, and the dippers, which just looks a bit strange.
Oh, I think there was no moon last night, which really helps. But the full moon last week was also special, super full. I Love when the moon gets large... it's an amazing site over the NYC skyline or the site of the 1960's world fair (the giant globe).
Damn large full moons are amazing sites most anywhere.
if you want to take good exposures of the stars you need to have a long shutter open time....or if you can with your camera and most digitals can't which sucks...(bring back analog...damn you Kodak!!) leave the shutter open to get a star path. When I was camping in Arches last summer we got amazing pictures of stars and star paths through the Skyline arch. Some of the longer exposures look like day (one year we had a full moon there, another a new moon so we got the best of both worlds) but with the most contrasting and vibrant colors. however you really have to have no light pollution even from adjacent cities and towns for the longest exposures to come out well