15 December 2013

In New York City: Empire State Building Tour

One thing I had never done on any of my trips to New York City was go to the top of the Empire State Building. I was lucky enough this summer to go to the top of Rockefeller Center, where I could SEE the Empire State Building, but this time I wanted to go to the place where the affair was remembered, where you could see the top of the shiny Chrysler building, and where Annie and Sam figured out they could make it even though they lived on separate coasts.  

My NYC-based friend agreed to go on this tourist lark with us, and off we went. We booked tickets online, and were excited when we got there and saw no line (this summer, when I walked by, the line seemingly snaked out of the building). This was very misleading, as once we got in, there was a line. A line that moved at a snail's pace. And, while in this line, we were bombarded with weird messaging about electricity. Eventually we almost got to the elevators, and they tried to force us into taking a picture that made it look like we were in front of the building. (I immediately became curious about how many people bought these pics. My friend A predicted 60% of people. If that was the case, they are raking in a lot of dough!). 

After probably an hour, we got to the elevators and headed up to the 80th floor...where we were greeted with ANOTHER line to get to the 86th floor. A worker let us know that we were welcome to walk up those six flights -- which we did. Finally being on the 86th floor made the wait (almost) worth it. We got to see a beautiful view of New York City -- from bridge to bridge, Central Park to Brooklyn. It was pretty awesome to see how vast this City is. We also were very lucky that it was a really clear night. Chilly, yes, but the sky was without a cloud and we could see for miles.

We had also paid to go to the 102nd floor -- so up we went. This was cool, though I don't think worth the extra money. You are in a tight space, can't go outside, and I know personally I was affected by the altitude (and saw another woman with her head between her knees so am assuming she was having a worse reaction). It was cool to be up there, but I think the view from the 86th, and being able to go outside, was the better bet.

I am very grateful my friend A indulged me in this activity and didn't even roll his eyes when I asked if we could go, even though I know it probably isn't so cool for people who live there to do these things. It was something I had always wanted to do, and I can now cross it off my list!

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