on July 13, 2011
I just came back from a weekend in NYC. On previous visits I have taken the trip up to the top of the Empire State Building, but I think I liked this experience more. For starters, there was not much of a line. In a way this was almost unfortunate as there was a lot of information on the walls to entertain people while in line. Lots of history of the building, etc. I read some of the information, but I felt silly waiting in a line that didn't exist. Right before you go up in the elevator they have a short movie with a bit more history, and then you were put in one of the two elevators. Unlike any other elevator I'd ever been on, this elevator had a glass ceiling and they put lights in the elevator shaft so you could really see how far and fast you were going. Definitely a cool experience. Once at the top there were three different levels from which to see the view, plus a nice large interior space if you wanted to just take in the view from inside.For me, the thing that made this observation platform special was the fact that you were actually on the roof of the building. Given the building's design (no spire), you are actually able to walk on the flat roof. This was a bit of a surreal experience. On the very top floor there was no safety glass which made the experience that much more exciting. The safety glass wasn't necessary as the level below was terraced out to prevent anyone from falling. Still, from the very top deck, you really did feel like you were on top of the world. The view is incredible, but the view of the Empire State Building was spectacular. I think I got about 20 pictures of just that one building. While on the first of the three levels you can actually see the letters "GE" outside the windows. But you can only see small parts of the massive letters. It was fun to try and figure out which part of which letter you were looking at. With this view, you really get a sense of how large the letters are...and how high up you are.This visit was well worth the money. I plan to go back when the weather is warmer and spend some more time.As an FYI, they have a ticket that allows you to go twice in one day...so you can see the view from the day and the night. Very cool!
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