I’ve largely stayed away from the tourist hot spots until now, but I can’t get through this challenge without heading to the Empire State Building. And I’ve been to the top of the Rockefeller Center before, so I was interested to see how they compared.
While the Rockefeller Center is a simple lift up and down, at the Empire State Building you have to navigate all sorts of doors, lifts, roped aisles, escalators and barking security guards. I swear I spent more time getting to the top than I actually spent when I got there.
But of course the view was stunning. I’d been a little worried about poor visibility after a day of snow, but the night was crisp and clear and you could see far into Brooklyn and Jersey. The sheer volume of buildings was breathtaking – and it was much, much higher than the Rock.
I did find the view hard to connect with the New York that I know though. To me, New York is SoHo, subways, the East Village, coffee shops and Brooklyn, so these massive neon skyscrapers – that even looked imposing from a bird’s-eye view – seemed like a whole different city to me. It was definitely a view of New York that a tourist might expect, rather than my experience of it.
But I’m glad I did it. Although, as a word of warning – it can be very windy up there so it’s best not to wear a skirt if you go. I only realised mine was tucked up into my jacket when I was back on the ground floor and I’d given tourists more of a view than they were expecting.