It was a chilly winter morning when I arrived in New York for the first of many occasions. The first thing that caught the eye was the myriad people and the frenetic pace. It was a shock to the system.(I had just spent a few leisurely, fun-filled days on Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, en route to New York).
I have three days in New York before jetting off to my next destination, so come along. Experiences shared are always more memorable…
Having checked in my luggage at the designated hotel and walked for a few blocks to – 33rd and 34th streets, Manhattan – I found the massive monolith called The Empire State Building towering well above me and my neighbors in a land renowned for skyscrapers. It is in fact one of the tallest buildings in New York, standing tall at 1,454 feet into the sky. The Empire State Building even has its own Zip code; 10118.
Many offices occupy this art deco structure, many of them well-known, such as LinkedIn, Coty, and Citizen. There are also many restaurants and gift shops in the building so I grab a coffee and a bagel; that’s what you do in New York, right? On leaving the building you will find several gift shops strategically placed to lure visitors in the hope of exchanging souvenirs for currency.
Refueled I make my way via one of the many elevators to an observation area on the 86th Floor. Apparently every year a race is held for athletes to sprint from the ground floor to this level after negotiating 1,872 steps. I am not crazy so head straight to the elevator. You may also view the environs from the 102nd floor but the windows are smaller here and standing space is also restricted so if you are claustrophobic rather go to the lower level. Either way you have the same magnificent bird’s eye view of Manhattan, the Hudson River, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
On special occasions the top floors are bathed in a kaleidoscope of colored lights and I suggest that you capture this scenario on camera or better yet, on video for future revisiting. It is truly spectacular. On one day annually, weddings are permitted in the building – Valentine’s Day. Should you wish to avail of this window of opportunity, I recommend you book well in advance.
Over 250 movies have been filmed in and around the Empire State Building so keep your eyes peeled as you might spot one or more of your favorite stars.
On leaving the building I pop into one of the souvenir shops to purchase a reminder of my visit. You guessed it -a replica of the Empire State Building!