Top O’ The Rock to You

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.” ~  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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City Heights 

I have been to the top of the Empire Building four times, now. All at night and while the darkness hides some of the height and the buildings twinkle like the stars you rarely see it because of all of the lights. I can’t say I hate going at night. The lines are shorter and the darkness makes the height deceptive. Teamed with liquid courage it makes the elevator ride go by quicker and is far less scary.

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Night or day their is something whimsical about gazing at the city from a Bird’s eye view. Everything looks like a doll house where you can just pick up the pieces and play with them. It gives you a different perspective. One that is both God given as well as man made. It may not be Van Gough’s little village in Starry Night, but you are still looking down at buildings and the people. You are still high up in an almost God-like position casting love and protection down to those below. It is also technologically incredible that it was all man made. That people built these buildings themselves.

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Having been to the Empire State Building numerous times, when my friend visited me I asked if we could check out The Rock instead. While I am pretty familiar with the Plaza not only because I watch the Today Show, but also because I have frequented the area often. Seriously it might be the only touristy place I go….Though not around Christmas time. I have yet to go to the top. That all changed on a sunny, yet still slightly wintery spring day when she was much obliging.

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History

Opened in 1933 and designed by Raymond Hood, the Art Deco styled 70 floor building is one of the most iconic in the city. Housing the peacock network, a vast array of offices, a shopping complex in the ground floors of the concourse as well as the historically famed landmark restaurant The Rainbow Room, Thirty Rock as it is known, has gone through a smorgasbord of ownerships, as well as renovations and is currently owned by Comcast. Top of the Rock had been closed for a number of years, and finally reopened in 2005, after extensive renovations. Designed to give the feel of an ocean liner, it gives a panoramic view of the city including its rival, the empire state building.

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The Journey

With my fear of heights I was at once nervous and excited about it. Both my friend and I had tried to book tickets online and it hadn’t worked out to well. Once we got there, there was also not a lot of signage. Uh-oh. It had already turned into an adventure and we hadn’t even reached the top yet! After asking numerous people where to go, we found our way to the ticket counter. Thankfully there was no line which automatically scored brownie points over the Empire State Building and security was a breeze. Another point!

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Now the kicker. For the Empire State Building there are only two levels, which if you want to travel to the very top, you have to pay an additional price. Not to mention it is ridiculously crowded.

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The Experience

Rock Center has three levels all included in the price, which made it a much more pleasant experience. While their were people, it was spread out, so we weren’t all cramming around windows for that picture perfect 360 degree view.

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Also at the very top their is no glass, which can seem a bit freaky, but actually wasn’t. The guards were incredibly nice. They were even willing to take my friends and my picture!

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The views were incredible! Even getting a chance to see the Empire State building as well as the Statue of Liberty in the distance. And that isn’t even touching on the views of the park. I even joked I could see my apartment building from the top.

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Oh yes the Top of the Rock was everything and more. I will happily go back!

Have you been to Top of The Rock? What did you think?