On my second day in New York I planned to go Atop New York and visit the two famous observatories in Manhattan – the Empire State Building (ESB) and Top of the Rock. The two are not close to each other but today I really feel like seeing the city from the top, so there.
Coming from Brooklyn, I took the following train lines going to Grand Central Terminal – my first destination.
Dekalb Av Station going to 14 St – Union Sq Station
Transfer to Line 4/5/6 in 14 St – Union Sq Station going to 42 St Grand Central Terminal
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Grand Central Terminal is an intercity railroad terminal designated as a U.S. Natural Historic Landmark.
It serves commuters traveling on the Metro-North Railroad to Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties in New York, as well as to Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut.
Its intricate design inside makes me feel I’m in Europe. It’s also big it can possibly get you lost.
Oh, hey there Empire State Building!
From the terminal, I had a long walk going to ESB. It was one hot morning, but the road I’m walking only has a few passerby. I stopped by 7-11 to grab some water and when I saw a certain flock, I knew it was the Empire State Building.
As I was looking for the entrance, one woman walked to me and asked me for help. She looks desperate and was about to cry so I said yes. As we walked into the nearby Walgreen’s to buy the milk of her child, her sister walked together with us. Then, when I learned how much the milk was, I took a step back and just gave her the amount that I can. It was expensive for me that I might not be able to return to the Philippines.😁
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
The entrance to ESB is just next door. I was led to the elevator which has digital display on the ceiling. It plays a short video of working men in a construction, something to entertain the passengers while going to the 86th floor. Then out of the elevator the long line welcomed us. Comfort rooms, Photo Booth, Souvenir Shop and WiFi are available.
Empire State Building is a world-famous landmark. Situated at the heart of midtown , it boasts sustainability and historical exhibits, plus its two observatories. I availed their general admission – 86th floor observatory where you can have a 360 degree view of New York. They say your experience in New York is not complete without experiencing the top of Empire State Building.
The 86th floor observatory is indeed – BIG. You can view indoors but of course it’s better outdoors. There’s nothing else in there but the view and binoculars. It was so packed that I can’t have a spot for myself until some group of women asked me to take their picture. They took mine in return which then gave me the selfie which was originally nonexistent . 😄
What I love about ESB is the river view. I can see Brooklyn, the bridges and the movement of the cruise (or boat maybe). Down below are like Lego, solid and crammed.
TOP OF THE ROCK
I think I didn’t have enough of observatories, because I still visited Top of the Rock. I walked from ESB to Top of The Rock, passing by Times Square on the way. It was in the middle of afternoon so I took a break on a man-made park. I watched passerby and saw how diverse the people are in this city. Those that I can only see in movies, are walking right in front of me.
When I reached Rockefeller Center, I can’t find my way to Top of The Rock. I know it should be near but I spent like half an hour trying to find it. Few people I asked showed me different ways, they’re as confused as I am. So when I finally saw it the night was about to come.
The place was not as crowded as ESB. The line was almost nonexistent. The front desk told me that there was rain shower at the observatory but I told them I’ll still go. They call their elevator Sky Shuttle with a digital display on the ceiling as well.
Central Park viewed from Top of The Rock
For me, this observatory was much better with its glass fence/wall or whatever you call it. It’s not 360 degree view for all I know, but the Central Park and ESB were better viewed in here. They say the sunset will give the best view, but I can’t wait for it since I’m already hungry. Hahaha
Top of The Rock features their observatory with unobstructed view of downtown skyscrapers. It has amazing views but the journey to the top was also entertaining. They have Breezeway, Radiance Wall and Mezzanine Exhibit which I didn’t see honestly, or maybe, I didn’t notice.
Both observatories offer breathtaking views of New York. I like Empire State Building for the river views while Top of The Rock gave me the best Central Park view. Both attractions have nice facilities and finding out the order of events was smooth. At times I felt lonely but I was amazed by the view so there was no room for drama. This day was all HAPPY, and I satisfied my craving for the city. This time I around, I’m singing Top of ‘New York’ (replacing ‘The World’) in my head on repeat.