1. This New Yorker’s unpopular opinion: it’s not worth it to go to the top of the Empire State building, for one good reason: you can’t see the Empire State building from the top of the Empire State building. You can, however, see it from Top of the Rock.
2. For as long as I’ve been taking people around New York – and it’s been about ten years – I’ve been taking them to Top of the Rock. It’s not the cheapest outing, at $34 per person, but in my humble opinion, it’s worth it. It’s smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, on 50th street, meaning you get some of the best views of the city. The downtown panoramas show you not just Empire, but also One World Trade and even the Statue of Liberty off there in the distance.
3. Uptown, meanwhile, you can see the expanse of Central Park.
4. I’m currently visiting with my in-laws, who are astounded by how much construction is constantly going on in Manhattan. Honestly, I barely even notice it, though once they called attention to it, I realized just how many buildings are covered in scaffolding at any given moment. And I also realize how odd it is that I knew the word for scaffolding at such a young age.
5. The only downside of the view from Top of the Rock is this monstrosity, which kind of reminds me of looking at the Montparnasse Tower from the top of the Eiffel Tower. No matter where you’re standing, it’s tough to avoid, and I find it pretty ugly. But hey – in New York, ugly is part of our charm.