With the city empty of tourists, going to Manhattan has become a much more pleasant experience. I love the energy and business there but when I struggle to get from one place to the next in a NYC-timely manner (i.e. very fast), it gets frustrating. And the most popular tourist attractions are even more painful to deal with. In the before times, I wasn’t likely to ever visit the Empire State Building. So. Many. People. So. Much. Waiting. But there aren’t so many people right now. And ticket sales are limited so that social distancing can be maintained. So I got us tickets for Saturday’s sunset. I’d checked the weather before buying tickets on Friday and it was supposed to be sunny. Ended up cloudy. Oh well.
I got us tickets to visit both the 86th floor (the outside deck) and the 102nd floor (inside observatory, very close to the top). We arrived and there was absolutely no one. We got inside and got all the way to security before seeing anyone! We waited no more than a minute or two to get through. I guess it’s a little sad to see the space so empty but all I could feel was happy. I hate huge crowds, people everywhere, waiting to see exhibits or take pictures (I have some phone ones that will go up on Instagram soon), fighting for space… Ick. This was like getting a VIP tour. Just awesome.
We had fun pointing out everything we recognized. We found Coney Island! Looked for daddy’s work but it was hidden behind a taller building. Couldn’t even see it on the 102nd floor. I only took a few pictures up there, actually. The reflections on the glass were hard to manage. This is the only one I liked.
You can see it was getting dark. The buildings’ lights are turning on… I kinda wish we could have stayed to see the city all lit up. It would have been easier to see the street patterns with the cars’ headlights and taillights. But the kids were getting hungry. Getting them fed was the priority. V chose a Korean BBQ nearby and it was so good! (She’s a huge K-pop fan, especially Blackpink, so eating Korean food was a treat for her.)
I had so much fun. Now, to find the other touristy stuff we can do before it gets busy again or we go into another lockdown…
How fun! I was going to try to make it up there on the day that I was leaving Rhinebeck last year but opted to go to the NYPL before my flight instead. I did take some selfies w/it in the background, though, like a true tourist 😉
I can’t remember if I told the story while we were all up at the house that weekend, but my grandpa was visiting the Empire State Building the day that an Army plane crashed into it :O He and some friends had skipped school and took the train into the city from CT to see a baseball game that ended up being canceled because of the weather. They went to the observation deck, instead, and were firsthand witnesses to a historical event.
OMG! That must have been scary for your grandfather!
In my not so humble opinion, you did well to visit the NYPL instead of the Empire State. Less busy and less expensive. Honestly, the combination of cost and tons of people is what kept me away for so long. The cost is the same right now but there’s next to no wait. Just a little bit at security and elevators (only 4 visitors at a time but I imagine a family group might get to go together). I saw how much space they have for lines and I know that in pre-Covid times, I would not have enjoyed it.