New York & Washington ‘19 – Day Three – Top of the Rock

I had been adamant that we’d had breakfast included in the price of our hotel but it turned that that was not the case so we were left to find another (cheaper) alternative. Turns out that there are lots of Le Pain Quotidien’s over here and they do a reasonable pain au raisin. The ones over here are just like the the one in the UK – uncomfortable. I don’t know if it is a ploy to get you moving on quickly but those wooden benches are not made for lingering.

I never imagined that I would be able to spend most of one day in and around one building but today that’s exactly what we did. After breakfast we headed to the Rockefeller Center where we had booked to go up to the observation platform or “Top of the Rock” as it is otherwise known.

Back in the UK we had prevaricated over what time to go up initially considering go for sunset and staying for the nighttime views. We settled on a ticket that allows you to go up twice and this turned out to be a perfect choice. Not only were the timings perfect but, as it turned out, so was the weather which was clear and fine – just right for a viewing.

Our first trip up was at 10am and it was reasonably quiet nevertheless it still took half an hour to reach the top. This was not because the lift was slow but because of security checks and the inevitable videos and obligatory green screen photos. It was worth the effort though as the views were amazing and right on the top you got unobscured 360 degree views across the city.

Between our morning trip up and going back up again in the evening we explored everything else that was on the site. This includes shops, lots of shops, art work, gardens, Art Deco interiors and buildings and shops! Reading the backstory of the creation of the centre it is amazing how much risk Rockefeller took in building the complex during the Great Recession. However, it is an incredible achievement.

After dinner we went back up again to the Top of the Rock. Bizarrely, despite there being many more people, it was much quicker to reach the top this time. Once at the top I was shocked by just how many people were packed into the halls and the three observation floors. Many were waiting inside for the sun to set to get their pictures but we figured that once the sun had fully set it was going to be hard to get a good spot. So we went to the very top and stood braving the chilly winds waiting for the sun to fully go down. Our patience was rewarded as we saw the lights of the city come on.

Back down on the ground we had one final walk around the centre to see it all lit up.