Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekend In New York

The north-facing view from the 86th Floor of the Empire State Building.  
Our first trip out of Arizona took us across the country and landed us in New York City.

I was so thrilled driving across the country, seeing the last of the fall colors and enjoying the cooler weather.  My soul was energized.  I didn't realize what being in Tucson has done to me these last 19 months.  Sure, the two-days-a-week work schedule was nice, but that left the other five days to be spent in the desert.  So much sun, no break from the heat, no clouds, no cold snaps, no change of seasons, no crisp air, no fall colors.  I have truly missed it.

The weather on the eastern half of the country has been right up my alley.  It was around sixty in Tennessee, and when we got to New York, the days were in the high fifties, and the nights were in the mid-forties.  Walking around the city in the cold weather was invigorating!

Our first stop was the Empire State Building.  I've been a few times but this was Ed's first visit.

Once we got into the building, we snaked our way through the Sustainability Exhibit.  In 2009 the Empire State Building started to retrofit the building - windows and doors and lighting and more - to save money, reduce energy costs, and reduce carbon emissions.  They've also done updating to the lobby area, which was noticeable and beautiful. 

On the way up to the observation area, the elevators stop on the 80th floor.  This is where you'll find a large gift shop with everything Empire State.  Magnets and t-shirts and mugs and keychains and King Kong stuffed animals.  The shop used to be on the 86th floor, but in the 14 years since I was last there, they've moved things around.  The 80th floor is also where you'll find the Dare To Dream exhibit.  Great history of the construction of the building, which pictures and documents from that period, "paying tribute to the pioneering work of the architects, builders, and laborers of the day".

The next stop is the Main Deck on the 86th floor.  It is the largest open-air observatory in New York.  Here you have access to a 360-degree view of New York.  It was chilly - with the west side of the building being especially windy - but the colder it is, the 
better the view.  And the lights were spectacular.  They never disappoint.  It's fun to peer down to street level and pick out the buildings and locations you are familiar with.  In the photo above, the big bright spot of light is Times Square. 

Once at the 86th, Ed decided he wanted to go to the very top, the 102nd floor.  It's the highest visitors can go and the ride up is taken in a manually operated Otis elevator.  There was actually an elevator man!  This area is small and glass-enclosed.  It was nice to visit, to say I've been that far up, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.  I don't think it's worth the extra money and I think the unobstructed views from the 86th floor are much better.  We did meet a great employee, though - Gordon, who has worked in the building for ten years and was chock full of New York City information.  He even regaled us with stories of celebrities he's met at the building, which included Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner, and some boy band I can't remember the name of.

The tower lights change color throughout the year to recognize different occasions and organizations.  The night we were there the building was lit in n
avy, purple and yellow in honor of Everyday #GivingHero and the Carnegie Medal.  I love the lights of the Empire State Building, no matter what color they are!

The Empire State Building is probably the best-known skyscraper in the New York skyline, but in my opinion, the Chrysler Building is much prettier with its gleaming Art Deco style.  And the beautiful thing about being on the 86th-floor observation deck is the unobstructed view of that beautiful building and so many more! 

It's definitely a must-see spot for any tourist.  Just trust me and skip the top deck.  Save your money for souvenirs!

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A Friendly Village

2015: Happy Thanksgiving!
2014: I'd Like A Parking Spot For Two Please
2013: I Desire A Snack Eaten Off An Owl Plate
2012: Pulpy Plumes
2011: Saturday Slow Down
2010: Let The Crazy Begin
2009: For Everything Thy Goodness Sends
2008: A Look On The Inside
2007: Free! Gratuito! Gratis! Ummm…No Charge!
2006: Life Giver vs. Indian Giver
2005: The Spaghetti Thanks You

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