31.5.16

TRAVEL || NEW YORK: A CITY WITH A VIEW


The only thing better than seeing the New York Skyline from Liberty Island is being part of it. Ever since I saw Home Alone 2 when I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to climb to the top of New York and look out onto the enormous buildings and vast blue skies; and let me tell you, it was everything I ever hoped it could be. 


In New York, there are three major buildings that let regular ol' folk climb to the top and look out onto the views of the city:  30 Rock, The Empire State Building, and One World Trade Centre. During my trip I got to visit two out of the three on that list - The Empire and the World Trade Centre. 

THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
This building was once the tallest building in the world. For over forty years the only thing higher than its spire were the airplanes and clouds, now it is just a mere blip in comparison to those that now tower into the world's skyline. 
The inside is decorated in an Art Deco style, fitting in with what was popular at the time when the building opened, even the staff's uniform is in keeping with the 1930's decor; I felt so out of place in my Doc Martens and skinny jeans, haha. 
Surprisingly the queue was not as long as what I thought it would be, we got there around half 10 and was up on the 102nd floor not even fifteen minutes later. Aside from the views, the elevator ride was one of my favourite parts of The Empire, it takes exactly sixty seconds to get up to the 80th floor! If you are looking for a more traditional lift experience, then there is an old style gated lift that takes you from the main deck on the 86th floor to the observation deck on the 102nd. (Don't worry, there is another lift between the 80th and 86th, so you haven't got to hoof it up the stairs.)

I loved that guests had the option to download a free guided tour app to their phone, it was so much easier than joining a separate queue to pick up an audio guide from the kiosk on the 2nd floor. 

Another brilliant thing is, is that it is open from 8am until 2am, which I will definitely be taking advantage of on my next visit to New York. 

Standing at 1,453 feet, it is easy to imagine that the views from both the 86th and 102nd floors were magnificent. You can see for miles, way past Manhattan and Lady Liberty and towards the horizon; take a look for yourself. 

View of the One World Trade Centre from the Empire State Building. If you look, nearer the top of building, the windows are slightly darker than the rest of the windows, this is because those were the floors in which the plane hit the Twin Towers on Septemeber 11th.





ONE WORLD TRADE CENTRE
Visiting the new world trade centre or, The Freedom Tower as it is also known has to be one of the highlights of my trip. Walking around the memorial where the original two towers once stood is so eerie, it's so strange to think about what used to be there. We booked our tickets in advance to beat the queues, however as there was a security alert earlier in the day, we were forced to queue for almost an hour whilst they dealt with the backlog of people. 

Once you go through security, the queuing area becomes part of the experience. As you are below ground the walls are made of bedrock, and there is a massive screen showing a video made by the construction workers about building the icon. 

Much like the Empire State Building, The Freedom Tower has a wicked fast lift. At speeds of 23 miles per hour, it takes just 60 seconds for the elevator to climb 102 stories (1,776 feet) into the New York skyline. The elevator is lined with wall to ceiling screens, that show a 360-degree view of New York throughout its colourful history. The video starts off in pre-colonial times, and the further you ascend the closer you come to the modern era. 

We went up the tower at sunset, so when the doors opened and was practically blown away when I was met with these spectacular views.





The original site of the Twin Towers from the top of the Freedom Tower.


Have you ever been up the Empire State Building, or the Freedom Tower?

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