The Empire State Building

New York, U.S.A

I visit the tallest building in the United States (at the time).


Summer 2012 When visiting New York, it would feel like a crime to not climb to the top of the Empire State Building. We went during the day, and a particularly overcast one at that, but the majority of the climb was out of sight of windows, so we didn’t miss much. It was exciting to be herded up escalators and stairs like sheep, and I felt like we were in one of those never-ending lines at Disneyland.

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

For all my life, The Empire State Building has been idolized as the tallest building in America, and I’m really glad that I got to make the climb in this iconic building before it is overshadowed by 432 Park Avenue, which is to be the new tallest building in the country. For a building with such fame, I was surprised at how plane it looked. Square and solid, without much shine or glamor on its façade. In fact, unless you knew what to look for (which you do, because who among us hasn’t seen at least one movie featuring the building), the building wouldn’t look extraordinary in comparison to its neighbors. All the buildings disappeared into the sky from the ground perspective. We soon made it to the elevators, which were carefully chaperoned by workers, and which were monitored carefully to make sure they wouldn’t exceed weight limits. One excited vertical ride later, and we were at the top.

New York, seen from the Empire State Building

New York, seen from the Empire State Building

A central enclosed space had windows to look out of, for those who weren’t comfortable enough to look out over the edge. Lined with tinted windows for people to see the skylines. However, it was difficult to see much from inside. There was also a ring around this central window-box, where tourists could walk around. Concrete and solid, it felt safe to me. Metal grating further helped promise security. After climbing to the top of the (pretty exposed) Eiffel Tower, this felt luxuriously and overly safe. The views were amazing. Sparkling, vibrant city was displayed before us in iconic splendor. The Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler building, the harbors and the monuments. Everything was… to put it not-so-eloquently, cool. Really, really cool.

Looking down on a bustling urban world

Looking down on a bustling urban world

Taxis and rooftop gardens could be seen when we looked directly below, and a gorgeous skyline could be seen from the 360º viewing area.

Seen from the Empire State Building

Seen from the Empire State Building

Bridges and buildings were as wild and tangled as blackberry bushes. The view was unforgettable, and I’m glad I was able to cross off “climbing to the top of the Empire State Building” from my bucket list. Especially since I got to experience the views in one of the last years that the Skyscraper is considered the tallest building in the U.S.

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