The forth best thing about New York

…is the view from the top of the Empire State Building.

Up close the building itself is nothing special, and I debated about whether I wanted to fork out $20 to go up yet another high-rise. Isn’t there one is every single city in the world?

But we went up anyways, and timed it so that we would see the day-view, sunset and night-view all in one go.

Hey, it’s expensive so I’d better get my money’s worth!

By the East River, this is the New York University Medical Centre. The short brown building right in the middle is where I stayed.

The Easter holidays and Spring Break crowd wasn’t great to be honest.

The process of going up took ages and I felt like sheep being herded through ticket counters, security checks, x-ray machines, lift queues, back stair cases, and souvenir shops.

All of the herding took place over several floors inside the building, so seeing no queues outside on street level thinking “it’s not that busy after all” was really just an illusion!

But we were rewarded with a fantastic 360 degree view of Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. The three images above are all downtown views, looking towards Chinatown and Wall St., with the Statue of Liberty somewhere beyond, and Time Square just out of view on the left.

The downtown view is definitely the best view. Uptown and Central Park is mostly obscured by other tall buildings in the way.

Coming from Hong Kong, I’ve seen my share of skyscrapers. But sunset on the ESB was surprisingly mesmerising and calming. The night view is definitely better than the day view, and if not for the crowds pushing behind me, I would have loved to pull up a chair, put my feet up, and take it all in…

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