I decided to take a lift to the 86th floor to explore one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. From any of New York City’s boroughs at one point or another, you’ve seen the Empire State Building light up the night sky. It represents one of the greatest engineering achievements in America’s history, and it most definitely represents New York. We are the melting pot of the world. With the best of art, entertainment, cuisine and a broad range of ethnic diversity, there is no other place like it.
With an opportunity to take in this city and all it has to offer in one view, I was handed a ticket that left me excited and a little acrophobic. No fear of heights is stopping me though, and with every step closer on the line to the elevator I was becoming increasingly more eager. A little tip, the ESB website lets you know how long the wait is at that time. So to avoid getting onto a line that might be over an hour long, plan your trip and check to see what times are best, usually before noon and after midnight.
Before you get anywhere near the 86th floor, you first go through a zigzag of lines that educate you in all that is the Empire State. Security check leads you back to more zigzags, and before I knew it I was in a lift. The numbers on the elevator floor indicator changed from 30 to 40 and 50, going so fast it couldn’t keep up. The doors open and I see windows and windows of beautiful skylines. I find the door that leads you outside. There is Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx to my left and New Jersey to my right. The Freedom Tower stares back at me from afar and when I walk to the other side I am welcomed by the lights of Time Square. This is unforgettable.
The ESB is 1,453 feet (443 meters) tall, including its 203-foot pinnacle. I assumed I would be a little scared when I looked down and realized how high I was, but imagine being surrounded by skyscrapers a lot like the one you’re standing on. It felt like I was in a crowd of people, much like in New York City, and I felt a little bit at home. It was breathtaking seeing this view manmade solely for us, and I recommend anyone who is in NYC now or in the future to see it from the top of the ESB.
Feeling exhilarated and satisfied, I took some pictures for memory and one last look. I followed the signs to the elevators where I’d head back down to the floors of the concrete jungle. I did it! Being conveniently located on Fifth Ave, between 33rd and 34th streets, it was easy to plan my next step. There is everything around from food, to shopping, to more sights like Times Square and the Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. If the ESB isn’t on your bucket list I suggest you mark it in, because this is a monumental sight worth your time!