16 Jan A View of New York from the Top of the Rock
I previously posted pictures of the sunset at the top of the Empire State Building, but there’s another building in New York that offers a spectacular view- The Rockerfeller Center.
One of the attraction tickets in my CityPASS booklet was for the Top of the Rock Observatory, which offers spectacular, unobstructed views of New York City.
Since it was Christmas time the area around the Rockerfeller Plaza was HEAVING with people. I had to fight my way through the crowds of people who were all gathered around the ice rink watching the skaters glide by. Hoards of people were having their photo taken in front of the twinkling Rockerfeller Christmas tree, while security guards were ordering people to keep moving. The holiday atmosphere was so much fun though, and it really put me in a Christmassy mood!
After a quick photo in front of the tree, I made my way inside the Rockerfeller Center and bypassed the general ticket queues to present my CityPASS booklet at the dedicated line.
I read elsewhere online that the queues for Top of The Rock are shorter than those for the Empire State Building, but for me this was not the case. I think this was probably because it was Christmas and the Rockerfeller Center is such a popular tourist attraction at this time of the year. With the Empire State Building I was able to go straight up, but at the Rockerfeller Center you are given an allocated time for the elevator. I had to wait about an hour for the next available time, so I wandered round the shops for a bit, had some sushi and made use of the free Wi-Fi.
When it was time to go up, we were ushered into an elevator and arrived on a floor with an airport-style security checkpoint. We then stood in a waiting area, where we were shown a video presentation about the art and history of the Rockerfeller Center, before being whisked to the Observatory in the Sky Shuttle Elevator.
The Top of the Rock Observatory offers 360 views both indoors and outdoors from the top three floors of the Rockerfeller Center. It’s quite difficult to take pictures on the indoor floors because of the reflections in the glass, so save your picture taking for the outdoor floor and just enjoy the view. In the winter, make sure you dress warmly with a hat and gloves because the 70th floor can be rather chilly! The view from Top of the Rock at night was really beautiful and I particularly loved looking at the neon lights of Times Square below.