Top Of The Rock: A True Gem Of NYC
Gertrude Stein famously said: “The view of Rockefeller Center from Fifth Avenue is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen ever seen ever seen.” I’d beg to differ from Gertrude’s statement, taking it a step further: The view from the TOP of Rockefeller Center is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen ever seen ever seen.
Having lived in NYC for seven years, I’d somehow never gotten around to going to Top of the Rock, spouting out the excuses that 1. the place will be swarming with tourists, and 2. how different will the view really be than from the observation deck of the Empire State Building? Wrong and wrong. Here’s why:
- Top of the Rock has a meticulous Timed Ticketing system in place, allowing just the right amount of folks up during a slotted time period. Hence, even though we went smack in the middle of a summer Saturday afternoon, we had absolutely no line to queue up in. And everyone working there, from people at reception, to the ticket counter, to elevator attendants, were honestly some of the nicest New Yorkers I’ve ever met. A serious A+ for customer service with a smile.
- I now know that comparing the Empire State Building to Top of the Rock is like going to Paris and saying it’s the same thing to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Two completely different experiences, both offering their own unique views, history, and (most importantly) photo shoot opportunities.
Before heading up, take in a bit of background with the short videos in the Top of the Rock Theater. Currently showing are: NBC and Rockefeller Center: An American Tradition, The History of Rockefeller Center, and The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. It’ll give you a greater appreciation of how Top of the Rock is ultimately John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s greatest gift to the people of New York.
Once you take the trippy elevator ride to the top, you have three floors of observation deck to explore, with the options of glass enclosure and outside terraces. It was a rainy afternoon, but I do believe NYC looks just as lovely in overcast skies as she does in a sunny one. She’s a gorgeous, gorgeous city, isn’t she?
The panorama views offer visitors a glimpse of New York that can usually only be seen from an airplane…13 miles of Manhattan, stretching from Inwood to Battery Park, and all the vibrant communities in-between. Peaks of the outer boroughs and Jersey can been seen, too. I loved taking in the lush green of Central Park…front and back yard to NYC kids and adults alike.
I’d like to think that if Gertrude Stein zipped the 70 floors to the Top of the Rock, she too would be in such awe, that it would quickly take the place of the view from Fifth Avenue as the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen.
WHAT: Top of the Rock 30 Rockefeller Plaza New York, New York 10112
A very special thank you to the wonderful folks at New York City Vacation Packages! Check out their site for tickets to Top of the Rock that let you bypass the line and get straight to the view!
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen