New Yorkers don’t take the time to ever visit New York landmarks. I’m almost positive that this is a fact. I became aware of this after the attacks on 9/11. I was still 14 years-old at the time and so were most of my friends. We all sympathized in our own way with what happened that day but when the question arose about visiting or having been inside the Twin Towers, we all had the same answer—we had never been there.
Something always bothered me about that. There are famous monuments and landmarks I walk by everyday and I don’t take the time to truly appreciate them. Tourists waste an abundance of their income to visit the city I live in and see the sights that I take for granted because I live here.
When the towers came down, the Empire State Building once again reclaimed its crown as the tallest building in New York City. Almost 11 years later and I still had not set foot inside the ESB despite visiting Jim Hanley’s Universe, a comic book store directly across the street on a monthly basis for years. Something had to give. I made it a point to climb the building that King Kong did way back in the 1930′s. Finally, I hopped the train and headed down to 34th Street.
Upon entering the goliath, the first thing I noticed is the biggest stuffed gorilla I’ve ever seen. I suppose that it’s an obvious reference to King Kong. As I made my way up the escalator I was met by an aesthetically pleasing floor mat with “Empire State Building” emblazoned on to it. It was fairly empty as I made my way to the metal detector. After standing on a brief line to buy my $22 ticket to the ESB’s Observatory on the 86th floor, it took two separate elevator rides just to get there.
For a brief moment I regretted wasting those $22 until I saw the view—priceless. The cold weather and the wind gusts didn’t deter me from fully enjoying the breathtaking sight. Not even my fear of heights could drive me away from the fenced edges. It was one of the greatest experiences I ever had and I will cherish it forever.
Empire State Building
General Admission: $22
350 5th Ave. (Btw. 33rd & 34th Street)
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