New York: Top of the Rock
Everything from day 2, post Yankee game
From Yankee Stadium, we headed toward Times Square. I was really looking forward to it. I had seen bits of Times Square through hundreds of news stories and movies, and I was hoping it would come through. It didn’t. The fault there would land on me. We were there at the end of April, when there wasn’t anything going on. At all. It wasn’t HORRIBLE by any means. I just found it underwhelming. Kind of like the time I drove up to Neuschwanstein and was disappointed.
The ads were cool, I have always been appreciative of that. Buildings with screens surround you on all sides, which is cool for someone that comes from a smaller city. There was also a screen that focused on specific spots in the square, and you could easily find yourself on the screen. Regardless of the cute finicky little things, Times Square was nothing more than a dump to me. I wish I had gone during the night, where I may have appreciated it more.
Because it’s only attraction is storefronts, we went into M&M’s and bought a bunch of treats for ourselves. I guess that was the standout. All of the candy shops with the endless supply of goodies. I found it hard to just pick a few things to buy. Sadly, the square is filled with many unwelcome distractions:
1. Times Square is filled with people dressed up as characters. Batman, Iron Man, Elmo, Big Bird, and other awfully dressed people constantly make their way around to tourists, offering a picture for a tip in return.
2. People will randomly approach you and offer you tickets to a comedy club, promising big name comedians to be there (we didn’t take any).
3. There are a bunch of people walking around trying to scam you into buying their “mix tapes”, so never physically accept anything from anyone.
If you can move past those annoying things, you would certainly enjoy Times Square, given the right time. After making our rounds we headed towards Rockefeller Center, where we purchased tickets to come back and go to the top at dark. People will offer you tickets out on the street: Please, ignore them and buy your tickets inside Rockefeller Center, where they are guaranteed to be legit. Just avoid a simple scam.
While we set out to look for a place to eat, we stopped to see where the skating rink was at Rockefeller Plaza. We knew it wouldn’t physically be there because it was spring, but I wanted to see how big it was for myself.
I DON’T KNOW IF ROCKEFELLER PLAZA IS A DICTATORSHIP AND THE RINK IS ITS WINTER LEADER, BUT THIS THING IS TINY. Somehow, every picture I see online makes it look bigger than it is. Crazy. Although, I would love to skate on it in the winter. Considering where it’s located…
Anyways, we walked down one block to eat at an “Italian” restaurant. The food was good and overpriced (as expected). At least they showed the menu outside the door, so there were no surprises. It burns me to say it (because I have mentioned this multiple times), but you should walk a few blocks away from every tourist attraction for food. It was geared specifically towards tourists. I guess it would be harder to avoid in New York.
Time came for us to make our way back to Rockefeller Center, where we waited almost half an hour to get into the elevator to take us to the main reception area. This is where they went over the history of the plaza, and gave us an opportunity to take a goofy picture. Once in the reception area, it took us another 30-45 minutes to get to the second elevator which would take us up to the observation deck.
We should have expected the wait. It was night, after all. I guess I was just frustrated waiting in line. I must’ve heard the history of how they pick their Christmas tree over 10 times. I never want to hear it again. I don’t care how or where you guys get your tree from as long as it looks good. ONE YEAR YOU GUYS GOT A TREE FROM CANADA? INSANE. Moving on…
Getting out on the deck made me nervous. There was some wind, which doesn’t ease the stomach of those who don’t like heights. The wait was well worth it! The view of the city at night was awesome, but not quite as good as flying into New York at night. I snapped a bunch of pictures, but none of them turned out that great. The glass panels kind of ruined it. I never got too close to the edges, as I am not great with heights. Specially since it was just some glass separating me from sure death. The best view from the Rock was Times Square, which shined beyond every other building.
I will say, Rockefeller Plaza is basically in the middle of everything, so it doesn’t have the best views. The best views would be at the Empire State Building, day or night. I was fortunate to see it as well.
All in all, my second day in NY was probably the best as we fit so much into a quick day.