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Published: June 21st 2018
We were undecided today whether to go up the Empire State Building or the Rockefeller Centre - ESB is taller, but further away (would need us to use the bus again, and hard to get back), Top of the Rock (the observation deck of the Rockefeller Centre) is not as tall, has a timed entry (so could be waiting a while) but easier to get to.
Had our lazy hats on, so Top of the Rock won!
Walked to the main entrance on 50th St, found the ticket desk, they asked did we want to go up straight away, so did not have to come back for a timed entry. Just had to psych myself up for the elevator ride, which goes up to the 67th floor in 42 seconds. Top of the elevator is clear, and has a light show as you go up (and down).
There are three observation decks, 67th where the elevator stops, 69th and 70th, which has no glass panels because it is smaller and overlooks the deck below (not sure where the 68th floor is?). So out onto the 67th floor, and there are high, thick glass panels surrounding the area and
great views of Manhattan, including Central Park and the Empire State Building. Up an escalator, and more glass panels, then up some stairs to the 70th floor where there are no glass panels. Sounds way worse than it was, because you only look down at the deck below (except on the 67th) and out at the view. Same elevator ride down, think we were lucky going reasonably early as we didn't really queue anywhere.
Found a cafe for coffee nearby, then back to the hotel, then laundry time. Walked to a laundromat recommended by the hotel a few blocks away, but clearly off the tourist track. Looked for somewhere to have lunch while clothes were drying and found a cafe in a bottle shop - surprisingly nice lunch (and the world cup was on tv in spanish).
Decided we would be a little cultured then and walked to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). Again, no real queues, so walked around lots of the galleries (there are 6 levels). Saw lots of famous paintings - The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, Water Lilies by Claude Monet and others by Matisse, Picasso and Andy Warhol. There was also
an exhibition of models of cities by Bodys Isek Kingelez (never heard of him, but it was quite interesting).
Walked back to Times Square for dinner, so crowded! Went to Bubba Gump's, an American chain specialising in "shrimp" (prawns!). Nice meal, not much of a queue.
Don't think I would ever get used to the traffic here - taxis, trucks, buses and limos everywhere, almost as many fire engines and police cars. And streets are crowded with people all of the time as well. Sirens go constantly, with the hotel being near the busiest fire station in the city, they are always off, and frequently use the horn as well as the siren (because nobody seems to take any notice of the siren). And there are queues everywhere!
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