Recently, en route to Belgrade, Serbia (see post here), we had four hours to spare in New York City. We disembarked our train mid-town, at the Penn station, and had to think about options for a swift, but still memorable New York City experience. To be able to show boys the city in all its glory, we opted for incredible views from the top of the Empire State building. After grabbing a quick bite of pizza, we headed towards the destination, hoping for clearer skies (as it had rained and looked downcast).
As we made our way, boys admiring the tall buildings around us, we could see the glimpse of the famous structure.
The building was constructed in 1931 in a typical, pre-WWII Art Deco style. It has 102 floors, which made the super sonic elevator ride pretty exciting. Apparently it was designed from the top down and the blue prints were completed in just two weeks. Many movies, including the famous original 1933 King Kong (you can actually take a picture with a gorilla man in the enclosed exhibit space on the top) and the more recent Sleepless in Seattle, feature the building.
At the entrance, we were told that the visibility was fine, so together with a flock of tourists, we ventured inside and up. The views from the open deck, as the sun was making its way through the clouds, were of course amazing!
The Art Deco details of the building as well as holiday decorations were a treat.
After the tour, with only couple of hours to spare, we headed over the Bryant Park for some hot chocolate and an open Christmas market, admiring the shopping window decorations of the major retailers along the way. These days, walking tour of the major store windows around holidays are available to admire elaborate designs that sometimes take as long as a year to complete.
And the cool facade of the Bryant hotel and the nearby skyline for the end.