On Top of the Rock

 I’ve been on top of the Empire State Building and Maria had been on the World Trade Centre observation deck, before 9/11, but we heard that they’ve opened up an observation deck on top of the Rockerfeller Centre, so Maria and I decided that’s where we’d go today. We used the last of our time on the tour bus to get us up to 49th Street, the ticket was valid until 10.30 this morning. We made our way to 50th, where the entrance was and seeing the queue stetching for nearly a block, we thought about giving up the idea. However we found out it was in fact 3 tour groups and we managed to get our tickets and jump ahead of most of them. We also got an audio guide, very clever, it was a palmtop computer with a GPS system in it so it could always tell which way you were facing and offer you appropriate commentary.

The lift was fantastic, once the doors were closed the light dimmed and the lights in the lift shaft came on, then you realised the lift in fact had a glass ceiling. We raced up to the top at a frightening speed.

There are 3 levels of observation decks, the lowest is surrounded by glass walls but the top 2 are pretty open. I wanted my photo taken On Top of the Rock but it was rather a hair raising experience. It was rather windy and Maria had to snap a quick photo in between grabbing me to stop me being blown over the edge. Still we managed to get a picture looking downtown towards the Empire State Building.

Wilbeary on top of the rock

And of course one looking uptown towards Central Park.

Wilbeary on top of the rock

The Top of the Rock is only 70 floors, so not as high as the Empire State and nothing like as high as the World Trade used to be, but it seemed pretty high to me.

Looking down from the top of the rock  Looking up at the rock

We had a bit of a mooch around the shopping complex under the Rock (Maria spent some money of course) and then decided to walk up to Central Park and then perhaps make our way over to Bloomingdales. Remember how I was saying yesterday that each neighbourhood has a distinctive smell? Well the southern end of Central Park certainly does, it smells of horse manure. Probably (in fact certainly) because of all the horse drawn carridges carrying tourists around the park. I was quite pleased to move on.

Horse drawn carriage in Central Park

Bloomingdales was a bit of a trial, I managed to talk Maria out of several T-shirts, (I mean $99 for a black T-shirt!), but she succumbed to a skirt. It is rather nice, a green, scrunchy, floaty, tye dyed thing with a jagged hem and some tiny sparkly sequins scattered over it.

Maria then fancied some doughnuts, but Penn station was way off our route home and we were both shattered. So we headed home. Maria then had a moan at John over text messages about her lack of doughnuts. So he very kindly told her about the doughnut factory near the bially shop. She really must have been desperate because despite the fact she’d taken her shoes off, off we went again.

The doughnut factory was fantastic! So much to choose from.

Wilbeary at the doughnut plant

We settled for some cinnamon and apple, some fresh strawberry, some strawberry jelly with peanut butter glaze and some chocolate (chocolate doughnut, with molten chocolate middle, chocolate glaze and finished with dark chocolate sprinkles). Mmmmm…..

ps. when he got home John told us there was a Krispy Kreme in the Rockerfeller Plaza (where we started), still we’d never have discovered the Doughnut Factory if we’d bought there, and I’m sure Maria’s legs will evertually work again.

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