After spending the first part of the morning eating banana pancakes and being shown around the wonderful Madison Square Garden, it was time for us to head over to the Rockefeller Center.
Here enter episode 2:
The Top of the Rock
If you haven’t read my previous blog (linked above) then here’s a quick reminder of my ratings system, which I am scoring out of 3:
Value for money = banana pancakes 🍌🍌🍌
Time spent = yellow taxicabs 🚕🚕🚕
Overall rating = pizza slices 🍕🍕🍕
Once we got by the photographer and the “history” floor, and once we got up the elevator, our first proper view from the Top of the Rock was Central Park.
It was absolutely breathtaking.
Having been on the London Eye and up the Shard, I’ve seen a capital city from above, but the biggest difference between London and New York has to be how contained the green space is in New York, but at the same time, how big it is. Central Park makes Hyde Park look like a back garden.
Obviously the most iconic building in New York is the Empire State Building, which you can also go up. However, we decided to go with the Top of the Rock, mostly for convenience (I’ll get to that in a second), but because we know what the Empire State looks like. If we were to go to the top of the Empire State, we’d not know where we were looking to see the Rockefeller Center. The Top of the Rock gives an incredible view of the Empire State.
So back to the convenience of it; given we only had a couple of days in Manhattan, we had to be careful with our itinerary, so we could get as much in as possible. The Top of the Rock allows you to buy a ticket for a time slot. This can be pre-booked, but we chose to wing it, which worked in our favour. By the time we got to the Rockefeller Center, it was noon, and we were able to book onto the 12.25pm slot. Perfect amount of time to explore the shops in the basement and grab a naughty ice-cream.
The third picture in this group is one of my favourites. It’s actually of Times Square! This was the first big New York landmark I went to, and I thought it was so big, then we got to the Top of the Rock, and I had to search for it!
We were so lucky to have had such a gorgeous day. I kept skipping between my non-prescription sunglasses and my glasses, just to try and make sure I could take it all in, and take it in in “high definition”!
One of the best things about the Top of the Rock is that there are actually 3 different floors you can access at the top. The first one doesn’t offer a 360 view, then the second one does, and both of these floors have glass walls (which was great for looking out, less great for pictures due to reflection and smudges). The third floor however, offers a totally 360 of New York (and beyond!) and you’re literally on top of the building.
The picture in the middle is literally the absolute Top of the Rock!
It’s an absolute must-do. I really, really recommend it.
Value for money = 3 banana pancakes 🍌🍌🍌
Cashing in at about $80 for both of us, including an extra $5 for an emailed photo souvenir and a view map, I’d say this is good value for money. There were plenty of families, younger people, older people, and tourists from far and wide there.
Time spent = 3 yellow taxicabs 🚕🚕🚕
As I said, we were able to book onto the next time slot easily, the history/museum-esque floor didn’t take long, and there was no limit to the amount of time you could spend at the top. There was a gift shop there and we bought some postcards for our families and wrote them there and then. That was after we’d spent all the time looking around! Overall, we spent about an hour and a quarter at the top, about 2 hours over the whole time we were in the Rockefeller Center.
Overall rating = 3 pizza slices 🍕🍕🍕
It took my breath away at every new view. If you go to New York, you’ve got to go here. Simples.