The Complete New York City Photography Portfolio
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The Infinite Sprawl - The Empire State Building and the New York City Skyline- By Vivienne Gucwa On a hazy day, New York City stretches on indefinitely: infinity sprawling out like a somnolent feline. Clouds cast a bone-white hue on the tops of skyscrapers that jut out of the landscape: their axis-mundi-aspirations propelling them skyward. The day languidly yawns, its heavy eyelids blurring the horizon. --- Despite growing up in New York City, I hadn’t been to the tops of any of the iconic skyscrapers with observation decks since I was very, very little. The Top of the Rock is an observation deck on the top of Rockefeller Center. It closed in 1986 for renovations and reopened in 2005. When I was younger, I went on a few school trips to Rockefeller Center to go on the NBC Studios tour which was a lot of fun but since it was the late 80s and early 90s, the top was closed to visitors. In recent years, I decided to finally visit the Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock is the top of what is also known as the GE Building. It’s an Art Deco skyscraper that is in the center of Rockefeller Center. The GE Building used to be known as the RCA Building until the mid 1980s when GE incorporated RCA and NBC. The building is 850 feet tall (70 stories) and since the address is 30 Rockefeller Center, it is usually referred to as “30 Rock”. What I find really incredible about the observation decks at Top of the Rock aside from the views is that there is so much room. There are three observation decks in total and all three are designed to resemble the upper decks of a 1930s luxury ocean liner complete with deck chairs. Two of the decks on the the 67th and 69th floors include outdoor terraces which are enclosed in transparent, safety glass. The top deck which is on the 70th floor features a completely open air, unobstructed 360-degree view of New York City and beyond. The day I went, there were barely any people up on the top deck with me since the weather wasn’t ideal. However, I think it’s often less crowded than the Empire State Building’s observation deck even in beautiful weather. At 850 feet above street level, the view is jaw-dropping and includes complete views of Central Park and the Empire State Building which you can’t really complain about. ---
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