City Pulse

By Razi Schwartz

I pose thee a question: Where’s a New Yorker to go to get a good view around here? The Empire State Building? Ha, yeah right. After you’ve waited in line for the better part of your life, you make it to the observation deck and have to fight your way through Teva-wearing assholes fighting to throw their money into those telescope things that show you nothing more than some shmuck in his undershirt sitting on his couch in the LES. THIS IS BS PEOPLE. After the loss of our beloved twins in 2001, we have no where to go to enjoy New York in all its glory, in all its beauty. I’ve resorted to thinking that the view from my apartment is the best view in town – oh, shut it, at least I don’t look into a brick wall – at least I can see between two buildings to get an almost glimpse of the park. Jerks.

Ok, take a minute, breathe. See, I get so worked up about this lack of view thing that I’ve convinced myself that a sh***y glimpse of Central Park and an Ann Taylor is acceptable. Believe it or not, I think I have an answer to our problems, and its name is Rockefeller Center.

Alright, disbelievers in paradise, why don’t we put our cynicism aside and have a little faith. I understand that Rocky Rock is a tourist haven – actually probably one of this city’s main Teva-sporting meccas. But, in a bold move, Rock Center is saying, “WE WANT OUR NEW YORKERS BACK!” Remember the observation deck on top of 30 Rock? No, you probably don’t because it closed down 1986 when the dick nuts at the Rainbow Room said they didn’t want all the dreck trapsing through their golden space to get to the deck. Well, Rainbow Room, the joke is on you. It may have taken 19 years, but the geniuses at the Rock have figured out a way to bypass your shitty rules, regulations, and assholish requests. With a team of crazy smart engineers, someone probably very rich and powerful found a way to build an entire set of separate elevators taking viewers up to the deck without ripping down the entire building. Please don’t ask me how, because I have no idea. All I know is that we HAVE OUR VIEW BACK, and I like to call it Top of the Rock. I like to call it that because that’s what it’s called, apparently.

Three separate floors (67, 69, and 70 to be exact) offer visitors 360-degree views of our glorious island…and probably some views of our borough cousins…and maybe even Long Island and Jersey, but we can ignore them. I do. You’ll be greeted by a gorgeous chandelier made entirely of Swarovski crystals that is the image of Rock center, if it was turned upside down. One of my new favorite pastimes is trying to watch all the folks turn their heads upside down in this weird Cirque du Soleil contortionist move trying to “see it.” I promise that is what it is, even if you can’t see it, but I swear it’s hilarious trying to watch everyone else in their attempts.

So, what makes this better than the Empire? First of all, this is open every day of the year, including holidays, and runs until 11pm at night. That means unbelievable views of Times Square at night – which also means you don’t actually have to go to Times Square at night and fight through all that unbelievably annoying foot traffic. Top of the Rock offers the best views of Central Park (even better than my apartment, if you can believe that) and all the other gorgeous sky-scrapers, including, yes, el Grando Empire.

It costs exactly the same as going up to the top of the Empire State Building, $14 for adults, $12 for Seniors, $9 for children, and group rates for 20 people or more. Oh, wait, what’s the best part? You can make a RESERVATION to go up to the top up to a year in advance. So, you know that you want to propose to your girlfriend at the top 3 months from Thursday at 8:45pm? I dare you to make the reservation now. Go on, DO IT! Wait, sorry, that’s my internal monologue. I guess it also works if you know your mom is coming to town with some of her knitting buddies or your brother is coming with his hot ass friend and you want to show him a good time, if you know what I mean.

The deck is open from 8:00am until 11:00pm every night. It takes a total of 55-seconds to go up in the ‘vators – think of all the things in life that last 55-seconds, and how less enjoyable they are than this. Yep, go on, think about it. Oh, and I’m attaching a coupon that will give you 20% off until March 31, 2006 – at the time of print, I hadn’t received a call back to see whether or not a printed version of this coupon will “count” for the discount. I figured, “hey, what the hell, let’s give it a go, eh?” So, good luck, and if it doesn’t work, DON’T HATE ME.

So, take a ride up to the Top of the Rock. Say hi to the SNL crowd, Conan, ooh, and definitely Katie, Matt, Al, and Ann. I love them. Well, I love Matt. Where in the world is Matt Lauer? Oh, my house? I’d never have guessed.

www.topoftherocknyc.com

Originally published November 2005
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