I am not usually keen on sightseeing in New York City, where I was born and raised, and still live and work. But when I got the opportunity to visit the unique Air at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, I could not resist. This is not your usual tourist attraction, but rather an interactive art installation that anyone will enjoy. Get ready to feel invigorated, excited, and at times disoriented, while having a one-of-a-kind multi-sensory experience.
SUMMIT One is located at One Vanderbilt Avenue, at the top of the tallest commercial skyscraper in mid-town Manhattan. The installation has three levels, beginning on the 91st floor, with over 65,000 square feet of art, glass ledges, mirrored spaces, and an exterior glass floor elevator. It is the brainchild of artist Kenzo Digital, a New Yorker who conceived of the experience.
“Air is another dimension, where you discover that time rearranges itself as fluidly as the view,” said Kenzo Digital. “Through its boundless juxtapositions of form, Air compels you to live in the present moment: calm, aware, free.”
After the rocketship like ride to the 91st floor, you make your way through the different levels with unparalleled views of the city and incredible photo opportunities. There is one level with silver mirrored balloons of all sizes that you can play with and include in your pictures. The final level is a surprise that involves the streaming of cloud photos. It is worth the wait! It takes approximately 90-minutes to venture through Air, so there is plenty of time to take pictures. In addition, at some points professional photos are taken that are available for purchase at the end.
If the weather permits, you can also take a ride on one of the exterior glass floor elevators and get a magnificent view of the city on the trip. We were not able to take the elevator due to the high winds on the day we came, but the elevator ride to the installation was exciting enough for me.
At the conclusion, you step back into the real world, and enter a boutique shop and Après, a café where you can enjoy coffee, a cocktail, or a bite to eat before descending back down in the elevator. There is also a large outdoor terrace to enjoy more views of the city when the weather is nice. The great thing about Air is that you can enjoy the views in any weather or time of day.
Do not save your trip to Air at SUMMIT One for when tourists come to visit you. Go there without tourists and be one yourself so you have an excuse to visit again. Air is really what you make of it, and offers something for people of all ages. It’s great to go at different times of day for unique views. Next time I will visit at night for an entirely different perspective.
Find out more about Air at SUMMIT One at https://www.summitov.com. Be sure to read specific directions to the location on the website, as there are several ways to get there.
Air at SUMMIT One
45 East 42 Street (Entrance located on the Main Concourse of
Grand Central Terminal)
New York, NY 10017