Sightseeing in Manhattan the Seventh: Rockefeller Center

Hello dear blog readers!

The March-Sightseeing-Tour with my sister is comming to an end. On our last Manhattan day we went on top of the Rock. Means we went to the viewing platform of the Rockefeller Center and after it explored the Central Park. Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres (89,000 square meters) between 48th and 51st streets. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

The highest of the buildings is 30 Rockefeller Center and is an American Art Deco skyscraper that forms the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center. It has been known as the GE Building since 1988. Nicknames include The Slab and 30 Rock. It is most famous for housing the NBC television network headquarters. At 850 feet (260 m) high, the 70-story building is the 14th tallest in New York City and the 39th tallest in the United States. It was completed in 1933.  (Source: Wikipedia)

This is the whole building from the side view. It's a panorama shot with my cell phone. I really wanted to capture the whole building. Sadly it's a bit shaky but you get the picture. ;-)

You might remember that Daniel and I have been at the Rockefeller Center for Christmas to see the big tree. Back then there were crowds and crowds of people everywhere and we could hardly walk. This time of the year it wasn't that full and that was very good. :-)

A good view at the statue of Prometheus.

Lower Plaza of Rockefeller Center with ice rink.

One of the entrances has the sculpture of the ancient Greek Titan Atlas holding the heavens in front of it. It was created by sculptor Lee Lawrie with the help of Rene Paul Chambellan, and it was installed in 1937. (Source: Wikipedia)

Across the street is St. Patrick's Cathedral.

St. Patrick's Cathedral is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church in the United States and a prominent landmark of New York City. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church. (Source: Wikipedia)

The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid in 1858 and her doors swept open in 1879. (Source: Website of St. Patrick's Cathedral)

The cathedral, which can accommodate 3,000 people, is built of brick clad in marble, quarried in Massachusetts and New York. It takes up a whole city block, between 50th and 51st streets, Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue. At the transepts it is 174 feet (53 meters) wide and 332 feet (101.2 meters) long. The spires rise 330 feet (100.6 meters) from street level. The slate for the roof came from Monson, Maine. (Source: Wikipedia)

Again a bit shaky panorama picture. But it is quite a challenge to capture the whole church building with a normal camera as you can't go that far away with all the other buildings surrounding you.

Back to the 30 Rock Building:

The observation deck atop the skyscraper, dubbed "Top of the Rock", reopened to the public on November 1, 2005, after undergoing a $75 million renovation. The deck, which is built to resemble the deck of an ocean liner, offers sightseers a bird's eye view of the city, competing with the 86th floor observatory of the Empire State Building.

It is often considered the best panoramic city view, if only because it offers a view of the aforementioned Empire State Building, which cannot be seen from its own observation deck. The timed entry system and larger observation deck also results in shorter waiting times compared to the Empire State Building. (Source: Wikipedia)

Our tickets were approximately $30. Just for taking the elevator up the building and having that view. Yeah, NYC sightseeing prices aren't cheap.

The picture behind me you surely know from postcards. It was taken in the 1930ies when the GE Building was constructed. The work crew sits on a big steel beam high up above the ground and takes a break.

After getting our tickets the lady told us when the next elevator will come. In March it was once per hour and we had to wait 45 minutes. The good thing was that the down level of the whole Rockefeller Center has many little stores (even a Ben & Jerry's ice cream store! They have such delicious flavors!) and it is easy to entertain yourself and wait until the time is there to meet at the elevator.

The first elevator just brings you a few floors higher to a security check. It's comparable with the security check in the airport. They let your bags run through a x-ray machine and you have to walk through a metal detector.

Then we walked on and several photos were taken from us. Those pictures the people can buy. I had a special ticket that included one of the pictures and I could arrange to get it via email. Lisa and I decided to take this one:

And then we went on to the next elevator that brought us into the 69. floor. This floor has gigantic glass windows and you can see the whole city. You also can go outside and have a look there. Big glass panes are everywhere at the edge so that nothing bad can happen. But we went up some stairs to the 70th floor and there are no panes, just a waist-high balustrade. Perfect for taking pictures with no glass-reflection! It felt so good to be up there! I felt free as a bird and loved the wide view.

If you are looking up north you see the Central Park. In my ticket price I had a flyer with pictures from many of the other skyscrapers and their names and I searched all of them.

Sadly Central Park wasn't yet green, but I still found the view beautiful!

The bridge at the left is the George-Washington-Bridge.

Panorama view

And this is the view on Central Park in May. My friend Felicia took this picture when she was there and gave me permission to show it to you. Isn't it beautiful?

Now I show you some pics of the side that points to the south of Manhattan - to Financial District.

View down from the 70th floor.

Hello Empire State Building! :-) At the right side in the background you see the Freedom Tower.

Another selfie from da' sistas'. ;-)

Who of you can see the Statue of Liberty?

Lisa zoomed in with her camera.

This picture I took from the 69th floor. I photographed between the gap of two of the glass panes. Sadly the Chrysler Building is partly masked by the MetLife Building. :-( But at least I could see it a little bit.

In my opinion those $30 bucks where a good investment. I really wished to have such a view over New York and I got it.

If you are coming to visit New York City here's a rule of thumb:

  • If the sun shines and the sky is blue you should go up a skyscraper and enjoy the view or visit the Central park, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
  • When it is grey, cloudy and rainy you should go into museums or make a shopping day.

Please don't make a detailed day plan before you even landed in NYC. Surely you should make a wish list with all the things you'd like to see and when you are on site you check out how the weather will be and decide what to do on that certain day.

I personally recommend you the New York City Pass.

With this pass you can see six NYC attractions for $114 instead of $195. I think this is a pretty good deal for what those entrances usually cost when you do them piece by piece. And by the way, I don't work for that company, I just thought it's a good deal. ;-)

CityPASS gives you admission to

  1. Empire State Building
  2. Experience
  3. American Museum
  4. of Natural History
  5. The Metropolitan
  6. Museum of Art
  7. Top of the Rock Observation Deck or
  8. Guggenheim Museum
  9. Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island or
  10. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  11. 9/11 Memorial & Museum or
  12. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

 If your budget isn't that big then there are free alternatives:

  • To see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island take the Staten Island Ferry and you'll pass both sights. It's not as close as any of the tourist boats, but closer than from the mainland and it costs $0!
  • The Natural History Museum has free entrance for the last open hour every day. Not all of the exhibition rooms are open for that time, but most of them.
  • The 9/11 Museum has free entrance every Tuesday afternoon at 5pm until closing. But: First come, first serve.
  • Also you don't have to stay in a hotel, but can make Airbnb. Those are homes from private people that rent parts of their apartment as vacation home. You might have it for yourself or share it. Check out if you'd like to read more about it: Click

In the next blog post I will show you some places of Central Park that you haven't seen before. Stay tuned. ;-)

Sending you lots of greetings and a big hug!

Kati

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