New York from the Top of the Rock
I finally had reason to splurge (27 bucks a pop) and climb the Rockefeller (GE Building) for the much-ballyhooed and magnificent view of New York -- it was Vi's birthday -- and take photos of what a horde of other photographers have taken in the past of exactly the same view, and what every worker inside the building (at least those on the higher floors) must get to see for free on a daily basis. I wonder if their employers tout it's like a 27-dollar-a-day fringe benefit on top of their paychecks which would run to about $7K a year...

Regardless, I have to say that even for New Yorkers it's a must-see -- at least once. To have gone there on a day dark and moody as we did which was perfect for a photography nut like me was just, as they say, icing on the cake.

If you're planning to go there, don't forget to bring a tabletop tripod especially if you're taking night shots or if, like me, doing HDR. On the top deck the view is unobstructed (unlike the lower decks where there are tall glass partitions preventing tourists from plunging to their certain deaths 70 stories down) and there are plenty of stone "pedestals" along the railing that you can plant your tabletop tripod on.

To make sure it was allowed, I approached two security men while fishing for my tabletop tripod inside my backpack asking, "Can I use this?", and was told, "It depends". When I finally got it out and they saw what it was one of them said, "Oh, that, yeah, sure."

Later I wondered what if I was pulling out a gun? Shouldn't they have thought of that? Ah it must be my Jedi mind trick at work...

Seriously, bags are run through an x-ray scanner downstairs and people walk through a metal detector before riding the elevator.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Looking south toward the Atlantic. The Statue of Liberty should be there somewhere but is not visible from my shot.
Looking north toward Central Park and far, far beyond home in the Hudson Valley.
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