Sunday, October 10, 2010

Who says New Yorkers can't go to the Empire State Building?

Back in my NYU days I used to go to the Empire State Building several times a year, usually at night, usually spontaneously, just to look down at the lights of the city and feel awed, and humbled, and inspired, and overwhelmed, and so thankful that I had actually managed to get here.

Tonight we had dinner near Union Square--fun to get out of our own neighborhood--and when we walked outside we saw the lights of the Empire State Building, twenty blocks north, and I said to Samuel, "We should go there."

And Jennifer and Ethan said okay. And so we did.

We bought our $20 tickets (didn't they used to be, like, $5?), waited in line behind the entire population of Uzbekistan, and endured the annoying upsells (buy the SkyRide for an extra $10, audio tour for an extra $10, photo for an extra $20, go to the 102nd floor for an extra $15, avoid the lines for an extra $25).

And let me just say that if Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had ever actually tried to find each other on the observation deck, they never would've gotten together, and that movie would've ended unhappily.

But when we got to the 86th floor and walked outside, Ethan exhaled a "Wow," and I was glad we came.

It's still the greatest city on earth, and I'm still awed and humbled and inspired and overwhelmed by it. And it's nice to be reminded of that every now and then.

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