Today was all about travelling on the subway and visiting some sights in central New York to the north of where we’re staying. Given the good weather we thought we’d visit the Empire State Building and go up to the observation desk on the 86th floor. We purchased the tickets online and had them printed at the hotel hoping it would save time. Next step was to navigate the subway which is easier than it sounds. There’s over 800 miles of subway lines here in New York, with many lines criss-crossing the city, so getting on the right line is important if you want to get to where you’re going. Luckily I downloaded an app which helps navigate the different lines and shows you where you are. We hopped on a train not realising it was express so we missed our station by one. The lady at the station allowed us to go back through the gates (without having to swipe our cards) and catch a train back one stop. Must have been the accent and the dumb tourist look, though the people here in NY are very friendly.
After arriving at the right station it was only a short walk to the Empire State Building where we joined the queue of people wanting to go to the various floors that have observation decks. We paid for the 86th floor which has an open air observation deck, though you can go higher if you wish to pay more. Given the weather the view was amazing, with 360 degrees from right round the deck. It was quite cold and windy on the sides where there was no sun though. After taking in the views at the top, it was time to return to Earth and have a quick bite to eat at Heartland Brewery at the bottom of the building before heading to Central Park.
Another subway trip, this time further north to take us to the edge of Central Park. We got off at 5th avenue and walked to the park, passing Trump Tower along the way. The park was quite busy, as is the whole area around central New York, much more so than where we’re staying. The corner of Central Park and 5th Ave is where all the horse drawn carts leave from so this made it even more busy. We walked several hundred meters into the park, but it extends for much, much further as it covers 850 acres in total.
We caught the subway home on a different line, arriving close to our hotel where we had pizza for dinner before heading to the One World Trade Center to view the city lights from the 102nd floor. Another great 360 degree view from the top of the building, though it wasn’t designed very well with all the interior background lights reflecting on the glass making taking photos difficult. But at least we got to see it for ourselves.