New York | Photography | towleroad

Twilight at the Top of the Rock

The Rockefeller Center's Observation Deck, the "top of the rock", just re-opened for the first time in 20 years. I made a visit there last night. Congrats to those of you who guessed the earlier tease.

The view up here is better than from the Empire State Building. Because not only are there 360 views up here, but the Empire State is part of the view, making it that much more spectacular. There are spaces between the glass barriers big enough for camera lenses — good feature.

A spitting image of the Empire State?


Not a fake background for King Kong or Independence Day, but close.

Name the show: "You'll stay up, till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!"

The best part of the experience? Appointments. You're not stuck in a two-hour line like over at the Empire State, but I hear that landmark is taking the hint and may be doing appointments soon as well.

Central Park, still lush and gorgeous in early November.

There are three levels to this observation deck, built in 1933, and originally conceived to feel like an ocean liner complete with deck chairs and smokestacks.

The top deck doesn't have any annoying glass panes, although for the most part the glass panes are not really obtrusive.

It's getting dark.

The traffic heading off into Long Island looks just terrible.

I'd have to say this is the best place to view a sunset in New York City. The only thing missing is a dirty Sapphire martini.

Up on the roof.

You really get the ship reference here.

The elevator to the Top of the Rock has a glass ceiling and a lit shaft.

Some dude who writes a blog.

A parting shot.

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  1. andy - thanks for sharing - I stumbled onto your blog through your photos at least a year ago; have sorta missed your photo essays. thanks for the welcome return.

    Posted by: midnight lounge | Nov 4, 2005 12:37:39 PM

  2. "You'll stay up, till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!" is from "Annie" if I remember correctly.

    Nice post! I'll have to add this to my "must do" list the next time I'm in Manhattan!

    Posted by: Peter | Nov 4, 2005 12:44:43 PM

  3. "You'll stay up, till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!" That's "Annie"!

    Posted by: Todd | Nov 4, 2005 12:45:30 PM

  4. "On a clear day, you can see forever...."
    Very nice blog writer.

    Posted by: Johnny Lane | Nov 4, 2005 12:51:20 PM

  5. Is it you? Cause if so, you're gorgeous. If not, he's gorgeous. :-)

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 4, 2005 1:15:00 PM

  6. Great pictures! I'm very excited to go check out the Top Of the Rock myself. I'll definitely make a point to go at sunset now.

    P.S. Spotted that same blogger in the picture walking up Greenwich Ave past Equinox last weekend toting his camera along. :-)

    Posted by: MT | Nov 4, 2005 1:32:14 PM

  7. Matt, make no mistake about it. The photo of the handsome blog writer is none other than Andy....

    Posted by: Johnny Lane | Nov 4, 2005 1:40:34 PM

  8. How did you get to do this?? I am so jealous!!!

    I am moving to New York...

    Posted by: John | Nov 4, 2005 2:01:40 PM

  9. Not only does the blog writer look familiar, and would fit very nicely in my King size bed, but these damned people named John keep on sending comments.

    Posted by: John | Nov 4, 2005 2:17:47 PM

  10. YAY ANNIE! God, I love that movie. Bravo re-ran the Carol Burnett show reunion the other night... she's juat awesome.

    Posted by: Dean | Nov 4, 2005 2:45:59 PM

  11. *gasp* These are beautiful, and that elevator shaft is just mad. Remind me again that I need to go to New York asap... Have you thought about selling prints of any of your photos? You should.

    Posted by: rob | Nov 4, 2005 3:16:21 PM

  12. I love this site even more with the newfound knowledge that brotha towleroad is such a hot piece.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 4, 2005 5:30:55 PM

  13. I don't know how late the observation deck is open, but years ago I remember sneaking up to the roof of the RCA building with some friends and champagne and we watched them turn the lights off all the buildings at midnight. If you can do it, I highly suggest it.

    Posted by: matt-chicago | Nov 4, 2005 6:18:34 PM

  14. Thanks for the great photos from the Top of the Rock. I’m coming from the Hinterland (aka Nebraska) tomorrow to visit a friend in New York for a few days and will definitely try to include that as a stop. The views looked incredible.

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 4, 2005 6:32:08 PM

  15. Great 'spitting image!' That is an awesome shot.

    Posted by: Cathy | Nov 4, 2005 10:23:59 PM

  16. Why on earth did they have it closed for so long? With those amazing views, there's no reason why it should have been closed.

    Great pics!! Thanks for sharing them. :)

    Posted by: RcktMan | Nov 5, 2005 3:48:39 AM

  17. Andy thanks so much for sharing..those pics are great...nice shots...cant wait to go back to nyc and check it out..
    You can only get those views in NYC..amazing

    Posted by: marcello | Nov 5, 2005 4:21:12 AM

  18. Great photos. They remind me of when I went to the Rainbow Room last December, accompanying my spouse to a formal dinner. The Rainbow Room is just one below this observation deck. If you've ever seen The Six Degrees Of Separation, the scene where Wil Smith dances with another guy was filmed in the Rainbow Room.

    Posted by: Alan | Nov 5, 2005 6:49:19 AM

  19. You said 'lit shaft'. Great photos.

    Posted by: B! | Nov 5, 2005 9:55:17 AM

  20. great photos , thanks for sharing...i remember how much i missed NYC :( and where's my Annie DVD?? i love that scene "i love you Miss Hannigan"

    Posted by: istanbulcasual | Nov 5, 2005 11:17:26 AM

  21. thanks for sharing the great photos, including the one of the dude who writes a blog :-)

    Posted by: Donald | Nov 5, 2005 11:20:51 AM

  22. Andy, thanks for sharing your terrific photos of the sunset experience on "top of the Rock." I'm thinking it's time for a trip to NY to soak in that view first hand... just amazing.

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Nov 5, 2005 12:05:07 PM

  23. Stunning photos... keep 'em coming!

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 5, 2005 12:38:53 PM

  24. Hi, i'm really sorry to be bothering you with something that has nothing to do with this post, but i just have no one to ask this. i'm from portugal and i'm a translator. i'm having a lot of trouble with a phrase from "wayne's world" (a movie) wich goes something like "will you still love me in my carbohydrate sequined jumpsuit?". If it wasn't asking to much, would somebody care to help me with the overall meaning of this?

    Posted by: Teresa | Nov 6, 2005 12:40:03 PM

  25. Teresa, here is the link to Google's web page which translates 17 languages and does a pretty good job!

    Posted by: Johnny Lane | Nov 6, 2005 1:09:11 PM

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