One of the things I like doing when I visit a new city is take pictures and look at places from above. For me to do this in NYC, I chose Top of the Rock because:
1) you can include the Empire State Building in your pictures
2) there was barely a line of people to buy tickets (like 3 or 4 people in front of me)
3) it was close to my hostel (hehe).
Top of the Rock isn't as high as the Empire State but it offers great views of the city that never sleeps from the 70-story observation decks. You can buy a booklet, for 2 US (Jan 2010), including all the landmarks that you can see from here.
After buying the ticket, there's 3 short films that you can see while waiting to take the elevator (if there's a line, if not you can skip this). You'll then take the elevator to the first stop at the 6tth floor, that has an indoor observation deck and the Swarowski store. The top panel of the elevator is glass and as you go up, there's a small light show that reminded me of being teletransported or taken out of Stargate.
There's 2 outdoor observation decks on the 69th and 70th floor.
As of Jan 2010, a ticket for an adult cost 21 US. One good thing about the tickets for TotR is that they're timed, so you choose a date and time slot that suits you if you buy your ticket online.
At the 69th floor, there's a room that provides a light show called the Breezeway and it uses motion detectors to follow you wherever you go inside that room. You get a randomly selected color that can be blue, red or green. Sometimes you'd get one color, sometimes 2 or all 3, and the shapes go between a cross, a column or row or a whole wall.
Here's a short video of VT'er VZ-Pam and I "dancing" in the Breezeway (on VT pcg821's NYC page).
I've seen it on TV and in movies countless times before, but watching the people ice skate in Rockefeller Center was mesmerizing for me. I know there were places to rent skates, but I didn't venture down to see how much. I'm spastic enough and didn't need to break my butt on the ice in public. Still, it was lots of fun to drink my hot cocoa from Dean and Deluca and watch the others.
If you are going to Top of the Rock please spend some time here.
the building is lovely (especially the lobby area) and the plaza outside is worth a look. When we were there it was all decked out for christmas (although we were too early for the lights on the tree) complete with an ice skating rink in the area outside that is used for a cafe during the summer months.
We spent some time just watching the ice skaters and taking in the atmosphere.
Rising to a height of 259 metres, the GE Building, as it is officially known, is one of the highest skyscrapers in Manhattan. It was completed in 1933 as part of a complex of buildings known as the Rockefeller Center covering a central location in Midtown Manhattan. The Art Déco building was designed by Raymond Hood, but other architects and artists contributed to the structure. It was originally named the RCA Building, after the Radio Corporation of American (RCA), a subsidiary of General Electric (GE), which was the building's main occupant. When GE re-acquired RCA in the 1980s, the building's name was officially changed to the GE Building. In New York, it is more commonly referred to as "30 Rock" because of its address: "30 Rockefeller Plaza". The building is also famous for having the headquarters of NBC Studios (a major TV channel also owned by GE), as well as for hosting the annual Christmas Tree. In the winter half of the year, an ice skating rink opens just outside the building.
A great place to stop for a while and just people watch. In the spring and summer, the center is set up for dining outdoors. In the winter it becomes a skating rink and is the home of the NYC christmas tree. You can also watch the NBC studios' banner news crawl, buy knock-off handbags (if that's your thing) and even catch the Rockettes performing their Christmas show during the Christmas season.
If you don't mind the crowds, you should visit the skating rink, the gilded Prometheus statue and . . . . . . and The Christmas Tree in the plaza of the Art Deco complex in December every year.
Since 1933 you can admire the huge illuminated Norway Spruce from early morning till midnight. The 100 feet high and 100 years old tree surrounded by the traditional horn-blowing angels, features 30,000 colored LED-lights on 10.000 meters of wire with a 10 feet high and 6 feet wide, crystal star on its top. For many Americans, it's the start to the festive mood of the Christmas spirit.
As you know, the tradition of the Christmas tree came from Swabian region of Germany, as a sign of the Christian faith. It was decorated with garlands, walnut, and dried flowers, and illuminated with little candles. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early tradition.
When the holiday season has gone by, the tree of the plaza has been recycled.
Opening Hours: Daily 8.30am-11pm
Address: Rockefeller Plaza (entrance on 50th Street),
We stopped by the Rockerfeller Center and watched people ice-skate. We did not skate...........we were tired and it was late at night. If you go into the building there is a lift that takes you to the top with a nice view. We didn't go up since we had just left the Empire State Building and thought it would be the same. There is a shopping center inside and actually underground of the building.
Millions of New Yorkers and visitors come to skate on the rink every year. During the winter months, the famous sunken plaza is filled with ice-skaters — ice skating here is a truly unique New York experience.
If you want to skat, it is highly recommended that you try to do your skating midweek during the day to avoid the biggest crowds. The surface is smallish, about 40 meters long and 18 meters wide and only 150 people can skat at one time. To skate here is expensive but, you have to do it at least once in your life.
You can get an up-close view of Paul Manship's bronze gilded statue of the ancient Greek Titan Prometheus overlooking the skating rink. There is an inscription on the granite wall behind, reads: "Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends".
The eight-ton bronze sculpture was installed in early 1934, and it makes a great backdrop for a picture, especially with all your friends skating there.
Season: it opens Columbus Day weekend and stays open through early April.
Rates vary depending upon the time of day, day of the week and even change throughout the season. Adult admission is $10-14 and children are $7.50-8.50.
While at the Rockefeller Center do take a minute to walk the short distance up Fifth Avenue to its northernmost edge, opposite St Patrick’s Cathedral, where you’ll find this striking sculpture of Atlas, the Greek Titan who was believed to carry the heavens upon his shoulders as a punishment for defying Zeus. I love this sculpture! It looks great from every angle and makes a wonderful subject for photographs.
The sculptor of this piece was Lee Lawrie, who was responsible for eleven other pieces of art at the Rockefeller Center, including the friezes on no. 30 (see my tip on the Center for a photo of one of these, Wisdom). It was cast in 1936 as a companion piece to the gilded statue of Prometheus, another Titan, who watches over the Rockefeller Center’s ice-rink.
Have a close look at the globe he supports across his shoulders – there is a lot of astronomical detail to be seen. The north-south axis points to the North Star as viewed from New York City and fixed to one of the sphere's rings are symbols for the twelve constellations of the Zodiac through which the Sun passes during the year. Laid across his shoulders too is a wide, curved beam with a frieze which depicts the traditional symbols for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Adjacent to Earth on this frieze (over his right forearm) is a small crescent symbolising the Moon.
One of the most prestigious office complexes on Manhattan Island, Rockefeller Center is the centerpiece of activity for thousands of New Yorkers who have embraced it as not just another boring office block, but as a warm symbol of a great city.
It is 850 feet of art deco splendor spread out over 70-stories of shops, offices, broadcasting studios, and more. In spite of its mammoth proportions, Rockefeller Center remains very pedestrian-friendly. It has a popular sunken garden that is home to a café in the summer, and an ice skating rink in the winter. Also in winter, the plaza's immense Christmas tree is illuminated in an elaborate ceremony broadcast live across the country.
Top of the Rock is a six-level observatory atop the Art Deco skyscraper, 30 Rockefeller Plaza
The upper decks are 850 feet above street level.
Views include some of the city’s most prominent landmarks from the Chrysler Building to the Brooklyn Bridge and from Central Park to the Hudson and East Rivers.
Tips for Visiting The Top of the Rock Observation Deck:
During the day, you can get a great view of Central Park.
During the evening, you can enjoy the glowing city lights, including a great view of the Empire State Building.
If you arrive shortly before sunset, you can enjoy both the day and night views.
The security guards can be very helpful in identifying landmarks if you're not sure what you're looking at.
Be sure to climb up from the main deck to enjoy the view from a slightly higher and better pictures. Otherwise, you have to shoot through glass.
There are both indoor and outdoor viewing areas, which is great when it's cold out.
Tickets for the Top of the Rock Observation Deck are timed, which means that you won't find yourself waiting for hours to buy tickets or get upto the observation deck.
Adult (13-61) $17.50
Senior (62+) $16
Child (6-11) $11.25
The lift has a glass roof so you can see how fast you climb - a little scary, I found!
The Rockefeller Center area is bustling with events and activities. In the winter time, the skating rink is a famous hub for both locals and tourists. It is a traditional "not-to-miss" winter experience. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in this area. If you want to get a wonderful view of New York, go up the Rockefeller Center and stop by at the "Top of the Rock."
Enjoy your visit to bustling New York!
Home to the world famous Rockettes, Christmas show, Easter show and every other large show. Christmas Shows are the best.
There is also a backstage tour. Tours conducted Mon-Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm. Admission price is $15 per adult, $9 per children under 12.
Rockefeller Center is located in the centre of Manhattan (near St. Patrick's Cathedral) and stretches between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. The building is mainly a commercial centre complete with an underground shopping concourse.The Plaza was built by the Rockefeller family.
The centerpiece of Rockefeller Centre is the 266 metre high GE Building. The building is the scene of the famous photograph by Charles C. Ebbets of workers eating lunch while sitting on a steel beam hundreds of metres above the city streets. The photograph was taken in 1932.
There is an ice-rink located in the Lower Plaza surrounded by 200 flag poles. the poles carry different flags at different times but usually fly the state flags and UN member nations. On National Holidays every pole carries the US Flag.
Stunning views of the New York skyline can be seen from the 'Top of the Rock'.
We spent a day at the Rockefeller Centre and this would of been my favourite place. First we went up to "Top of the Rock". On the way to the observation deck, you can view the making of the Building and also a short film on the Rockettes at Radio City Hall which was owned by the Rockefellers. The day we visited had great visibility. This is a really good place to get a birds eye view of Central Park. Also the view of the Empire State Building was fantastic - so dont forget your camera! There are 3 levels of viewing decks and you can take a really good picture from the top one looking down on your friends to the lower level. They do have seats up the top, so my tip is to choose a really lovely day and sit up there for a while enjoying the view.
We also went Ice Skating at the centre, because the Rockerfeller Christmas Tree lights had been lit the day before, there were a lot of people wanting to skate and just be around the tree. My suggestion is if you want to skate here go early!. We went in the afternoon and waited about 45 minutes to get onto the ice. Once on it was fantastic though! The rink in really small but the atmosphere was really fun. The rink is surrrounded by cafes, foodhalls and restaurants so if you dont feel like being energetic sit and have a coffee and watch. We witnessed a marriage proposal on the ice rink, which was really romantic, lucky she said yes with all those people watching.
The shopping at the Rock was great with lots of food shops, dress shops, gift shops, Nintendo World and more. This really was a fun place. We got the subway here.