The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Empire State Building (#atozchallenge)




The Empire State Building as seen from Brooklyn
The Empire State Building as seen from Brooklyn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          One of the most iconic images of Manhattan is the Empire State Building.  At 102 stories, the Empire State Building was for 40 years the world's tallest building.  Currently it's ranked as the 29th tallest in the world and the 5th tallest in the United States.

           In popular culture the famed skyscraper has been climbed by the giant ape King Kong and has been a rendezvous of lovers in films like Sleepless in Seattle.   The Empire State Building has been visited by fictional characters, used as a plot device, been a focal point of the setting, and destroyed in apocalyptic scenarios.   Many miniature Empire State Buildings have been purchased as souvenirs to be displayed in homes around the world as a memento of vacation visits.  For decades the Empire State Building has been a go to place for tourists as well as all realms of media and arts.

          Twice I've gone to the observation deck of the skyscraper--both times with my parents when I was younger.  I don't remember much of either visit.  The first time I was probably about five years old.  The second time was during my first year of college.  Both visits were such whirlwind affairs that most of what occurred during these trips is a blur.

           My most recent visit was in 2004.   This was when my sister Joy was still living in New Jersey.   My wife and I took the train with Joy and one of our daughters into the city for a day trip.  It was one of those rushed days when we tried to take in as much as we could in the few hours that we had.   It was July and the weather was hot as one might expect for that time of year.

           We went to the Empire State Building with the intent of going to the top, but when we saw how much it cost and how long the wait was we decided that going up was not worth it for us on that day.  Spending a hour waiting and then another hour with the experience didn't seem to make sense for us when our time was at a premium.   At that time the cost per visitor was over $25.  Somehow it seemed like an overly expensive elevator ride.

          Still, if I had more time to make that sightseeing excursion to the top of the Empire State Building, I'd probably do it.   If you go to visit NYC it's a good idea to have a lot of money on hand.  Everything seems expensive and it's easy to spend a lot of money without even realizing you're doing it. Come to think of it though I guess that's the case just about anywhere you go these days, especially in a vacation destination.

           If you're in New York City and have the time, you should at least visit the Empire State Building and look up even if you don't have the time or money to go to the top.  From street level it can be dizzying to look upwards at the buildings all around you.  After a while one looks as tall as the next.  Personally, I do better at looking up than looking down.

         If you've been to the top of the Empire State Building, was it worth it?    What is your favorite book or movie where the Empire State Building plays an important role?  Do heights make you uneasy?


Insecure Writer's Support Group



 Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog







          Sometimes I feel my issues about writing, blogging and life in gereral are turning into a tower that I am continually trying to climb in order to reach the top.   Unlike a fixed landmark like the Empire State Building, new floors keep being added so that reaching the top is a never ending journey.  There are times when I get so tired that I just have to sit down and rest while at other times I feel like I''m bursting with energy.  I'm still climbing.  And I'll keep on climbing.


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65 comments:

  1. I grew up in NYC and overtime we got out of town guests, we went to the top. It is worth it - the view is spectacular. My favorite movie featuring the building is An Affair to Remember with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant. That movie is actually featured in Sleepless in Seattle as well.

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    1. Karen, I've seen Affair... but don't remember much of it. Time to catch it on TCM next time it comes on.

      Lee

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    2. "Empire State Building" was a no-brainer for the letter E.

      Yeah, I went up to the observation deck the first time I was in NYC in 1983. I don't remember what it cost, but it wasn't too outrageous for the time or else I WOULD REMEMBER.

      Speaking of "Remember"... yeah, 'AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER' is maybe my favorite movie that features the Empire State Building.

      In the remake of 'KING KONG', it's interesting that they had him climb the World Trade Center towers instead. I guess if they ever film ANOTHER remake, KONG will go back to climbing the Empire State Building again.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. It's funny, because I grew up there, and when my husband (from Texas) came to visit, I told if he wanted to see that view, he could go up on his own. I'm acrophobic LOL But he got some good pix

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  2. Like you, I can't remember too much. A visit once as a child and once when I was early 20's. Recently I visited Burj Khalifa in the UAE which is taller than the Empire State Building. I do remember comparing the ride up in the elevator which was quicker and smoother than I remembered in the ESB. My one big memory of the ESB in a movie was King Kong!! :)
    Mary Lou from Me In The Middle
    @qmarylou_q

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    1. Mary, Kong climbing up the tower is among the most famous of movie images.

      Lee

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  3. I was in NYC only once and only for a few hours. I didn't visit the Empire State Building, but I really enjoyed its view from the centre of the city. There's something special about it :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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    1. Sarah, it's sad not to see the WTC towers anymore, but at least we have the ESB.

      Lee

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    2. Again, Arlee, answering here, since I can't find the op to answer down at the bottom.

      I SO agree with you on how sad it is to not see the WTC. And when watching something which shows them, it's such a bittersweet moment.
      But it is true that the Empire State Building, is associated way more than any other NYC landmark. Of course I find it SO strange that so many disaster film producers want to blow it up all the time.

      NOTE: Enelinwen is my Blogger ID. I'm writing A to Z from my wordpress blog: https://fimnorawestcaw.wordpress.com

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  4. I saw the Empire State Building whilst in New York. Most impressive. Great post Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, the ESB is really one of the must-see places in NYC and seeing it on the skyline one doesn't miss.

      Lee

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  5. I've been to NYC twice but never to the Empire State Building. I'll try to get to it on my next trip there, whenever that is.
    I loved both of those movies you mentioned, King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. Can't think of any other movies right now off the top of my head but I'm sure there are several that feature the building...

    Michele at Angels Bark

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  6. Watched both An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, and enjoyed both. Also remember it featuring in short stories read a long time back. Possibly O'Henry?

    USD 25 does seem a little steep, but I suppose demand determines the ticket price. The views must be beyond superb!

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    1. Ninanjana, now I believe the cost is closer to $40, but I think you can get package deals that includes admissions to other sights. Considering the long line I saw when I was there, I guess the price was not too much of a problem and if it were free or much cheaper the lines would be much longer.

      Lee

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  7. Did you know that a plane crashed into it back in the 30s or early 40s? I've been to the top twice. The first time in 8th grade and the second time was in early 1988. I don't remember how much it cost at that time.

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    1. JoJo, yes I've heard about that plane crash, but it didn't do any significant structural damage--though pretty scary I'm sure. When I went my father paid if there was any price at that time so I wasn't paying attention to the cost.

      Lee

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  8. I've only been to NYC once and just for the day (a friend and I were running a murder mystery weekend in Connecticut and came down for the day on the train). We did go up the Empire State Building and it was fantastic! I absolutely loved it. This was many years ago (25?) and someone took our photo with their camera and mailed it to us. I cannot believe I was in NYC without my camera but I guess I didn't pack it everywhere then. I sure do now. Favorite movie with the Empire State Building in it - An Affair to Remember of course!

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    1. Jan, even if I have my camera I usually forget to take photos.

      Lee

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  9. You have a great writing style and, although this is the first I've read of April's A-Z, by who or any other blogger, because I have a different schedule, I can see from what you've done here that it's worth it.

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    1. Odell, Thank you so much. Hope you can read more entries by others as well. There is some great stuff in the A to Z.

      Lee

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  10. You really are in a great NY state of blog. May I add "E" is for elevator at the Empire State Building? It's art deco as is much of the decor there.

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    1. Em, one thing for sure is that with all of the tall buildings in NYC there are a lot of elevators. Probably a good business to have in a place like that.

      Lee

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  11. I've never been to NYC; but I've heard about Empire State Building. Great going for A to z Challenge.

    Cheers,
    Arpita
    http://shinningappy.blogspot.in/

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    1. Arpita, hopefully one day you'll have a chance to visit NYC.

      Lee

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  12. I love the Empire State Building. Great post!

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  13. New floors keep being added - isn't that the truth?
    Never been to the Empire State Building.

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    1. Alex, so it is as long as we live and stay active in life.

      Lee

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  14. In my opinion one of the most elegant and graceful buildings ever--both inside and out. Beautifully done.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge http://www.kathleenvalentineblog.com/

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    1. Kathleen, it is a beautiful building.

      Lee

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  15. such an awesome building. The lobby is gorgeous. The line is epic but you can just people watch. Worth the wait for the view and history. Love the Empire State building - I'm in a NY State of Mind now. Thanks

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    1. Joanne, it was nice just going inside the lobby to look around. Just being there is special.

      Lee

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  16. Definitely a place to visit; but my, what a drop from #1 to #29. It's the way of the world, isn't it; great achievements tend to be surpassed. Visits to places like this incur expenses that we might not feel it's worth it. :-) #AtoZChallenge

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    1. Novie Mum, just going to NYC can be so expensive and when you add in all the attractions, well, you'd better have saved up for the trip or be prepared for a hefty credit card bill.

      Lee

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  17. I haven't been to NYC yet but love the scene from Sleepless in Seattle :)

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    1. Zeljka, Sleepless is such a charming movie.

      Lee

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  18. That tower is a perfect metaphor for life. I've been to the Empire State Building a couple of times. It's an experience just because of it's long history. And what a view!

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    1. C.Lee, some of us get to ride the elevator while others might have to trudge up the stairs--there's a metaphor.

      Lee

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  19. When you get fed up of climbing Arlee, jump in the elevator :) Love the information about the Empire State Building. Thank you.

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    1. Nicola, you comment kind of relates to my previous reply to C.Lee.

      Lee

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  20. Did not know that you were into cave exploration... Very good, Sir Arlee..
    And you enjoy reading bout the "Hollow Earth" theory (we first heard of it in 4th grade, and was not till use of internet, that were able to find much more on the subject. A great day to you and yours, good Sir.

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    1. Dr. Theda, I did a lot of spelunking until I started having nightmares about being stuck in a cave and I'd wake up in a panic. Soon after I gave up the hobby.

      I think the concept of the Hollow Earth is fascinating. I've been considering writing a novel using the concept.

      Lee

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  21. I think that I went to the Empire State Building when I was three years old. I don't remember it, though, but I do remember the stories of me getting tired of walking and my dad carrying me up the stairs. When the adventure was concluded, it turned out that I was missing one of my shoes. Don't think that those shoes were ever found again.

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    1. Alice, did you parents check Lost and Found? I was probably four or five the first time I went, but I don't remember much. Don't remember my later visit with my parents either.

      Lee

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  22. I had enough problem with the old Lincoln Tower here in Ft Wayne...

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    1. CW, I can only imagine how epic the old Lincoln Tower must be!

      Lee

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  23. Empire State Building was pivotal in one episode of Doctor Who. According to the sources there, the Daleks actually had the Empire State Building built by enslaving humans.

    I've never been to the top of the Empire State Building but I have been to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago. At one point, there is a section overhanging the street below and the floor has been replaced with glass you can walk on and look down below.

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    1. Jeffrey, I've heard of that building in Chicago. Is it the same as what used to be the Sears Tower?
      I guess I'd try to venture out on the glass, but probably I wouldn't get far before panic would set in.

      Lee

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    2. My comment disappeared because I replied to this before. Yes, the Willis Tower is the same as the Sears Tower. Chicago is right next door, so to speak, and yet I've only been there a handful of times.

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  24. Arlee,

    I did see that Dr Who episode by the way. Kinda funny. The line and cost has moved me away from the ESB the last few times I have been in the city. This blog reminds me of the proverbial statement " Do you know how many New Yorkers have NEVER been to the Empire State Building?" The landmarks and States can be interchanged in to the question.

    Zulu Delta

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    1. Zulu, I wouldn't be too surprised to know that a lot of New Yorkers haven't been to the ESB. I'm the same way with a lot of sights in the places where I've lived. Time, money, and a lot of other stuff you know.

      Lee

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  25. I have been there. I was a kid, so I didn't appreciate it like I would if I went there today. Great post!

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    1. Gregg, I barely remember my visit--or maybe there were 2 visits? Now I'd be paying more attention.

      Lee

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  26. I've been to the observation deck. Even paid for a momento photo. I have that stashed somewhere, I suppose.

    My favorite movie that involves the ESB would be Sleepless in Seattle.

    Mary
    #AtoZChallenge E is for Elle

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  27. I'm not so much afraid of heights as I am of falling down. When I was a young girl, I loved to climb things. If it were a forbidden thing, then all the better.

    I've never been to the Empire State Building or even to New York. A while back, David and I watched a documentary on the building of the Empire State Building and saw a most exciting photograph. I can't imagine eating my lunch where these guys were eating theirs! http://cbmw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/vintage-workers-on-a-break-on-the-empire-state-building-207653.jpg

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    1. Suzanne, you would not find me sitting on a beam high up like those guys.

      Lee

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  28. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge - where I am part of YOUR Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team.
    April is here and I'm excited about it. Best of luck to us both on meeting our goals of posting and hopping to other blogs. Hope your trip is going well.
    My blog has a giveaway. There's a bonus a to z challenge each day to encourage people to visit more stops.
    http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com

    I've been to the top of several of those buildings. Rather lost track, to be honest. If it's worth it depends on how much you enjoy a view, and how good the view is that day (weather based question).

    And remember... the Empire State building looks like a sideways E.
    The Chrysler building looks like a sideways C.

    That's my tip of the day.

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  29. I would love to visit NYC i hope to visit the east coast of the US next year in time for the fall foliage

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  30. I'm not really fond of heights, but I love looking down at a city or landscape from a majestic bird's-eye view. One of Albany's major bird's-eye views is the Corning Tower, which as far as I can remember doesn't charge anything to go up to the top. I also remember looking out at the UMass-Amherst campus from the higher stories of the campus library. The highest floor I remember going to was the 23rd, but I probably went a bit higher and just don't recall the number of the floor.

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  31. When I was in NYC, I think we went to see the elevators(could have been the Chrysler Building) and I loved the Art Deco style. I would never go up because of my extreme phobia. I have to give it to King Kong who really did elevate the building to a whole new level

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  32. The one time we were in NYC it was raining for four days straight. The top of the Empire State Building was in foggy clouds, so there was no point in going up there.
    As a fan of Sleepless in Seattle (this is going to be the S in my A-Z) I want to repeat my Manhattan visit, and I expect nothing but blue skies :-)

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  33. I've never been to the Empire State or NYC. I think i'll be looking at it from down. $25? Wow. Heights don't worry me much as long as I have something to hold on to!

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    1. Cajun, it was $25 when I was there, but now I believe it's 30-some dollars. The heights can make me a bit queasy, but if I feel secure then it's not so bad.

      Lee

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  34. I suppose I went up the Empire State Building in about 1992, and it wasn't $25 then. I'd been there a couple of years earlier too - Jan 1988 I think. The difference between summer and winter is, surprisingly, worth the trip on both occasions. Of course, all my photos have the twin towers in them - but then, I went up those in 1992 also.
    It's quite a city!
    Jemima Pett

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Lee