Last weekend we ventured to New York City with the kids. They have only been there a couple of times so far so we opted to make it essentially a “kids pick” kind of day.
Since the energy and bustle of New York is relatively new to them, they are still full of wonder and amazement at everything going on around them – all of the tall buildings, the throngs of people, the lights, the constant movement and images bombarding them.
I thought about spending the day trying to shoot the city from their perspective but there were a couple of things working against me on that one, most notably that I was holding a child’s hand all of the time. Hard to shoot that way.
So we just went with the flow with what the kids wanted to do: M&M Factory, that giant Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square, things like that. (At the end of the day my daughter sobbed when she noticed that other little girls had gone to the American Girl store. Guess we need to schedule a trip back because she was devastated.)
Anyway, the BIG thing they both wanted to do was go to the top of the Empire State Building. This was my son’s idea initially, and I have no idea how he got so fixated on it, but he was not to be swayed. The Top of the Rock wouldn’t do it. All through the day he would ask us if it was time to go to the Empire State Building. And my daughter then joined in the excitement.
I hadn’t been to the Empire State Building since 1992, when my husband surprised me and proposed on the nearly vacant observation deck. So I clearly have fond memories of this place. But I have to say it has changed. The building still is, of course, phenomenal, and the city views are nearly unrivaled.
Somewhere along the way it became so commercial and touristy. Kudos to the city for making it a destination for all the non-New Yorkers who walk the streets with their eyes pointing upward. All of those embassadors on the street selling packages and deals for these places…you can get sucked in. And we had to get sucked in lest the kiddos go home extremely grouchy and disappointed. So we dropped nearly $140 for the four of us to go to the observation deck and do that silly ride thingy they have going on. (And my daughter was free!) That just seemed like a lot but, hey, they gotta make revenue.
My biggest beef was how such a beautiful, historic building has come to feel almost like an amusement park attraction. And it was such a cattle chute. So many people, long lines, being shuttled from one line to an elevator to another line and yet another elevator. Not at all how it was on my last trip. And it took more than twice as long as we had anticipated, which meant that some of the other things the kids wanted to do have been pushed off to a future trip.
Regardless, the views were amazing…if you could get close enough to see, which was a problem my daughter noted quite clearly and loudly!
Here are some of my just-past-sundown and early evening shots:
(My little photo bomber! I love the perspective on this one, though.)
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