Today was our last day in the city that never sleeps – I can vouch for that! Quite a few times I haven’t been able to sleep and have looked out of the window and there are always vehicles moving around – and not just one or two!
I spent the morning packing – not sure if we were going to be under weight or not but in the end the large suitcases were about 2 to 3 pounds under J I didn’t dare weigh the small ones and hoped that no one at the airport would either! We had arranged with our host, Obaid, to leave the cases in the apartment until we were ready to go to the airport.
I had booked the Empire State Building but it was a rather misty morning so we knew the view wouldn’t be brilliant – what a shame but hey ho we have had the most amazing weather throughout our five weeks.
We took the subway and walked to Macys first as Victoria wanted a bag – it looks like a fantastic store but we were blinkered to get to the right floor! It was then up to the Empire State Building, by-passing the lines – only there weren’t any! There is a very interesting exhibition on the lower floors about the building and construction of the tower and all the different things it has been used for.
It was then up in a lovely lift to the 86th floor where there is an open air observatory but that was so busy that we got the lift up to the 102nd floor (we paid extra for this) and into a closed in area but it was quieter and we were able to see more – well as much as we could through the mist.
Here are a few statistics
The Empire State Building has 102 stories.
It has a roof height of 1,250 feet and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet high.
Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State.
It stood as the world's tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center's North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world), until One World Trade Center reached a greater height on April 30, 2012.
The Empire State Building is currently the fifth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States.
It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas.
The Empire State Building is generally thought of as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style.
It has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Time was running out now so we took a taxi back to the apartment and walked round the corner to a bar where we had lunch. It then started to rain and when I say rain – the heavens opened! We had a very nice meal and rather over stayed our welcome as we had time to kill. However it was interesting to see how prepared some people were for the rain and how others weren’t! We did laugh though at a NYPD lady who gave a ticket to a large truck then couldn’t reach the windscreen to put the ticket on it!
Just before we left the bar I got a text from Virgin to say that our flight was delayed by 2 hours! There wasn’t anything we could do as we had an airport shuttle booked. It was then time to run back to the apartment trying to avoid the puddles. A quick change then down into the lobby to wait for our shuttle.
We got to the airport fairly easily and went to check in. When I said that we were fed up that our flight was delayed she fiddled around with her keyboard and announced that she could get us on to an earlier flight! Panic set in as I had spent ages telling everyone, including the taxi meeting us, that we would be late! After a few futile attempts I managed to get hold of Hayling Cars (it was almost 11pm in the UK) and we charged through passport control and security to the gate only to find that the flight was also delayed! We were supposed to board at 18.35 and finally got on about 19.20. After that we were ready to go quite quickly and the next thing we knew we were waving goodbye to New York and the USA.
I will do one more post tomorrow but for now here are some photos of the apartment in New York.