In my effort to be a tourist I decided I would go up the Empire State Building. Having heard nightmare stories about the queues, I decided I would be there nice and early, so I got to the doors at 8.05 (I’m only one block away from it) to find around 100 people already in front of me. But the queue mobed quickly to the first barrier, the security check. Bags went though the xray machine, but all other things were meant to go in a box before you went through the metal detector. Before you got to the screening, one person was going up and down the line telling people nopt to take jackets off or anything like that, just put the bag through. So they didn’t..and went through the detector with keys,phones etc in pockets and were then yelled at by a women who did nothing but yell. One guy in front of me tried to take off his jacket to put through the machine as he obviously had lots of things in the multitude of pockets; he got told to put it back on, then got repeatedly sent back and forth through the detector until he found every single thing that was setting it off. At no point did the guard stop and tlak to him, see what he had or run over him with one of the personal detectors, just kept yelling. I;ve siad it before – what is it with the guards here, did they all go to the same school of discourtesy?
After security, everything went very smoothly and I got to the top with no more waiting. The view was superb and i took lots of photos. Somehow the numbers were controlled so that there was always ‘just enough’ people up there, I could always find somewhere to stand and stare. I hired one of the audio tour sets they have – I guess if I had looked hard enough I could have foind the whole thing as a podcast for free.
For the rest of the day I visited Times Square, had brunch in Bryant Square and took a 3 hour open-topped bus tour around the lower half of Manhattan. So now I’m dehydrated and slight burnt, as it is very hot here – time to rest, top up the liquid and think if I want to do anything else this visit.