Top of the Rock

I’m still trying to finish up our vacation round up, but I am losing at this game. Some of my favorite photos happened at the end of our trip, so I don’t want to skip them. So, one morning we woke up & wanted to go to the Museum of Modern Art. I had a problem with my sinuses, allergies, head, face, nose, and thinking capacity, so I navigated us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is not the same thing. Usually I am a reasonably good navigator, but this was a total failure on my part. Then we made our way to MOMA, only to find that the Tim Burton exhibit tickets were sold out.

It felt like a “Plan B” kind of day, so we decided to scrap our plans entirely and go to the Top of the Rock, which is of course, the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or the GE building which, I don’t know if you know, was one of the most thrilling buildings in NYC because that’s where 30 Rock takes place. Yes, Liz Lemon is probably Levi’s favorite television heroine. So, Top of the Rock is basically an observation deck on the top of this building. It’s supposed to be a better view than the Empire State Building because you can actually see the Empire State Building as part of the skyline. Also, there was no line and no waiting.

So, we pay an obscene amount of money, hustle past the Swarovski 3-story crystal chandelier in the Rockefeller atrium, and get in an elevator that plays music and videos on the ceiling and transports you up 67 floors. It was kind of scary, like being in a rave that is flying into outer space. (Actually, I am pretty sure that I was the only person afraid of this elevator.)

From the 67th floor, you can take stairs and escalators, finally arriving on the 70th floor. Once you are at the top, there’s a gorgeous view of New York, way up high above the taxis and vomit and mountains of garbage and greasy, shit-stained subways. It’s the alter ego of NYC – totally quiet, like being in an empty cathedral. We stared at the skyline forever, in every direction.



Top of the Rock has plenty of the ubiquitous coin-op telescopes that you find at touristy sites.


I had some marginal success taking a photo through the telescope viewer. This is the Chrysler building partially obscured by the Metlife building.

We had lunch at Vegetarian Paradise 2, which was good but not as great as Red Bamboo. Then we rushed back to our hotel to host a pool party for our friend Ellen & her two sons, Banjo & Caleb. We were so distracted by the pool and sauna, we forgot to take any pictures of the pool party. We ate pizza for dinner, again, because so far as I can tell, NYC is all about eating pizza for as many meals as possible.

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2 Comments

Filed under family, spring

2 responses to “Top of the Rock

  1. mariel

    Red Bamboo & Veg Paradise are owned by the same family and have identical menus, only Paradise’s food is more traditional style and Bamboo is more like americanized version. both quite delicious :) i wish i knew what is that fake chicken they use cus its terrific.

    • jess s

      Maybe it was the luncheon menu at VP2, but it was about 1/2 as good as Red Bamboo. It wasn’t a question of more a ‘traditional’ or ‘american’ or ‘modern’ or whatever, Red Bamboo was just a better meal with fresher ingredients and better executed dishes. I wish now that I had time to eat dinner at VP2 so I could compare them more directly.

      That chicken is insane. We ate a lot of great fake chicken in NYC!

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