January 10, 2011

From the top

From the top

Usually when I’m in the city, I’m with Urban Sophisticate Sister or my parents, and they try to stay away from the tourist attractions. But Shaggy Hair Boy was quite willing to wander around and see the parts of the city that he knew from movies, television shows, and even computer games. Pretty much everywhere we went, he would start talking about a scene from a movie. When we were in the public library, for example, he said, “I’ve seen this place before! Except in the movie, it’s flooded and there are wolves and a big freighter outside.” Most of the movies he mentioned were disaster movies, although sometimes there were superheros who arrived in the nick of time to save the city.

When he and I were on our own one afternoon, he said, “Let’s go to the top of the Empire State Building.”

We had to stand in line and then jam into a hot, crowded elevator. “This is why we never do tourist stuff,” I grumbled to him. I hate elevators. But then we got to the observation deck.

A cold wind came rushing at us. We were on a dark balcony, with guard rails all around. People were running about, pushing their way to the railing, posing with their friends, and the dashing back into the building to get warm. Cameras kept flashing. It was exciting to look down on skyscrapers, the lights making patterns in every direction. I could make out the bridges and water: I’d forgotten, I think, that we were on an island.

“Look! The skating rink!” Shaggy Hair Boy said. He nudged me. I could see it, a tiny white rectangle far below us. I could just barely see little dots of dark moving around on it.

We walked around to get the view from every angle. It was dark and cold, and the wind went right through my winter coat. Everyone was screaming and laughing and snapping pictures like crazy. When I’d stand closer to the edge of the rail and look down, I could feel that tingling, scared feeling in my stomach. It was so much fun.

16 comments:

Arbitrista said...

You're making me terribly homesick.

liz said...

The library you were in yesterday was in Ghostbusters and The Wiz, too!

Songbird said...

What a great shot! I've only been up once, with my dad when I was 11. It's an experience.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I so admire your ability to turn everything into a story!

Lilian said...

Hmmm... you had been up there before, right? Anyway... I just LOVE that place (I think I've been there twice. Once in winter at twilight/night and once in the summer during the day).

A small frustration of mine was that in April 2009 I got a call from my son, who had gone with his brother and daddy to take a friend sightseeing in NYC. He asked me to say where they had just been and I almost cried when he told me they had just been up in the Empire State Building -- and I missed seeing how excited my two sons were to be there. :(

I'm glad you're getting to do these touristy things with your son!

jo(e) said...

Nope, I'd never been up there before. (I've been up the Sears Tower in Chicago before, which is similar.)

Yeah, it was fun to do some of the tourist stuff.

comebacknikki said...

Oh, so beautiful. I want to go back... right now!

Sarah Sometimes said...

This is a stunning shot! I am so enjoying reading these posts--both the ones about the things we did together when you visited and also, now, this one showing and telling about what happened after we parted.

merrytait said...

Yay! I went there a number of times as a kid, but not in many years.

Kyla said...

Awesome. BubTar really wants to go to NYC some day, I think he and I will take a trip one year for his birthday.

heidi said...

Gorgeous view! And I love your descriptions.

BrightenedBoy said...

When I first saw your photo of the library, I had the exact same reaction.

The movie he was talking about is "The Day After Tomorrow."

That's such a beautiful shot from the top of the Empire State Building.

It sounds like a very fun trip.

It's nice that you and Shaggy Hair Boy got to enjoy some one-on-one time.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Color me jealous.

Lilian said...

I can't be jealous 'cause I've been there. Next I want to go to the "Top of the Rock" but I'm sure it's not as cool.

In any case, I can't believe you hadn't been there before, but it's actually not surprising. I was a half-tourist still fresh from moving from abroad when I did.

I've been up the Sears tower in Chicago too -- I just LOVE climbing tall buildings/ structures and view the world from above. I'm glad I had the opportunity to go up the WTC twice (once in the outdoor viewing terrace) before the towers feel.

jo(e) said...

BB: You're just about the same age as Boy in Black, so I think you and my kids have watched a lot of the same movies. Yeah, it was nice to have some one-on-one time with Shaggy Hair Boy. In our household, one-on-one time is rare.

jo(e) said...

Lilian: On the train, Shaggy Hair Boy and I talked about the last time he was in the city. It was June of 2001, and he was a little kid. He can remember sitting on the steps of the World Trade Center ....