“Can’t we just look at the Empire State Building from outside and just spend the $23 on something else?” My brother argued. “And besides, we can see the building from our hotel room.”
“Nope. You haven’t gone to New York if haven’t gone inside and if you haven’t gone to the actual observatory on the 86th floor,” I replied.
And so, we did.
I now feel that every stay in New York merits a visit to the Empire State Building. It was my first very stop during my first trip a few years back, and also my first stop during this second time.
I mean, there are some people who have gone to Paris more than once and come on, do you skip the Eiffel Tower just because it’s not your first time in Paris? That’s how I feel about the Empire State, though I wouldn’t equate its romance to the Eiffel.
The Empire State reminds me of memorable films like A Love Affair or Sleepless in Seattle, which both shot important scenes there. So yes, that’s one of the reasons why the place merits a visit.
But of course, more subtantially, one goes there to marvel at the good views of New York, which I must say, is also relaxing. Allow me to share some of the views during my last visit.
Now for the most interesting part. We were lined up to take the elevator going down to end our trip to the building, when we are asked by security to step aside and wait for a minute for another elevator. Why? Because suddenly, a Hollywood actor and his party suddenly appeared and stepped right in: Tom Cruise himself. Whoa. Interesting. But too bad, everything happened so fast, I wasn’t able to grab my phone or camera to take a photo.
So we got our turn to ride the elevator about two minutes later. While I was walking out, a fast-walking party was at my side, and lo and behold, it was Tom Cruise at a very close distance. I managed, actually, to say hi and he was very polite to return it with a pleasant hello too. Cool. He seemed like a down-to-earth person comapared to other feeling-celebrities in entertaintainment (and sadly, tv news), who act much differently.
Anyway, the reporter in me resurfaced and I was suddenly on papparazi mode, and I managed to take this blurry picture for posterity.
For the ladies out there, how does he look in person? Well, he really isn’t so tall. But let’s just say that how he looks on screen is exactly how he looks in person. He also looks somewhat younger, I think, in person. We saw him, by the way, several days before his divorce to Katie Holmes was announced. Certainly, there were no signs that his marriage was already on the rocks at the time. Was he clueless? Was he simply acting as if a problem did not exist? No one knew.
Anyway, this was a good way to experience the Empire State. And so, I asked my brother at the end of the tour, “So, was your $23 well spent?”