On our final full day in New York City, we went up to the top of the Empire State Building. First, we went to the 86th floor observation deck.

Looking east: I love the art deco of the Chrysler Building. The 59th Street bridge is in the background, crossing Roosevelt Island in the East River.
Looking north: Fifth Avenue divides the photo; Central Park is in the background. There are so many tall buildings that the scene looks fake, like a scale-model of the city.
Looking west: Macy's is in the lower right; the partial view of the circular building in the center is Madison Square Garden. That's the Hudson River in this photo.
Looking south: Of course, One World Trade Center rises above lower Manhattan and the financial district.  To the far right in the middle is Lady Liberty.  In the distance in the middle left is the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. (Unfortunately, the skies turned overcast during this photo.)
Then we took a second elevator up to the 102nd floor! That is nearly a quarter of a mile above the street. Looking north, you get an even better view of Central Park.
And looking south towards the financial district, you can just see Liberty and Ellis Islands to the right.
Visit the Empire State Building website here for information about tickets. The current adult ticket price to visit both observation decks is $42.00.

NOTE: Pre-purchase your tickets online! Pre-purchasing and printing any and all tickets is my biggest tip to any traveler. You save so much valuable tourist time. Online ticket buyers skip the ticket line (which can be long) and go straight to the observation deck.  If you splurge and purchase the express tickets ($47.50 for the 86th floor only; $64.50 for both observation decks.), you can skip both the ticket and elevator lines. We did not purchase the express tickets. Fortunately we did not have a long wait to get on the elevator to the 86th floor observation deck, so I'm not sure the extra cost is necessary.

The Observatory is open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily.

One other tip: The 86th floor observation deck is outside. The air temperature 860 feet in the air is much cooler (and windier) than down on the sidewalk in front of the Empire State Building.  You may want to carry a jacket or sweater. 

All photos in this post were taken by me during my trip to New York City in September, 2012.



New York subway stations have some great art especially the Times Square/42nd Street station.

Placed amid the subway tiles lining the halls, is Times Square Times: 35 Times by Toby Buonagurio, 35 colorful ceramic sculpture tiles.  Here are three I really liked:
For photos of all 35 ceramic sculptures, click here.

Of course, one of the most famous works of art is the 53-foot long mural, Times Square Mural, by Roy Lichtenstein, a gift to the city in 1994, but not displayed until 2002.

For more information about this mural, click here.

All photos in this post were taken by me during my trip to New York City in September, 2012.


In the middle of the financial district of lower Manhattan, where Broadway intersects with Wall Street, is the beautiful Trinity Church.

In 1697, a little over 70 years after the Dutch settled in New York as a trading post known as New Amsterdam, Trinity Church was granted a charter by King William III of England.
Designed by American Institute of Architects co-founder Richard Upjohn, the third, and current, church building was consecrated in 1846. This church building is one of the first and finest examples of Neo-Gothic architecture in the United States. The Gothic arch design can be seen in the repeating arches, vaulted ceiling and arched stained glass windows. The stained glass along both sides of the nave is considered to be some of the oldest in the United States.

Above the entrance, a visitor can see the new virtual pipe organ that was installed in 2003 after the dust, ash and smoke of September 11th rendered the previous pipe organ unusable.


In 1976, Queen Elizabeth II was presented with symbolic "back rent" of 279 peppercorns on her historic visit to Trinity Church.  A plaque on the entrance floor commemorates her visit.

Among the gravestones of the churchyard is the tomb of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury.  His face appears on the $10 bill.  In the photo below, his tomb is to the far left, large white marble with the urn-like structures on the corners and the flat-top pyramid on top.  Also buried in this churchyard is Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat.
Trinity Church is located where Broadway intersects with Wall Street. For travel information and hours of operation visit the website here.

All photos in this post were taken by me during my trip to New York City in September, 2012.