New York Film Locations

 





Best Views of the New York City Skyline

For anyone wanting to photograph the famous New York City skyline, and can't afford a bird's eye view from a helicopter, the 2nd best vantage point is from one of the many skyscrapers, of which there are three offering observatories; the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue between East 33rd and 34th Streets; the Rockfeller Center, better known as Top of the Rock on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; and newly opened One World Trade Center.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is iconic, famous and historically significant. It has appeared in films such as “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Elf”, and most famously “King Kong”. It is centrally located and from the 86th floor offers uninterrupted views of downtown and midtown Manhattan.

The 86th floor observation deck at the Empire State Building is an open-air observatory, and one of the many popular places in New York City for marriage proposals. The great thing about an open-air viewing deck is the absence of reflective glass, and you can see New York City as it was meant to be seen. Like any open-air observatory deck, there is no point in visiting it when the weather is raining or the view is obstructed by fog.

Speedy elevators from the ground floor lead onto a souvenir photograph before reaching the open-air observatory deck, though what so many tourists miss out on is the 102nd floor view. For a few extra dollars and yet another elevator ride will gain access to the highest point in the building, and though the view is behind glass, it is still worth the experience.

Website: esbnyc.com

Observatories: 80th and 86th floors (upgrade to 102nd floor)

Location: Midtown Manhattan. Entrance on Fifth Avenue between East 33rd & 34th Streets

Opening Times: 8:00 am until 2:00 am (365 days of the year) (last elevator 1:15 am)

otsoNY Tip: Beat the queues by booking online and having your tickets already printed. Visit as early in the morning as possible as it can get very busy throughout the day and into the evening.

Top of the Rock

The Top of the Rock is part of the Rockefeller Center; a complex of 19 buildings that were built between 1930 and 1933, and is perhaps not as famous as the Empire State Building, though offers the best views of the city. It has appeared in films such as “Old Dogs”, “the Other Guys” and the closing scene from “The Adjustment Bureau”. It is centrally located and from the 70th floor open-air observation deck offers uninterrupted views of Manhattan.

Unfortunately, Rockefeller Center is extremely confusing with a maze of corridors and often no one on hand for directions, and there are two Top of the Rock ticket offices that appear completely unrelated, though unlike the observation deck of the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock is far more spacious, though it is still important to gain access as early in the morning as possible because it does get very busy. It is also worth visiting at sunset and late at night for sparkling views of the surrounding buildings, especially the Empire State Building. As with any observation decks there are rules to follow and floor-mounted tripods are forbidden, though the waist-height concrete walls can be used as makeshift tripods for the slow-shutter special effect shot.

Website: topoftherocknyc.com

Observatories: 67th, 69th, and 70th floors

Location: Midtown Manhattan. Entrance on 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

Opening Times: 8:00 am until midnight (365 days of the year) (last elevator 11:15 pm)

otsoNY Tip: Beat the queues by booking online and having your tickets already printed. Visit as early in the morning as possible as it can get very busy throughout the day and into the evening.

One World Observatory

One World Trade Center is the tallest building in New York City and its observatory opened in 2015. The building measures 1,362 feet, the exact height of the original World Trade Center South Tower. With the deck it measures 1,368 feet, the exact height of the original World Trade Center North Tower. Whilst the spire reaches 1,776 feet and the most important number in all of American history. The base of the building is 200 square feet, the exact footprint of the Twin Towers and it is the most environment-friendly and safest office building in the world with concrete seven times stronger than traditional concrete.

Located in lower Manhattan, the in-door observation deck offers views of downtown and the Statue of Liberty though unfortunately it is all behind glass windows, however the elevator ride to the top certainly makes up to any disappointment as it gives a 360° virtual rendition of how New York City has grown and developed over the last 500 years, whilst the journey back down takes a view from outside the building.

It is another place where it is essential to visit early in the morning, though as it hasn’t been open very long, the lines and extended waiting times are to be expected, and made even worse by the fact that One World Observatory is open fewer hours. The technology on offer to visitors is state of the art and provides information not only about the building but also the surrounding buildings. Taking photographs from inside is challenging due to the reflections and even more so during an evening visit when the sun has gone down.

Website: oneworldobservatory.com

Observatories: 100th, 101st, 102nd floors

Location: Downtown Manhattan. Entrance on the corner of West and Vesey Streets

Opening Times: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm (365 days of the year) (last elevator 7:15 am)

otsoNY Tip: Put plenty of time aside for the visit as there is also a Museum which tells the story of 9/11 through interactive technology, archives, narratives and a collection of artifacts.





 


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