Sunday afternoon we decided to go to the Top of the Rock. I've been up there a couple times before, once a year ago with my dad when he was in town to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade (fun!), and once with my mom during her first visit. I love the Top of the Rock, especially compared to the top of the Empire State Building - the view is better and the whole experience is so much nicer. So, future tourists take note: SKIP the Empire State Building and do the Top of the Rock instead. You can thank me later for that little tip.
Eric and I have been wanting to go back up to the Top of the Rock on an evening when the Empire State Building would be lit up nicely, and I've been dying to see those views at night. We lucked out this past weekend because the weather was beautifully clear, unseasonably warm (at least compared to last year), and the Empire State Building was lit up orange and blue! It was orange and blue for the 125th Anniversary of the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, but in our minds it was really for the Gators. Yeah! Go Gators!
We met up with Amanda around 4:00 p.m. and walked over to Rockefeller Center together. Our plan was to get there early enough to get some daylight photos, then stay through sunset and until it got dark so we could see the view in all kinds of light. We ended up getting there just in time to see the sun dip down below the horizon out past New Jersey.
Even though we didn't really make it before sunset as planned, we still had enough light after the sun went down to get a few shots of the view before it got dark. The colors of the sky just made it even more beautiful.
Our apartment is in this picture! (It's the short, squat red brick building just to the right of the ugly white building on the left)
As the city lights began to turn on, the view just got prettier and prettier.
Gorgeous. Hard to make out in this size, but the Statue of Liberty is to the right and when this picture is bigger, you can even make out her lit torch.
We stayed up there and just enjoyed the view as the colors of the sky started to fade and everything got darker. We were even treated to a lovely crescent moon over the city to add to the whole view.
After Top of the Rock, we wandered through Rockefeller Plaza. The makings of Christmas are underway: the tree is going up (it will be lit next Wednesday), the toy soldiers are up around the Plaza, the angels are being put up along the Promenade, and the snowflakes are up and lit (but not yet dancing) on Saks. They also have the star for the tree out on display for you to admire. So, admire we did.
The Swarovski crystal star tree topper (you can also see the tree covered in scaffolding behind it to the right - they're putting the lights on it!)
We then stopped off for cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery (I still stand by my analysis that Magnolia is inferior to Crumbs, but this is a matter of opinion). We sat across the street from Radio City and enjoyed our cupcakes.
On our way home, we passed through the northern end of Times Square, where once again we were treated to the sight of the moon over the city. Sometimes, in this place, it's easy to forget to look up at the sky when there is so much else going on at ground level. It's nice to glance up and see a pretty moon from time to time.
And that was our fun evening of enjoying the lights of the city! I love New York.