The Old Fogies visit the Empire State Building in New York

New York City is a city full of skyscrapers with at least 113 buildings are taller than 600 feet (183 m). Of all the skyscrapers, there are relatively few that engage with the public imagination, an exception is the Empire State Building.

Therefore we decided that the Empire State Building would be high on our list of attractions to visit. Wandering around the streets of New York, the Empire State Building is one of the few skyscrapers that you instantly recognise and we took the short walk to the west side of Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets.

The Empire State Building is a 102-storey skyscraper which was completed in 1931, the building stands a total of 1,454 feet (443.2 m) tall, including its antenna.

The building is the 5th-tallest skyscraper in the United States, however when it was completed in 1931 to 1970 it was the world’s tallest building. It has been a popular tourist attraction since the building opened, with around 4 million visitors to the building’s 86th and 102nd floor observatories every year.

When you enter the building you pick up your ticket and make your way to the security section before eventually making your way to the entertaining lifts which shows a short film as you make you way up the building.

Visitors can visit the 86th and 102nd floor observatories for a different admission price, we were happy just to go to the 86th floor because it is the highest open air observatory in New York.

Once you get to the 86th floor, you can look at some of the infrastructure and look at the various posters including one that features the building in the famous version of King Kong was released in 1933.

Most visitors visit the Empire State Building for the spectacular views of Manhattan and beyond. It was a clear sunny day when we visited and we could enjoy clear views of New York and its environs. You could even see the Statue of Liberty in the distance and down into the streets of New York which seemed to be gridlocked most of the time with traffic.

Looking at the rows and rows of skyscrapers which seemed to have little character, it is easy to see why the Empire State Building is loved by most New Yorkers and the millions of visitors. The buildings art deco designs help to distinguish the building from the other skyscrapers that surround it.

After a enjoyable hour or two, it was time to make our way back down to ground level, on the way back to the entrance you can more of the art deco decor and buy a gift from the shop.

In a city full of high buildings, it is very difficult to get an idea of the city and where different buildings are in relation to each other. It is really only from the considerable height of the Empire State building or similar that you can see Manhattan and the surroundings in all its glory.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London here.