Thursday, October 01, 2015

Time Out Thursday: See Forever

Harlequin Intrigue author and new Pink Heart Society Columnist Jenna Kernan plays tourist in her hometown of New York City...

How many tourist attractions are there in your hometown?  And how many have you actually visited?

So that's my Thursday time-out topic for today. Being a tourist in your own hometown. 

I can tell you one of the fun parts about being a tourist in your own hometown is when you're chatting with the guide and they ask you where you are from you get to tell them you live three miles from where you are standing. That's always a surprise.

Now I'm a lucky girl because I currently live within 30 miles of New York City. The good part about that is there is more to do there than I could ever imagine. The bad thing is that almost every single thing cost money.

My latest excursion was to One World Observatory, ( @OneWorldNYC , #SeeForever).

This is in the new One World Towers also called the Freedom Towers in Lower Manhattan beside the site of the fallen Twin Towers. The observation is on the 102nd floor. My friendly tour guide tells me that this building is the tallest one in the Western Hemisphere and that the entire building is 1776 feet tall (including areal tower). Does that date sound familiar to anyone? It was done intentionally and that includes the aerial tower.

The ride up takes only one minute. I don't even want to think about how fast I was going. They have a movie that shows New York City evolving from the 1660s to 2015. I was too slow to catch the whole thing.  By the time I got my camera on I was already in the 1980s.

Here’s my attempt to capture time: My Facebook Video of One World Observatory.

We all waited in front of our elevators on the hundred and second floor and watched a very short video before the wall lifted up like a garage door and there it was—the view to forever. In fact, there hashtag is #Seeforever which seems very appropriate.

I skipped having my photo taken all by my lonesome up on the deck. Also skipped the $15 interactive iPad that will tell you exactly what you were looking at out of the 360 degree windows. For those who are unfamiliar with the New York City skyline I think that iPad is probably a very good deal. I did listen in on some of the other tourists who had ponied up the 15 bucks and did learn that there were videos and interesting historical facts about the buildings. Then we tourists had time to circle the observation deck at our leisure. 

Up on the 102nd floor, you'll also find a snack bar regular bar, restaurant and bathrooms.  My first stop was the restroom and I don’t even want to think about the hydrodynamics of water pumped up over a thousand feet only to go rocketing back down again.

If you want to figure the costs of a visit, take the price of anything you've ever had in a restaurant or gift shop and multiply by three.  That will give you a fairly accurate idea of the price for eating on 102nd floor. 

My favorite view was to the south to see both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty being crisscrossed by the white wakes of all the different boats and fairies. A close runner-up was seeing the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge spanning  the East River with traffic passing over and watercrafts gliding under. Looking straight north the new apartment building and the Empire State building dominate the skyline and beyond the George Washington Bridge past that I swear you can see all the way to the Berkshire Mountains. I chose a beautiful day and the experience is jaw-dropping.

You do have to be careful there are some hazards on the hundred and second floor including the price of the T-shirts and the regular tourists with their soapy sticks extended like limbo poles. There are some very friendly tour guides up there who will help you with finding a nice apartment in Manhattan. I understand Demi Moore's place is available for $75 million. There's also a nice apartment in the Plaza Hotel right on Central Park.

I have to admit that ponying up $32 to ride an elevator was a little hard to swallow. But it was worth the cost and the time to see the view from the most expensive building ever erected. If you have the time, take the trip, I recommend it and also recommend you take a time-out to explore the wonders in your own backyard.

Jenna's latest book, Running Wolf, is out now:

Rival Tribes...

Running Wolf is a valiant Sioux warrior. During his first raid as war chief, he captures a surprising Crow enemy--a woman! This spirited fighter is unlike any he's ever met. Her beauty and audacity are entrancing, but threaten his iron resolve...

...Rival Passions

Snow Raven must focus on freeing herself, not on the man who keeps her captive. But as she falls deeper under Running Wolf's spell, she realizes he is herwarrior--and she'll risk everything for him!

For more details about Jenna's stories, visit her EXTRAS page, subscribe to her newsletter on her website, visit her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

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