Empire State Building and Twin Towers of the World Trade Center from the top of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza building in midtown Manhattan in 1991.
I was two years into my life in New York City and discovering how much I liked photographing the city from unique locations. I was working as a staff photographer at the Associated Press and our office was in 50 Rockefeller Center, the original AP Building. The place was a dump, but it was in the heart of Manhattan. After many of our late night shifts, many of us would go to the beautiful Rainbow Room Bar at the top of the 30 Rockefeller Center building, the home of NBC and immortalized by Tina Fey.
During one of my drinking sessions with legendary bartender Dale Degroff, he told me that if I liked the views out the windows of the bar, I should go out on the terraces above the bar. The observation deck at Rockefeller Center originally opened to the public in 1933 but was closed in 1986. I immediately made the call to find out how. The management of the building was very squirrely about giving access but I managed to have several excursions onto its unparalleled 360° views.
A newly restored and improved Top of the Rock reopened to the public in November 2005 that put glass walls all around the terrace. There was nothing like standing atop the building wide open to the elements. It was a trip. And the view to lower Manhattan, exquisite!
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