Monday, February 18, 2008

November 18, 1931

Yesterday's surprise was a trip to the top of the Empire State Building. Dottie and Sarah both decided to pool their resources for the outing. We traveled down to 34th street on the IRT. I had no clue as to our destination. When we stepped off the train, I immediately noticed the grandness of the building not thinking it had anything to do with the surprise. Walking down the street I couldn't help but be in awe of the structure looming over the entire neighborhood. Then to see it so close in front of me made me dizzy. It was Biblical in scope.

When we stopped right in front of the entrance Dottie shouted: "Surprise, we got you a building for your birthday. I know it's a bit big, but who couldn't use the space nowadays, right?"

I laughed. Sarah took me by the hand. "No such luck sweetheart. We found it a bit pricey. You'll have to settle for a trip to the top and dinner."

"You Jews are such downers," Dottie said.

"You Italians are such liars," Sarah retorted.

"We're dreamers," She snarled.

Being a Protest of Anglican heritage I had little to offer.

Admission to the observation deck was a dollar a piece, which I thought steep, but Sarah and Dottie both insisted they pay. Rumor has it that, because of the Depression, most of the building's offices are vacant and the only income is from tourists going to the observation deck.

The lobby was extremely modern. Very bold and metallic; clean and rigid. After paying the admission we were shuffled into a large elevator with about eight other people. The speed at which the elevator traveled to the 86th floor was dizzying. I'm not sure I've ever been on anything that went so fast. Sarah thought she was going to vomit and Dottie said it felt like a night out without the night out.

The observation deck was on the 86th floor. There was another deck on the 102nd floor but it was reserved for air traffic only. Apparently dirigibles will be able to dock and unload passengers up there.

When walked outside not one of us could speak. Our mouths dropped wide open at what we saw. It seemed like the entire planet was below us. My first thought was being on Olympus looking down on Earth. Both Sarah and Dottie immediately looked south to find their homes. I looked out as far as I could to the ocean.

"I can see Bay Ridge! I wonder if ma could hear me?" Dottie said laughing.

"Most of the world has never been this high off the ground before. Can you imagine?" Sarah said. "If only I had my damn camera."

I saw the Brooklyn Bridge and I thought of Rudy. I looked beyond it to the speck that was the Statue of Liberty and then the open water.

We stood in awe for some time before Dottie interjected, "I'm freezing and I have to piss. Time to go."

After riding down to ground level. We saw to it that Dottie was relieved and then ate supper at a diner around the corner. I had a hamburger and a chocolate egg cream from the fountain. Both Dottie and Sarah swear by them. I was dumbfounded to learn that it wasn't made with eggs or cream.

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