I took an architecture class when I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. One of the "eras" we studied was the skyscraper race of the early 1900s. New York earns its title as the Empire State for many reasons, but in my opinion, the mentality behind this era is the most poignant justification. A race to the skies, fueled by ambition, hope, and the desire for legacy. A collective desire to render the impossible possible.
The first few buildings may be antiquated relics now, dwarfed by their glimmering modern neighbors. But from the Top of the Rock, it's clear New York's never really stopped racing. From the viewing deck, the city unfolds in every direction, a carpet of skyscrapers piercing the fog above. Perhaps for some this macroview will only exacerbate the feeling of smallness the city sometimes leaves you with, but for me, it was an invigorating reminder of just how important individual pursuits are. They're the building blocks of humanity's landscape.
Enjoy the pictures after the jump! And, if you're in town, make sure to check out the view from the Top of the Rock. In my opinion, Rockefeller Center's location affords its viewing deck a better view than the Empire State's.