Sunday in New York I woke up early and started my research on the Empire State Building. Did you know it was built in just 410 days? Or that in 1945 a B-52 bomber crashed into it and precipitated the longest survived elevator fall recorded (75 floors). Or that because it opened during the Great Depression they had such problems finding tenants that in the first year they took in more money from tickets to the observation deck than from commercial rent?
I also learned, crucially as it turned out, that you can buy Express Tickets online. From the site:
The lines at the Empire State Building Observatory are as legendary as the building itself. The line actually consists of 3 different lines. The first one is the security line that everyone must go through. Next comes the ticket line. Visitors with pre-purchased tickets can skip this line which can save a considerable amount of time during our busiest times. The 3rd and last line is for the elevators that take you to the Observatory.and it's true. There are lines to get in, to get authorized, to get screened, to get up, to get down, and to get through. Pay the little extra for express tickets and it's like these lines don't exist. Empire State visitor pro-tip. Save two hours.
While we have been told that anything this good is worth the wait, we have also heard laments that some people missed out on being able to visit the Empire State Building Observatory because they just didn’t have enough time to see and do everything while in NYC. Now you can. By purchasing an Express Pass you will automatically be moved to the front of each and every line.
It was a wonderful clear day and I took a bunch of photos. You can find a selection in the usual spot on Flickr. An example: