I heard stories of having to wait in line for over an hour to visit the Empire State Building. We arrived early and bypassed that unpleasant scene. With all those velvet roped lines, you can imagine what it would be like during peak season.
From the 86th floor of the open-air observatory, visitors can look through the openings of the metal grates and see the Empire State Building cast its own shadow over neighboring buildings on a sunny day.
Looking south, one can see Lower Manhattan where Wall Street, government offices, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, ...etc. reside.
Looking northwest, you can see Central Park and the Upper West Side, home to many famous celebrities and museums.
From a few posts back, I wrote about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can see both islands here. They look so small from a distance.