I don’t really like looking like a tourist. Something of a problem when you’re standing outside the Empire State Building feeling cornered into paying for additional extras on your trip, when you just wanted to slink off to the normal queue and not have to deal with Michael, the most enthusiastic man alive, and a boyfriend rendered partially deaf by the flu. As it was, Michael took our money and ushered us off to the secret entrance, bellowing in our ears and seeming very disappointed when we didn’t whoop and holler when asked if we were having a good time. We were not.
It turned out that we’d paid for the NY Skyride, which is described on its website as a one of a kind tourist attraction. This is very true.
First up came some standing around watching a video where a woman showed us her favourite spots in New York. These were the classic tourist locations, obviously. One of the highlights for her was a spot on the high line which she described as ‘street theatre’ – it was a window overlooking a street.
Afterwards we were taken into a helicopter simulator, which hadn’t been updated since 9/11 (as Michael referred to it, ‘what we call 9/11’). They claimed this was because they wanted to show the terrorists they hadn’t won, or something similar, but I think it might have come down to cost cutting measures. For some reason, our simucopter ride was narrated by Kevin Bacon. We booted it around New York, before wasting about ten minutes going underwater, then going into space, before just kind of dicking it around on our journey back down to earth. It was all deeply confusing and disturbing. Most people on board were laughing in that hysterical way that soon becomes crying.
Next up was the obligatory tourist photo opportunity. Wow, I can pay twenty dollars for a photo taken before Ben and I even got into position in front of the screen, where we both look clinically insane. It was an amazing photo, to be fair.
‘Eye of the tiger, baby. It’s observation deck time!’ cried the lift guy, as we were ushered inside. Indeed it was. Soon we were up on the top, checking out the view. It was impressive, but if I’m honest, I was more interested in people watching.
‘He got Shaniqua runnin’ round like a chicken. Wit’ she head cut off’ said a woman into her phone, like it’s ok to have a perfectly normal conversation when you’re up there, blocking everyones view.
To confirm, Michael. We didn’t have a very good time. Whoop. Holler.
The only way to cheer myself up after that was to do some shopping. Macy’s was just round the corner, and my, what a big shop that is. Ben managed to snap up a selection of Levis in various shades, and I got my hands on a beautiful paisley print Tommy Hilfiger shirt dress.
Shopping over, we retired to the balcony of our friends apartment, to drink wine and eat gallons of hummus. Something of a theme for our trip.