Recently, the weather has been hindering my sense of adventure. A couple of days ago, I vowed that at the first hint the weather was getting better, I’d make my way down to the city, and get something off my bucket list; I would visit the Empire State Building observatory. After carefully examining several weather forecast websites, I had my opportunity. I knew that the building was one of the most famous globally. While I waited for the first signs of sunlight, I did a little bit of research. I decided to purchase my ticket to the 86th floor online, and then upgrade to get to the 102nd floor observatory once I got there in order to avoid the huge crowds that I knew were already lining up. As soon as the sun reappeared, I made my way to the city with great anticipation.
I saw my destination. Words will not be sufficient to describe how tall the building was. I was already in love with the city, and I knew that seeing it from a very new angle would make me love it even more.
The lobby of the building was bustling. Tourists could be distinguished from others by their cameras, and almost every single person around me had one. I commended myself for purchasing my ticket ahead of time. I only had to endure a couple of lines: the one leading to the elevator, and the one leading to the actual observatory. Yet again I was surrounded by the melodic tunes of languages, some of which I couldn’t even identify! As I made my way closer to the last kiosk, I froze at the first glimpse of the view ahead of me. The man at the kiosk literally had to wave his hand in front of my face to bring me back to reality, because what I was seeing was out of this world (excuse the cheesiness.)
The man was laughing hysterically at my intrigue, and I laughed along. Once he pulled himself together, he turned to me and asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Jordan, but that I had moved to the States recently and was still in my tourist phase. Before finally letting me enjoy the full magnificence of the view, he smiled very sincerely and said,
“I’ve lived here my entire life. The city still surprises me every day. No matter what you do, stay a tourist, forever.”
Those words continued to resonate within me as I soaked up the panoramic views of the city I would now be calling home. I now understood what the man at the Kiosk was saying. Looking at the city from this height, one immediately realizes that it would take more than a lifetime to experience all it had to offer. A jolt of adventure came over me, and on the 102nd floor of one of the most magnificent buildings in the world, I made the decision to stay in my tourist bubble, and head to the US capital, Washington DC this weekend into Monday, which marks Memorial Day.
I will be spending the next few days doing several things. First, I am going to figure out exactly what Memorial Day commemorates. Following that process, I will be planning out my schedule in DC, and tentatively choose the monuments and museums I plan on visiting. If you think there’s a monument, museum, or site that I should not miss in DC, please let me know! With weather permitting Inshallah, I will have amazing pictures and stories for you next week.
Enjoy your weekend