If theres one thing I love about travelling to new places, doing new things, forced into new situations, its all the new lessons that you didnt know you were going to learn, but learn anyway. I wanted, I knew, to go up one of the tall buildings in New York. Not the Empire State because – lets face it – if theres one thing you want to see, its the Empire State Building. And whats the one building you definitely cant see from the Empire State Buliding? Yes. So, all over excited, we went up another one, the Top of The Rock observation deck. I was very excited. I knew this was a city that would be beautiful from above, I knew that from movies, from hearsay, from looking at the damn place, so I wanted to see it. And I would be fine; Ive always loved flying, Im fine with heights, all of that, and
And I hadnt taken into account that weird sense of dizziness I had suddenly encountered while looking up at the skyscrapers from below. And I didnt even imagine how that might affect me when Well, start from the beginning, eh?
The lift at the Rockerfeller Centre, the GE building, goes up 65 floors, or something like, in about 45 seconds. That, for the record, is both very high, and also very quick.
In order to impress upon us, their paying audience, that they were going up very high very quickly, the operators decided to make the ceiling of the lift glass, so you can see both how high, and how quickly.
IS this a good idea? Well, I dont know.
My reaction to looking out over New York City from almost a kilometre up in the air:
WOW! This is amazing! Look at all the buildings, and the park and where is the interior wall, can you let me to it, please, I need to touch it but Hey!
Hey look! Thats where we were yesterday, thats the East village, and down there is the Public Library and my GOD someones replaced my knees with custard, how odd, can you hold my hand please and oooh!
Look over there! Wow! And yes! It IS cool! But can you please stop saying the words high or up? Or down? For some reason, whenever you say them, I quite literally think Im going to vomit. Yeah, I know, its weird but you know what?
I should get a picture of the park. I will do, as soon as I stand up. Why am I sitting down? Did you notice me sitting down? No, Im FINE up here, silly. I love heights.
Turns out I might think Im fine with heights, but my knees disagree. Which seems a little contrary and frankly a bit rude, since theyre the customary property of me, being housed generally in the middle of my legs, but whatever, Ill learnem. Eventually.
How can I not? The thing it brings it Too Beautiful to be foiled by stupid knees or stupid nausea, or the stupid spinning and spinning and spinning of a silly, silly brain.
The worst moment came when we eventually got back in the lift down. Though I in all logical mind knew that any reasonable tourist company would think twice before making a glass-bottomed elevator in the same manner as their glass-topped one, something in me didnt put it past them; every business in New York has a gimmick that raises them one heel above the others and, thus it took me quite a while to be persuaded to get back in the lift: What IF they had made a glass bottomed lift, created so we could watch ourselves dropping through the floors, one floor per second till we hit Rock Bottom?
Getting in the lift, it turned out, was more of a scary prospect than being up in the air.
Which was annoying, as being up so very high, though very beautiful, wasnt proving, well, very pleasant, so going down was the natural thing to do. If I could only
We got in the lift. And, through 60-odd floors, I buried my head in My Beloveds chest and closed my eyes, and pushed myself hard into the corner and, when we got to the bottom, felt the air lift off me as, one after one, everyone got out of the lift to carry on with their lovely touristing day.
But not me. I was experiencing a weird thing. Only for a few seconds, but for the life of me, I couldnt make my legs move.
Everyone left the lift. My Beloved, every tourist in New York, and eventually, an elderly couple from Birmingham, the last-people-but-me walked out and, worried about leaving the shaking woman clinging on to the corner rails in an elevator in the basement of a very large building, turned and spoke to me.
Are you all right, love?
Oh Im FINE!!! I said Fine. Thanks. Im fine. Now
Half a dozen more seconds of leaden legs, and suddenly I managed to kick one into life. Painfully, me and all my limbs made our way into the cellar of the Rockerfeller Center.
So it was great. The whole experience. Amazing. I recommend it, thoroughly.
And heres me taking a picture while curled up on the floor next to a wall unable to get any closer to the plexiglass screen than full-back contact with the wall would let me.
Which is weird, because me? Im FINE with heights.
Dont listen to my knees.