The View From The Roof

The other day, Travel and Leisure offered an architectural expert’s take on the newly opened One World Trade Center observatory:

Screen capture of the Travel And Leisure web site.
Screen capture of the Travel And Leisure web site.

Seeing that article, I couldn’t help but recall one thing that made the old WTC observatory view extra special: the view of the massive twin tower next door. I slotted that experience and memory into Passports:

….As their elevator sped upward, their stomachs dropped. In moments, they were at the 107th floor Observation Deck. The North Tower stood majestically next door, and this was one of those days the rest of the view went for some fifty miles….

And, unlike on the new building, you could also venture upstairs from the indoor observatory and wander around outside:

….From nearby, Brian hailed them. “Going up to the roof? We are.”….

….Alongside others, they started up the escalators. When they finally emerged outside, strangely there was no wind. Helicopters were even flying below them….

And it was utterly breath-taking. I’ll never forget it. I dug up and thought I’d share this:

View from the former World Trade Center's South Tower, 1991. [Photo by me.]
View from the former World Trade Center’s South Tower, 1991. [Photo by me.]

That’s from a 35mm print I’d taken in 1991. It’s grainy, I know. It is from the roof looking generally towards Midtown and the Empire State Building.

The experience was awesome in the truest sense of the word. In fact, it was perhaps too amazing. Indeed someone might afterwards have come to suspect – and maybe not unreasonably – that in having chosen that shared destination you had actually possessed, umm, wow ’em, ulterior motives:

James contemplated Béatrice as she followed Natalie into the lounge. Next he rejoined Stéphane and Isabelle in the kitchen. As the three grouped near the stove, Isabelle needled James coyly, “I suppose that you would have asked Béatrice to come with you to the top of the World Trade Center if she had been in your history class?”

Hope you’re having a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.