The Peak - My Family Travels

Here I was. New York City. The big apple. While my relatives felt disdain at the big city, the litter, the people, the crowds, the huge buildings and lack of nature, I, on the other hand, felt right at home. It was like going to my dream city- huge, crowded, and not a steep dirt hill in sight.

Naturally, being in New York City, it was destined that my relatives take me to the Empire State Building. It is now that I might add that I am afraid of heights. Airplanes, cliffs, tall buildings…I can’t do them easily. I thought, at the time, that I might be able to handle the height of the tallest building in the world.

We entered the shiny, historical building and went up to the second floor. From there, we made our way through a gift shop to a long line to get into the first set of elevators. I mentioned my fear of heights previously, but I failed to include elevators in that list. The Empire State Building has elevators that feel like they are about to snap at any second and plummet, thus causing my death. My heart crawled its way into my stomach, and all I could hear in my ears was that blasted beating of my heart.

We made it to the 70th or 80th floor, where we went into yet another claustrophobic elevator. Then finally, were were on the observing floor- floor 100 or 103. It was crowded, and children flocked with their parents to crane their necks out to see the city from the height. There are concrete walls surrounding the observatory, but there are squares to look through.

I took one look through one of the squares…And that was all I could handle. I made it long enough to snap some shots of the beautiful city from my dreams before the worse happened.

I’ve never experienced a panic attack before, and I never want to have one again. My heart never stopped going as fast as it did, and I never left the mirror-like windows on the side of the building. Beneath my feet I felt the building crumbling, like Jenga blocks. I kept waiting to fall.

After that it’s just bits and pieces of my relatives wanting to go higher, and me refusing the idea. Finally, we go back down to the security of the second floor, and watch a movie. From my fearful standpoint, although the view from the Empire State Building is breathtaking it’s not necessarily worth the eighty dollars my family paid to get to the top, nor is it really worth that sort of panic if you are afraid of heights.

Yet as I say that, I reflect on that fear and think about the experience. People ride rollar coasters for a thrill. The Empire State Building is that peak on the biggest hill-top where you stop and wait to plummet back down on an extreme coaster.

Only you never do. You stay on the peak forever, waiting for the plummet. If you are a thrill seeker or just searching for a view and have eighty dollars to spare- The Empire State Building is one of many perfect thrills.

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