Through the awesomeness that is Postabon, Mike recently won a tour for two of Manhattan. Not by taxi, double-decker bus or by mule, but by chopper! I can't even tell you how excited I was when I found out because this isn't something normal people do. I mean for one, it's expensive, and two, well, who was the last person you knew who went on a helicopter?
We arrived at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport on a cloudy but warm Sunday abuzz with anticipation. I had been on a helicopter once before on a family trip to Hawaii. There were at least eight passengers, but I ended up being one of two people who did not up-chuck lunch after some gnarly turbulence (and that was only because there were no more little baggies left for us). So I was careful not to eat a big lunch before this adventure, but truthfully I wasn't really worried about that this time.
The staff led us out onto the tarmac (is it still called a tarmac?) and boy was that baby loud and windy! They were taking touristy pictures of our co-passengers, a family from Mexico, while we tried as best as we could to get our own without paying the $20+ they charged for a take home souvenir.
Once we were in the helicopter, the noise only gets louder, so they give you fancy dancy headphones equipped with microphones so you can talk to everyone and the pilot can give his tour. I'd have to say that the coolest part about the ride itself was the take-off. All of the sudden you are just up in the air and you don't even realize - no extra noise or thrust - and you can just sit back and enjoy the view as you get higher.
We swung around Lower Manhattan toward the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I decided then that I need to go revisit Ms. Liberty since she's now open on the inside again. Now I just need some out of town visitors to drag with me...
Mike with his fancy dancy headphones and Ms. Liberty
Next we came back to downtown and I caught a glimpse of my office (how cool!). It's in the Trinity Building (the two-towered turn-of-the-century building toward the center of the photograph) on the 13th floor. Nobody was there (duh, it was a Sunday), but I waved anyway.
Our chopper continued north and I couldn't believe the amazing perspective I was gaining on my city. It's one thing to see pictures that other people have taken, but to actually know that we were hovering at just above the height of some of the buildings below us was pretty awesome. I kept trying to point out landmarks and friends' apartments.
Times Square is in there somewhere.
Me with my fancy dancy headphones.
Central Park! This is the view I see every
morning on the ABC7 weather report :)
The Jackie O. reservoir in Central Park with my favorite
two-towered UWS building in the foreground (also my
apartment is somewhere in the background).
We passed over Columbia, one of the most gorgeous urban campuses in my opinion, and looped around Yankee Stadium. It was interesting to see the empty lot that was the old stadium. I think they are turning it into parking.
Yankee Stadium and the Bronx
Coming back south, I was able to get a few better photos of some West Side landmarks.
The Intrepid (check out the submarine on the left!)
Overall, this was an awesome experience I won't soon forget. I am so in love with this city and I am ever grateful to Postabon for allowing us to do something most people never get to do.
Me and Mike