In this post, I was in New York, travelling for the Genesis x Vogue World collaboration and presentation. A three day affair bringing groups of various voices together to learn more about the mid range luxury brand and their part in fashion.
With some down time in between planned activities, I found myself sightseeing for the day and had walked my way to the newer development property One Vanderbilt, as suggested by one of our Genesis chauffeurs. Out of all the vantage points in New York, this was his favourite. And I prefer taking the suggestions of locals over searching the internet for recommendations, so here I was.
This was a skyscraper with an art experience and view point all rolled into one. Whenever I travel to a different city, I always try to take in such a view. And this is a good one as there is more to see and do, but you don’t get the whole 360 degree view all at once, like many other places may offer. But instead you get it in manageable bites as you freely roam around the event space.
This is called The Summit, “Built for New Yorkers by New Yorkers.” The paid journey starts with an inspirational video that gives you the back story of the property, and the building of it. You do this before having your photo taken and asked to cover your shoes with booties.
As a small group we were gathered in an all mirrored elevator and were warned of the flashing lights to follow, accompanied by a fast shoot up to the 92st floor.
This is a one way experience. Floor by floor you move up, but once you do, you cannot go back down.
The first part is about being in the air and has white noise playing overhead, to further this experience. They called this “Transcendence 1 air”. A hall of reflective mirrors above and below you, with more to your left and the window view of the city to your right.
Here, like everywhere else, there are plenty of other folks taking photos, so don’t come in thinking you can get one just of yourself easily. You will have to make do, as I did, alone with my selfie photos.
Many, including myself got creative with our poses, even laying down to get our desired shot.
Next was an exhibit on reflection, with what resembles mirrored pools of metal. Roped off, you are unable to get too close or to touch it. This is once again set to the backdrop of New York City.
Here, there was also a small scale replica of the building we were in, and a written back story to accent your visit.
Moving up on the escalator, the second floor was named “Affinity Air”. You walk into a room with mirrored floors and get ready to play. Here, there is a fan blowing various sizes of air filled metallic balloons about.
They kids loved this one. You can kick, toss, and bat each ball. And photos come out looking like you are in a shiny bubble bath.
“Transcendence 2 air” was similar to 1, but one level up, looking down at where you once where, below.
And it dawns on you that you were able to see another floor above you, and didn’t realize everything you were doing when you first walked in, was visible from here. The experience is very trippy as you are unsure what are mirrors and what is glass.
“Levitation” is the keepsake photo op. Professional photos are take of you on a clear glass platform looking down to the ground. Although it isn’t as scary as it may sound. Myself, being afraid of heights, was not worried by this. After having your photo taken you are allowed to take your own for 30 seconds, before they move on to the next guest. This one does require waiting in line as they are only two photo op stations at a time.
“Unity Air” has you walking across and standing in front of a screen of digital clouds in a soft blueish-purple hue. Many folks pretended they were flying in front of this.
Once again you were given a different panoramic view of the city. Here, it was most notably the Brooklyn Street Bridge and the Chrysler Building.
And the last and top floor was their “Apres”. It housed their cafe with coffee, cold drinks, smaller savoury bites, and baked goods for purchase; and the seating to enjoy it on.
Either grab a simple two person table, or sprawl out on the long stretch of wooden bench, able to seat multiple guests at a time.
You can also grab some space on their Terrance, just outside. Here, you get to experience the view you have been appreciating, as you steadily wrap around the building. The same high vantage point outdoors with the air on your face and your skin exposed to the elements. Here, I was able to spot the Empire State Building.
On the Terrance you are invited to stay a while, with their own bar for drinks and/or a German themed booth in blue and white that serves giant pretzels and beer.
And naturally, your journey ends in a gift shop of One Vanderbilt branded apparel and knick knacks and keepsakes with a metallic shine to it.
Ironically, heading back down, the best photo op was back in the mirrored elevator, by myself, travelling down from 95 levels.
This is definitely a great exhibit for first timers to New York, such as myself. It gave me a different understanding and appreciation of the city. This allowed you to take in so much of the city at once, in so much detail, and in such a creative way. Places I’ve visited earlier in the day I now saw from a different vantage point. Everything looked so small and insignificant this high up, and I myself a little speck in the great city that is New York.
1 Vanderbilt, New York, NY 10017