Nine Reasons Why Bernal Hill Is More Fun Than The Empire State Building

High Above the City

vs.

Citytexture

I was in New York last week for business.

I stayed at a hotel in midtown, so I decided to do something I’d never done before (despite having been born in Manhattan and raised in New Jersey): I went to visit the Empire State Building.

It was nice. But when you’re used to spending a lot of time at atop Bernal Hill, a trip to the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building can seem a little… well… meh.

It’s no secret that Bernal Hill and the Empire State Building have a lot in common: Both soar high above the urban fabric below. Both are topped with stylish radio antenna arrays. And both are glamorous icons that symbolize their respective cities.

Yet in the end, even though the Empire State Building is taller, I have to say I prefer Bernal Hill. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You don’t have to stand in any lines to ascend Bernal Hill.
  2. No $20 tickets are required to go to the top of Bernal Hill.
  3. There is no airport-style security screening at Bernal Hill.
  4. Kite-flying is discouraged at the Empire State Building.
  5. California sunlight is typically brighter, sharper, and less hazy.
  6. No dogs are allowed in the Empire State Building (on- or off-leash).
  7. Bernal Hill does not attract giant, marauding gorillas.
  8. You don’t have to pass through a gift shop to depart Bernal Hill.
  9. You cannot descend from the Empire State Building in a soapbox derby car

I suspect there are a few more good reasons, so you can add them in the comments.

Photos: Telstar Logistics

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4 thoughts on “Nine Reasons Why Bernal Hill Is More Fun Than The Empire State Building

  1. Dude, what if Bernal Hill did attract giant marauding gorillas? This I would like to see. Maybe Johnny0 could put together an animated GIF, or maybe Doc Pop could do a comic.

  2. I live on the hill, and thought I’d add to your list. Enjoy!

    1. You don’t have to stand in any lines to ascend Bernal Hill, unless you are trapped behind the bottle collectors on a Monday evening.
    2. No $20 tickets are required to go to the top of Bernal Hill, but doggie treats are welcome for the many canine residents on the hill.
    3. There is no airport-style security screening at Bernal Hill, but friendly neighbors will stop and say hello.
    4. Kite-flying is discouraged at the Empire State Building, and only on Manchester Street can you see reindeer taking off of a roof.
    5. California sunlight is typically brighter, sharper, and less hazy, unless you did what my boyfriend and I did, and climbed Bernal on the one foggy day of the year! It’s an amazing feeling to be sitting in a cloud.
    7. No dogs are allowed in the Empire State Building (on- or off-leash). In Bernal, everyone knows the neighborhood dogs by name.
    8. Bernal Hill does not attract giant, marauding gorillas, but it does attract a European contingent on Manchester Street.
    9. You don’t have to pass through a gift shop to depart Bernal Hill, but we recommend stopping by the corner store on Folsom and Bessie
    10. You cannot descend from the Empire State Building in a soapbox derby car, which I can’t wait for!

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