The 102-story Empire State Building opened in 1931 and it was only two years later that King Kong fell to his cinematic death from the top. The annual run-up the 1,576 steps takes the winning competitors about ten minutes and attracts 600 runners from 18 countries.
New York – Fact Check

Elegant icons of a (not so) bygone era

Photo by Peter Adams

New York – Fact Check Elegant icons of a (not so) bygone era

There’s a reason that some of Manhattan’s iconic landmarks – the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, for instance – are Art Deco in style. No era seems to encapsulate New York’s frenzied, forward-thinking energy as fully as the freewheeling, pre-Depression 1920s.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

Even amid the maddening neon chaos of Times Square, New Yorkers are drawn back to bygone decades. Make your way through the seedy Liberty Diner – on over-lit, over-crowded 42nd – to find the Liberty Theater: a towering, disused Deco-style space recently taken over by vintage-inspired Speakeasy Dollhouse, who’ve mounted a recreation of Depression-era cabaret impresario Florenz Ziegfeld’s Midnight Follies.

Down the road, Urbo restaurant opens up its top floor weekly to a 1920s era jazz band – and the lindy-hopping, Charlestoning bright young things who come (often in period-appropriate dress) to dance till dawn for the price of a glass of champagne.

“You can go to a different vintage event every day of the week,” says a boy in a pink bow-tie and turquoise suspenders. “And you still wouldn’t be able to go to everything.”

The city’s Jazz Age subculture is only growing: last year’s summer Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island drew 20,000 guests over four days.

“New York hasn’t changed a bit,” jokes one girl on Urbo’s dance floor after attempting a swing-out, heels in the air. “We’re still the same city from The Great Gatsby. Just more expensive.”

Want those million-dollar views of Manhattan? This hotel, a New York icon, is quite the place to stay. See what Local Expert Jan has to say about it! 

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