I've lived in NYC for about 8 years now and somehow in that time never once visited the Empire State Building. Something about staying in once place for a while causes you to miss out on some of the touristy things here and there. Of course if you've spent anytime in NYC then you'd understand completely why I would have avoided this awesome tourist trap. It's for the same reason that I avoid Times Square at all costs. Just too many people!
On this visit my mom was in town and we decided that we just needed to hit some of the touristy spots to check them of the list. We had already had some pretty good luck with weather and sunsets this same weekend, but once we got up on the Empire State Building we were treated to a real show. This photo is processed slightly to boost some of the color of the shadows, but otherwise is almost straight out of camera. I also was using a new all manual focus/aperture 105mm lens that I had picked up while in town. I had a bit of a learning curve getting used to setting focus and aperture manually on the lens, but once I learned to use the DOF markings on the lens as a starting point and learned how to use the focus confirm light in the viewfinder I was set.
I don't think I'll go back to the Empire State Building again. Not because it wasn't worth it just that there were far too many people in a small space. Everyone was pushing and shoving to get into position to take a photo which kinda killed the mood. I had a guy pushing on me as I spent my informally allotted 5 minutes at the edge taking photos. Instead of getting upset though I just leaned my full weight into him (he was a pretty big guy) and steadied my shot using him as a wall. He never said anything to me and I nothing to him, but I think we understood each other a little better after that. Or maybe not. We were both pretty stubborn and end the end got what we wanted. Well at least I did. :)