Everyone knows about the spectacular views from the Empire State Building and before 9-11, the vistas from the top ofthe World Trade Center on a clear day were unrivaled. Less well know but equally rewarding is the Top of the Rock with its historic and remarkable 360 degree panorama. Before the cold winter days set in, I booked my reservation (I strongly recommend you take the 5 minutes to book on-line before you go-saves time and much hassle) sped upwards in the express elevator packed full. I must confess, I have always been a sucker for a good view and while I have no problem climbing, having rapid elevator service is nice. There are several really nice things about the Top of the Rock-for one, you can get outside and have views unobscured by windows. Central Park stretches out on the northern side (filled with autumnal colors when I visited) while southern exposures look down on Times Square. The architectural detail on the terraces is also noteworthy. The gift shop (most items a miss) does feature some haunting photographs of these architectural details combined with historic scenes. The sky was so clear during my recent visit that I could see far into Westchester, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island-truly remarkable. I have already vowed to return one night as I have no doubt the effect will be magical. Recently, I commended the place to a coleague who was looking for the perfect place to "pop the question".