Manhattan used to have three high places you could visit - World Trade Center (gone since 11 Sept 2001), Empire State Building (the classic), and then Rockefeller Center, built in the 1930s. Of these, I have visited World Trade Center and Empire State Building with visiting friends and family years ago, but I never went up in Rockefeller Center until two days ago. What a treat! This is where you should be :)
For the record, I am afraid of heights, but Rockefeller Center was no problem. It didn't move in the wind like World Trade Center did, and it didn't feel claustrophobic and tight like Empire State Building. We had a calm, clear September day and could see far, far away into New Jersey, New York State ('the Empire State'), Long Island, and Connecticut. Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center tower are still higher, but the views from this sky scraper is better, I think. Green Central Park is to the north, Hudson River and the rocky ledge of the Palisades to the west, then southern Manhattan and Statue of Liberty to the south, and Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island to the east. Fantastic views!
The architecture and design of the building is also classic and wonderful with black floors and shiny brass designs. Like late Art Deco (PP can fill us in on this, I am sure). The uppermost floor at level 70 is the roof (called Top of the Rock, of course), and you step out from the elevator straight onto the roof, straight into the sky, but on a big platform... without tall glass round. Still it felt safe! The lack of giant hoards of tourists made it nice and pleasant too, plenty of space to look around and see and experience. Below us, on the other 69 floors are offices, the famous Rainbow Room restaurant (to be reopened next year), and NBC's TV studios.
So, how did it really look like? Like this! (more photos here)