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BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC | The crowds were out in full force Friday afternoon for One World Observatory’s opening day.
The sun beat down on those waiting in line for their timed entrance into the Observatory at 1 World Trade Center — and many made hats out of paper and used umbrellas as shields.
The line snaked from the front of the Observatory’s entrance on West St. to around the corner to Vesey St. Entrance times were periodically yelled out. An employee who had been there since 8:30 a.m. said the crowd had built as the day progressed.
The wait may have been long, but all who spoke with Downtown Express said it was worth it for the incredible views. Admission is $32.
“I thought it was amazing,” said Jennifer Williams, from Atlanta, Georgia. Williams had been to the Twin Towers years ago and said the new Observatory’s view definitely compares.
“It was nice — you could see all the way to New Jersey,” said Nadiyah Abdur-Rashid, 19, who lives on the Upper West Side. Abdur-Rashid liked that one is able to see the entire city and said visiting is something everyone should do.
Edward Matthews said that while it chaotic inside, the view was breathtaking. He especially liked that once the “Sea Forever” theater film was finished, the wall lifted up in sections to reveal the city’s vista.
“I thought it was great — it was magical,” said Matthews, who is from Manchester, England.
Alex Bain, 20, is a junior at Fordham who was visiting the Observatory with his friend from Texas, Adrian Annicchiarico, 20, a University of Houston student. Both said that it took too long to get to the top, but once there, it was worth it for the awesome views.
Gerald Koval, a member of the Marines, just happened to be commissioned as a second lieutenant as the same day of the Observatory’s opening. Koval, 22 and a Queens native, had visited the Twin Towers as a child, but didn’t go the top.
Visiting the Observatory reminded him why he joined the Marines, he said. He especially enjoyed the elevator ride with its historical timeline of the city.
“It was a great experience … almost dizzying — the lift is very fast,” said Oliver Jackson-Rose, who was visiting with his wife Anita and their two kids Lucas and Lee from London. “The view here is way more open, whereas the Empire State building feels more trapped.”
Javier Medrano liked the interactive aspect of the visit — the telling of how 1 W.T.C. was built.
“I’m from New York City so I had to go do this,” he said.
Joyce Greenberg, from New Jersey, noted how emotional the experience was.
Sam West of Arkansas said, “It was fantastic. I’ve been here a week and this was definitely the highlight of my trip.”
Monte Swanson and Katherine Crews, from Seattle, were waiting in one of the two lines that flanked the entrance to the Observatory. Swanson had been to the Twin Towers before and when they went to the 9/11 Museum, they learned that it was opening and got tickets.
“We’re here — we should do it,” said Crews, who noted that Downtown is vibrant again.
With reporting by MIA RUPANI