Back at the building's base is a private "celebrity walk," a special waiting area with photos of all the famous folks who have visited the Empire State Building. Some call ahead and others are pulled out of line.
But not all made it up to the 103rd floor, including Hillary Duff, Mariah Carey, Tom Cruise, Susan Boyle and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. When asked if they didn't make the trip for a fear of heights, the building's staff said some people have very busy schedules and just have time for a quick ride to the 86th floor.
The photos of those who did make it were glamorous, as always. But upon further inspection, I could have sworn I saw a glimmer of fear in all of their eyes.
With that knowing bit of satisfaction, I headed out to the street, my knees still trembling.