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  • After a day of wandering around New York City all by myself, I decided to go to Top of the Rock to rest and enjoy the view. At first, I didn't think it would be necessary. Sure, the Empire State is an iconic building, but I've seen it a few times, although not from up there.

    It turned out to be an enjoyable visit not just because the 360 degrees view of NYC, but also the people-watching. I was just sitting at the highest deck when three teenage girls climbed up, looking all happy.

    "Oh my God! Oh my God! We're here!' and they sighed in awe at the sight of the tallest building in the city. They make me smile. I can imagine they have dreamed about this moment long before they got there. What was I thinking. Of course, it matters. It's the Empire State Building!

    A few times, people asked me to take a photo of them. Of course, with the Empire as the background. It was fun. Italian couple next to me took a photo by themselves. The man held the camera up high as the woman leaned on his shoulder to get into the frame. It was too high. I could tell that there is no way they can fit the Empire at the background. So I offered my help.

    "Oh, thank you, but we like this kind of angle. We always do it during our travels," he said, showing a couple of pictures from previous trips.

    When the sky started turning lavender, I joined the crowd to take a picture of the sunset. I've seen so many photos of sunset in NYC and pretty excited to take one by myself. But it was too crowded. I tried several times, but I still couldn't get the look that I wanted. After five minutes, British guy behind me asked if I would switch my spot with him, so I stepped out. I went down to lower deck and walked around, enjoying a small spot of blinking lights that is Times Square.

    Then I heard someone talk in Indonesian. I turned around. It was a photographer, trying to direct his clients; a couple dressed in black tuxedo and glamorous red gown. Ah, pre wedding photo, right here on top of NYC. They instantly become some kind of attraction. Other tourists took photos of them, like I did. Right at this corner, people care less about the sunset, and more about this Indonesian couple. One of them even came to the photographer to show him he got a better picture.

    "No, no, no, I know what I'm doing," he said, looking annoyed. He was in a rush. The sunset is fading out and he didn't want to lose the moment.

    I smiled. The tourist didn't know that the photographer is pretty famous back in my home town. He has travelled around the world to shoot pre wedding photos. But maybe the tourist is also a notable photographer back in his home town. We'll never know.

    As I watched people who are watching them, I asked myself, how many of them think it's romantic? How many think it's silly? How many people envy them? Do they envy the couple for getting married, or the photographer, who get paid to work and travel?
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