Bigger and taller is clearly better; otherwise women wouldn’t be attracted to taller men and we wouldn’t keep building skyscrapers. However, what’s so great about just another tall building with an observation deck? Even if it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere, there better be another ‘attraction’ to keep us interested.
This is where the Sky Slide comes in; a 20ft long structure attached to the side of the building 1000ft off the ground that allows you to take in a pretty great view of Los Angeles as you glide through it… Assuming of course you can manage to consume that much of a view in the 4 glorious seconds ‘the ride’ takes. Either way, it must be pretty exhilarating.
Needless to say a couple of my friends and I were pretty excited about it. We had our tickets booked for the grand opening on June 25th since April, and generally not fond of waiting in lines we opted for the VIP tickets allowing us to skip the waiting process, and ‘doing the slide whenever’ instead of being restricted to a specific time frame. Not to mention there was also apparently a ‘Block Party’ that evening featuring Snoop Dog or Snoop Lion or Snoopadelic or whatever he goes by nowadays.
So it’s finally Saturday Night and arriving almost an hour before sunset, we think we’re off to a pretty good start. We’re thinking we’re gonna swoosh on up there, take a few pictures, do the slide real quick and go back downstairs to get our party on. Boy, were we wrong…
- THE TICKETS.
It didn’t feel like we had the VIP tickets unless VIP stands for ‘Very Invisible Pedestrians’. Everybody and their mother had VIP tickets. It was like taking a shortcut to avoid traffic only to find out that every single person in your vicinity is just as ‘smart’ and is doing the very same thing, ultimately causing more traffic than you’d ever imagined. There should have been a cut-off time for how many VIP tickets are available for purchase. My friend’s boyfriend decided to tag along very last minute and was able to buy a VIP ticket online in seconds. What were these people thinking?
- THE LINE(S).
There wasn’t just one line. There was the initial line with the metal detectors that took you towards a much more massive line that goes around the bend towards the elevators. If you think you’re done after that, you’re sadly mistaken because that’s only floor 54 and you need to stand in another long ass line to get to the next elevator which then finally takes you to where you need to be. The inside of the elevator has no buttons; it just goes up and down. The only way to navigate it is from the outside via someone that works there scanning their card, sending you flying to whatever floor desired. Well, none of that would be an issue if all of us weren’t growing increasingly annoyed with disorganization of the entire event and the staff not knowing what’s going on or what they’re doing. So they finally shoved us into the elevator like a bunch of sardines, and up we went. Only instead of the 70th floor we ended up on the 72nd which is where all the offices are located. And what do you know? Two people that evidently work there, rush out of the elevator telling the rust of us “sorry” and that we have to ride back down to 54th in order to go back up to 70th; and also that there’s no stairs. Why not just scan your card, a**holes? I guess that would have gotten in the way of their ‘escape’ routine. They ran away so fast, it’s almost as if they thought that if they stayed in our surroundings for a second longer, they would get physically hurt. Whatever; we finally got to where we need to be. The sunset is practically gone of course, but we manage to get a couple of shots in and check out the busy city from up above – that part wasn’t terrible. As we head out from the observation deck and back into the building to find the slide, we realize to our horror that the line for the slide wraps around almost the entire tower. So like a bunch of assholes we get in line… And wait… After all, we didn’t pay all this money to not go on the slide, right? Ugh…
- THE PEOPLE.
First of all, there were way too many kids there that night. This isn’t six flags, people; this is an opening event on a Saturday NIGHT; leave the kiddies at home. Also, having your kids with you doesn’t give you permission to cut in line. This chick almost got into a fight with a dude on a scooter who tried to cut in line as he creeped his way past us, with a little girl in the front. Sorry dude, it doesn’t work that way. After that trick didn’t fly and he was turned away by the security, he started going on about how he’s a veteran and how we should all enjoy our ‘freedom’ as we’re standing in line…
- THE BAR.
There isn’t one! I wouldn’t mind standing in line to see Los Angeles from a glass tube as I shit my pants sliding down the damn thing as much, if there was at least a Manhattan in my hand while I wait. But noooo… That’s too much to ask for apparently. So after making a few rounds, hoping we’re not mistaken and this isn’t in fact the most horrible setup of a ‘Grand Opening’ event ever, we find ourselves mistaken, in front of a semi-empty concession stand. It looks like it could one day be a bar… But on this ‘Grand’ day it wasn’t. Instead, there was a gentleman standing behind it, guarding the fridges with water and cranberry juice bottles. After waiting in line for another 40 minutes or so, we realized that we’ve only shifted about a few feet. With the Manhattan dream long given up and the view of Los Angeles far ahead of us, we decided that it would be wise to at least stay hydrated. Off to the concession stand we go. And what do you know? They’re not open! They’re just there for show… What the flying sh*t f**king hairy monkey balls is this and where’s the hidden camera?! Walking away, more pissed off than before which I didn’t think was possible, we continue to wait in line…
- THE FIREWORKS.
It’s safe to say that the view is much better blocks away from the building rather than from inside of it. It should be the other way around, seeing as how the whole fireworks ordeal was a big part of the hype, but no. Seeing as how the observation decks were closed SO they could set up the fireworks on them, you could only see bits and pieces of the colorful sparkles from behind the window. That’s not even the worst part. The mere fact that they set them up right outside affected the ‘Sliding’, causing the line to stop moving completely for at least an hour. I get it, it’s “for everyone’s safety”; thank you for worrying about not accidentally blowing my arm off. It’s the least you can do after already ruining my evening. I do however feel that that type of information should be at the very least disposed on their website so at least people know what they’re in for.
- THE ESCAPE.
At some point around 10pm we’ve finally had it. Swearing off the slide, we decided to salvage the last hour at the party. Fortunately, I guess due to the disaster of it all, we got word of the fact that they’re giving out passes to come back to those who didn’t get the ‘full experience’ – good. Unfortunately, as we started making our way towards the elevators, we realized that we’re faced with yet another huge ass line. We can’t even escape this place in peace!
- THE PARTY.
The block party was rumored to be over at 11pm. We got there at about 10:20… Only to find out that they’re no longer letting anyone else in because they’re “at capacity”. Where was this logic when you were selling the tickets, huh?!
So we didn’t get to Slide over Los Angeles and we didn’t get to see Snoop play with his iPhone’s playlists. Needless to say though, after this horrible night of being caged in inside of a sober house full of maniacs with VIP lanyards, we more than made up for it the rest of the night.
Lesson learned though: if you live in LA, there’s no need to attend these things on an opening night; it’s much better to go when the hype dies down. It’s like going to a theme park on a Monday morning and having all the rides to yourself; only then can you truly enjoy all of the benefits.