NEW YORK - Want to look down on the rich and famous? Go eye to eagle-eye with a winged predator? See the sun rise over Queens? How better to do this than from a balloon 30 stories above Central Park?
The opportunity arises, so to speak, on Friday when a private company begins offering rides over the 843-acre park for $25 per adult and $17.50 for kids.
Other than the wicker basket accommodating a pilot and four passengers, there's not much to suggest the Jules Verne classic, "Around the World in 80 Days." No roaring flame providing hot air; instead the balloon is filled with helium, an inert, nonflammable gas. And no soaring for miles; the 45-foot-diameter envelope is tethered to the ground and raised and lowered by a winch for a 10-minute hover above the park.
"Get a spectacular daytime view of Central Park and bustling streets, or wait until sundown and float above dazzling city lights," ...