New York Sights to See
New Yorkers are famous for many things, not least of which is a sense
of irony. One more instance of that can be found in the fact that Wall
Street, by which most people really mean the New York Stock Exchange,
isn't located on the street called Wall at all. It's actually at Number 20
But, it's a minor quibble that most Manhattanites would rightly dismiss
with a characteristic wave of the hand.
Though the stock exchange tour has been closed since 9/11, the building
is still a sight to behold and the streets of the surrounding area
could form a study in the history of architecture. George Washington
was inaugurated in Federal
Hall and important events have been occurring
here ever since.
Whether viewing the stately, turn-of-the-century NYSE building, or
the ultra-modern American
Express, the area carved out by the Dutch in 1653 is full
of amazing sights. The actual Wall Street did get its name from the
fact of its running alongside a wooden palisade erected then to protect
the town from wild Indians. Now, along the short, random-angled streets
is a cornucopia of people and buildings of all shapes and sizes.
And don't forget to take a photo near the now-famous bull sculpture,
placed in 1989. Near the Cunard
Building just down from Wall Street at 25 Broadway,
this bronze behemoth is larger than your average bear. Some contend it
has eclipsed its chief rival, a large red metal sculpture that no one
could identify, including its creator.
The area houses not only large financial institutions and other
corporate giants, but an array of pubs and restaurants to rival any of
its uptown competitors. Just be careful what you say about your company
there. You never know who'll be at the next table and the only thing
that moves faster than trades here is the rumor mill.
Not far away (south) are the departure points for the Staten Island Ferry,
or the tours of the Statue
of Liberty or Ellis Island.
But, if those don't suit your fancy travel east a few blocks to the South Street Seaport
along the East River
There you'll find a hundred shops, dozens of restaurants and several
outdoor venues including a maritime museum. Ships docked there hark
back to the days when wind in sails was the main power source. You'll
be surprised at how small the captain's cabin is!
Take a few minutes to just stand and look at the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge, the world's first wire-suspension type
and an artistic marvel. From time to time, you'll even see private
boats and yachts making their way up the river to docks connected to
private apartments further uptown.
You're in the right part of town if you want to experience 19th Century history combined with the most modern art and engineering
here in one of New York's most popular tourist areas. The newly developing World Trade Center site, where the Freedom Tower is under construction, deserves a few moments of quiet contemplation.
As anywhere else in New York,
when you're on Wall
Street, be prepared to bump elbows with the crowds in the
morning, at lunch and in the evening when the thousands of busy,
temporary inhabitants flood the streets.
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