Our next activity,
on our second day,
was a Wall Street walking tour.
Walking tours were our favourite thing to do.
You meet up with a knowledgeable guide and wander the streets learning about the area.
It was brilliant.
And the Wall Street walk was one of my favourites.
Did you know that Wall Street was so named
because it was the location of a defensive wooden wall
during the time of the dutch occupation in the 17th century?
In 2009 commemorative wooden markers were placed in the cobblestone roadway
roughly marking where they believe the wall may have stood.
(Can you see them stretching down the road?)
Of course, the place you come to see when you visit Wall Street
is the New York Stock Exchange.
The original New York stockbrokers met under a butterwood tree on Wall Street.
and didn’t move into this swish building until 1903.
A stone’s throw from the exchange is Federal Hall.
This is the site of the first capitol building after the constitution.
(It was a City Hall before that, and isn’t the original building,
but it’s still pretty cool to visit such a location.)
George Washington was inaugurated as president at this location,
which is why his statue stands out the front of the building.
but at the same time lovely,
to see the historic buildings nestled alongside the skyscrapers.
Further down Wall Street at the JP Morgan building,
we saw evidence of the 1920 bomb blast
which killed 33 people and seriously injured hundreds more.
They never repaired the damage
and have declared that they never will repair the damage.
It’s believed that the terrorists were attacking the symbol of capitalism.
Further along in our Wall Street walk,
we saw the Delmonico Restaurant,
a famous fine dining restaurant.
We also walked along Stone Street,
which was the first paved street in New York.
Nowadays the street is closed to traffic so diners can dine in the streets
and soak up the historic architecture.
Clearly, no one in their right mind dines outdoors in winter.
We walked down to Bowling Green,
New York’s oldest public park,
which was once the site of a, you guessed it, bowling green.
The Bowling Green is alongside the location of the bronze Wall Street Bull.
Do you know about bull and bear markets?
Well a bull market is a good thing.
It means the market is charging forward and prices are rising.
At this point on our walk, we were at the lower end of Broadway.
This is where the ticker tape parades are held.
To commemorate past parades,
there are markers in the sidewalk
listing each parade.
Did you know that the first ticker tape parade was impromptu?
A parade for the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty was passing by
and employees threw torn up ticker tape out of their windows like confetti
and so the ticker tape parade was born.
We also paused briefly at Trinity Church.
There have been three Trinity Church buildings on this site,
the first being built in 1698
with the assistance of the pirate Captain William Kidd!!
(I’ll have to read more about that because pirates mixed with church business sounds like a fascinating story.)
Within the graveyard of Trinity Church, Robert Fulton and Alexander Hamilton are buried.
You probably know who Robert Fulton is
…the guy who created the first commercially successful steamboat.
But Alexander Hamilton will probably be new to Aussie readers.
He was the first Secretary of the Treasury
and died during a duel with a later Vice President!
I’m sorry but US history is much more exciting than Aussie history.
Our parliamentarians just didn’t go around dueling with each other.
That would make for exciting history in my books!
The walking tour ended at the “Ten House” firehouse,
(which was severely damaged when the Twin Towers collapsed).
On the side of the firehouse is the FDNY 9/11 Memorial Wall,
which is dedicated to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th.
“Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on. May we never forget.”
The firehouse and the memorial wall
are located directly across the road from the World Trade Centre site
and the Twin Tower Memorial Pools.
And that concluded our Wall Street Walk.
You learn so much on these walks
and they are much better than bus tours.
On a walk, there is time to pause,
take photos (most important)
and ask questions.
I’m definitely a convert to walking tours.