Why Downtown New York City is Worth a Visit

Downtown has seen so many wanted and unwanted changes over the past decade that every time I visit it is completely different.

For the most obvious changes and catastrophe, of course, 9/11 not only changed the soul of NYC, but also the skyline forever. In the place of the Twin Towers now stands the magnificent Freedom Tower (One World Trade Center).

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Downtown NYC Skyline

But as young as some parts are, Downtown New York City to me is still all about history and, of course, MONEY.

What To See and Do in Downtown New York City

Downtown starts at the very southern tip of the island going up towards Canal street or better known for China town district.

Here you will find parks, residentials and of course the financial capital of the world. Even though most financiers have moved to other places, the NYSE and NASDAQ among others will never leave this fabled place.

Battery Park – this is the main park with the best views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

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Memorial at Battery Park

Battery Park City – one of the largest residential developments in the area with shopping malls, buildings and even a gorgeous, expensive, Marina with yachts from all over the world.

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Marina at Battery Park City

Brooklyn Bridge  - the iconic historic landmark and one time longest suspension bridge in the US is something that is a sight to be seen, and even better taking a bike on.

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Brooklyn Bridge Bike Path

George Washington – bet you didn’t know that George Washington, when he first entered office, was inaugurated and served his first year in NY until a better capital was decided on.

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George Washington

The Bull – come on, rub your hand on the bull for some serious Bullish action for your stocks and investments to bring you profits.

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The Bull

The joke for us, was that it took almost 30 minutes just to capture a photo of me with the bull. Cause this was the circus around the bull:

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Absolute Craziness

Street Performers – summer is the best time to see amazing performances. To the point, that I can’t believe these breakdancer troops aren’t on national TV. They had their act down to each movement and word. It was flawless!

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Break Dancer

Wall Street – This place you gotta see

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Wall Street

Fun Facts About Wall Street

  • Wall Street is a narrow street located between the East River and Broadway in lower Manhattan.

  • After the Dutch purchased “New Amsterdam” from the Native American Indians, a wall was erected that formed the northern boundary of the new colony. The first “walls” along the street were basic plank fences, but as time passed and tensions grew, a stronger, taller wall was built in order to defend the colony against both the British and the American Indian tribes that still dominated the area. The British removed the wall around the turn of the 18th century. A new street was created at the site of the former wall, aptly named Wall Street.

  • It is known to be the first home of New York Stock Exchange.

  • Although many of the financiers have moved to other places in New York, Wall Street still remains synonymous with the United States financial hub.

  • 1685 surveyors laid out Wall Street along the lines of the original stockade.

  • In 1789, Wall Street was the scene of the United States’ first presidential inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on April 30, 1789.

  • 1867 – The first stock ticker was invented by Edward A. Calahan.

  • 1920 – On September 16, 1920, close to the corner of Wall and Broad Street, the busiest corner of the financial district and across the offices of the Morgan Bank, a powerful bomb exploded.

  • 1929 –  crash led to the Great Depression, which was felt all around the world.

  • In the early days, local merchants and traders would gather at disparate spots to buy and sell shares and bonds, and over time divided themselves into two classes—auctioneers and dealers.

  • Around the late 19th and 20th century, Wall Street started being referred to as the “House of Morgan” among common people with a reference to JP Morgan, the largest financier in the United States.

  • After September 11, the financial services industry went through a downturn with a sizable drop in year-end bonuses of $6.5 billion, according to one estimate from a state comptroller’s office.

Facts About New York Stock Exchange

  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), sometimes known as the “Big Board”, is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City

  • It is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$16.613 trillion as of May 2013.

  • The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of four rooms used for the facilitation of trading

  • The main building, located at 18 Broad Street, between the corners of Wall Street and Exchange Place, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978, as was the 11 Wall Street building.

  • The NYSE is operated by NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX), which was formed by the NYSE’s 2007 merger with the fully electronic stock exchange Euronext.

  • The origin of the NYSE can be traced to May 17, 1792, when the Buttonwood Agreement was signed by 24 stockbrokers outside of 68 Wall Street in New York under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street

  • On March 8, 1817, the organization drafted a constitution and renamed itself the “New York Stock & Exchange Board.”

  • The last central location of the Exchange was a room, rented in 1792 for $200 a month, located at 40 Wall Street. After that location was destroyed in the Great Fire of New York in 1835, the Exchange moved to a temporary headquarters.

  • In 1863, the New York Stock & Exchange Board changed to its current name, the New York Stock Exchange.

  • In 1865, the Exchange moved to 10–12 Broad Street.

  • The New York Stock Exchange was closed for ten days starting September 20, 1873, because of the Panic of 1873.

  • Demolition of the Exchange building at 10 Broad Street, and adjacent buildings, started on May 10, 1901.

  • The new building, located at 18 Broad Street, opened on April 22, 1903.

  • The exchange was closed shortly after the beginning of World War I (July 31, 1914), but it partially re-opened on November 28 of that year in order to help the war effort by trading bonds, and completely reopened for stock trading in mid-December.

  • On September 16, 1920, a bomb exploded on Wall Street outside the NYSE building, killing 33 people and injuring more than 400.

  • The Black Thursday crash of the Exchange on October 24, 1929, and the sell-off panic which started on Black Tuesday, October 29, are often blamed for precipitating the Great Depression.

  • On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 508 points, a 22.6% loss in a single day, the second-biggest one-day drop the exchange had experienced.

  • In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the NYSE was closed for 4 trading sessions, one of the longest times the NYSE was closed for more than one session; only the third time since March 1933.

There are a few historic firsts that the NYSE 

  • The first listed company of the exchange was the Bank of New York in 1792.
  • The first woman to have a seat was Muriel Siebert in 1967.
  • The first African-American joined shortly after when Joseph L. Searles III became a member in 1970.
  • Merrill Lynch became the first organized business to join in 1971.
  • The first company to incorporate while a member was Woodcock, Hess & Company in 1953.

 

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Article by Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!
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4 Responses to Why Downtown New York City is Worth a Visit

  1. Oh, thanks for the info. Great photos.
    Laura @Travelocafe recently posted..Fall in Love with Europe’s 5 Best Foliage DestinationsMy Profile

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  2. Great post! It is both action, packed thanks in part to those amazing break dancers, and fabulously educational! I will make a point of learning more about Muriel Siebert!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: African Children’s Choir Brings Hope to the Children of UgandaMy Profile

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  3. Jennifer says:

    I love NYC! Though evidence would show from your photos that downtown is packed, I think a lot of visitors to NYC still overlook much of the city below Times Square.
    Jennifer recently posted..10 Must See Gardens in EuropeMy Profile

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