Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beautiful East River Park on the Lower East Side

Manhattan is full surprisingly peaceful spaces, which are becoming increasingly important as the city gets more crowded. One such hidden gem is East River Park, a thin strip which lies in between the FDR drive and the water on the southeast tip of the island of Manhattan. The 45-acre East River Park houses a dog run, a boardwalk, built-in lounge chairs, an amphitheater, waterside seating and lovely views of the East River and ship-filled harbor areas.

The park was the brainchild of Robert Moses, who designed the FDR Drive (along with many other projects in NY state). Moses knew that the road would pass through the Lower East Side, a neighborhood in dire need of recreational space. The existence of East River Park was due to Moses' championing of the concept of parkland through "energetic legal wrangling," as the Parks Department website puts it. You can read more about the history of East River Park here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wall Street Walks: Inside Federal Hall

Inside the Federal Hall National Memorial, Wall Street Walks tour guide Annaline shows her tour group a model of the old Federal Hall, which was demolished in 1812. The old structure, which served as the first capitol building of the United States, was the site of George Washington's inauguration. Built in 1842 as the new York Customs House, the new building is now a landmark, a National Memorial and a museum. With no entry fee and exhibits that include the Bible upon which George Washington swore his oath of office, Federal Hall is a must-see when traveling to New York City.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Race Around Wall Street Scavenger Hunt July 30th

On Saturday July 30th, the Museum of American Finance will be putting on a scavenger hunt in and around the Wall Street area. Click here to find out all the details.
Here's the description from their website:

Embark on a whirlwind scavenger hunt around Lower Manhattan in the Race Around Wall Street. Teams will have to use their knowledge of New York City and its financial history to solve clues and win prizes. First place wins a cash prize, and second place wins a Museum prize package. Bring your thinking caps and running shoes, and join us for a thrilling race through the history of finance.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tour de... Wall Street? Commuting by Bike to the Financial District

Bike parking for employees in the Deutsche Bank building.
 As the Cugnaux to Luz-Ardiden stage of the Tour de France wraps up and all eyes are on the yellow jersey of Thomas Voeckler for tomorrow's Pau to Lourdes stage, it is easy to forget that there are any other cyclists anywhere else. There is, however, a thriving bike culture right here in downtown Manhattan. Above is the employee bike parking in the Deutsche Bank building, chock full of commuter bikes. 

There are, it seems, a multitude of cyclists working in the Financial District, with all manner of bicycles locked to poles, racks and buildings all around Wall Street.

New York City, and downtown in particular, is far more bike-friendly than it is car-friendly. Bikes offer far more route choices than cars, and with several bridges, highways and bike paths radiating away from downtown, one can get home quickly on a bike with no worries about subway or bridge traffic.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fraunces Tavern, an Historical Landmark and a Stop on the Wall Street Walks Tour

Fraunces Tavern, located at 54 Pearl Street in New York City, was built in 1719 as a residence for a merchant named Stephan Delancey. In 1762, it was converted in a tavern which proved to be very popular as well as historically significant. The history of Fraunces Tavern is interwined with George Washington, the Revolutionary War and the budding U.S. Government that arose just after the war.
After nearly 250 years of serving travelers in New York City, you can still sit down and enjoy a meal at Fraunces Tavern. If you'd like to learn more about this American treasure, book a ticket on a Wall Street Walks guided walking tour of the Financial District of New York.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wall Street Walks Tour Stop at the New York Stock Exchange

This video shows Wall Street Walks tour guide Annaline Dinkelmann speaking to her walking tour group outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City. On a typical summer day, Wall Street is packed with tourists, bankers, NYSE employees and security. At the end of the video you can see Federal Hall, which is the building with the tall steps leading up to it. This building is on the site of what once was the U.S. Capitol building, as well as the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. The Wall Street area is steeped in American history, and tour guide Annaline is an expert in the ins and outs of the Financial District of NYC.

To find out more, please visit the Wall Street Walks website and book a ticket for a guided tour. You can also find Wall Street Walks on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wall Street Walks Stops at Ground Zero and One World Trade Center

The Freedom Tower on the left rises majestically above the skyline.
One of the west side stops on all Wall Street Walks guided walking tours of downtown Manhattan is Ground Zero. The vantage point shown in these photos is just about the best view of the construction that is happening at Ground Zero: across the avenue, on the patio just above the Cortlandt Street R train stop. The huge building that is being constructed to replace the Twin Towers is commonly referred to as the Freedom Tower, but is currently called One World Trade Center, or "1 WTC."

Wall Street Walks tour stop at Ground Zero.
The Freedom Tower will rise 1776 feet above the ground when finished. Construction is currently about one third complete, with a projected completion date of 2014. Above you can see Annaline, the tour guide in the light blue shirt, talking to her tour group about the history and the future of the World Trade Center site.

Construction of One World Trade Center as of June 2011.
If you'd like to enhance your own visit to New York City with the help and expertise of a local, book tickets for a Wall Street Walks guided walking tour by clicking here. With a focus on the history of downtown NYC and the Financial District, Wall Street Walks tours offer insight into what makes New York City tick.