What are you looking for?
9 Dec 2019

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

On our last trip to New York, we only briefly dipped into the financial district to go to the 9/11 museum and up the Freedom Tower but ran out of time to have a proper wander around. This time though, we made a point of going there for an afternoon and it actually ended up being one of my favourite afternoons of the trip. 

After lunch in Little Italy, devouring pizza slices from Prince Street Pizza, we hopped on the subway and travelled right to the bottom of Manhattan. When we emerged above ground, we turned a corner and were greeted by a full view of the Freedom Tower framed against the blue sky. The sun was reflecting off the glass so there was this baking heat when stood underneath it which then transformed to a cool haze when we moved into the vicinity of the memorial pools. 

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

The very first time I came to New York, back in 2008, this area was still ‘Ground Zero’; a devastating hole of debris that was hard to take in. When we went in 2017, the memorial pools and the Freedom Tower had appeared and I was amazed by the transformation. And then this time around, I somehow felt even more amazed. Perhaps it was the fact that the sun was shining, which without a doubt, brings out the pools in their best light. More building work had been completed, there was new street art and everything felt that bit more polished, whilst still maintaining the place-to-reflect feel. 

I know it’s probably an odd thing to say, but it’s one of my favourite parts of Manhattan. It’s there for all the wrong reasons, but I think it’s lovely that there’s a place to go reflect away from the madness of the city. The pools take your breath away (they really are particularly stunning in the sunshine). It does get a tad touristy but the majority of people respect the area and the reasons why the pools are there. 

Exploring New York's Financial District

We spent a little while by the pools and then took a wander down to the Wall Street Bull which, it’s safe to say, did not have the reflection vibe going on. I guess it was more reflective of the bull itself. It was mental. Tourists were pushing and shoving to touch the bull (both in general and his balls – which is apparently good luck), people were climbing around it and everyone and her aunt were trying to get a picture with it. We were completely bemused and didn’t linger too long, but were glad to tick it off our sites-to-see list. It’s a lot bigger than I was expecting and certainly makes a statement. 

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

We then took a walk along Wall Street just because and saw Federal Hall – the first capitol of the USA and also where George Washington took his first oath as president. We’d been wondering where the Fearless Girl was (she used to be in front of the bull but was moved amongst controversy) but we found her in front of the stock exchange which we quite liked. I enjoyed seeing all the incredibly famous place and you really felt the wealth and power, and significance. But quite frankly, you also felt the testosterone and I loved that fearless girl standing her ground underneath the imposing stock exchange – and everything that represented. 

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Exploring New York's Financial District

Once we’d had our fix of financial symbols, we sought out The Dead Rabbit; a pub that seemed to have a lot of recommendations online. It was voted the best bar in the world in 2015 & 2016 so we thought it worth checking out for a cheeky one, seeing as we were in the area. It’s an unassuming-looking pub that looks somewhat out of place in the Financial District. You could easily walk by and not notice it (although that wasn’t possible for us as a very tipsy couple stumbled out as we approached and loudly told us what a great place it was) and yet, inside you’re transported into a completely different world. There’s sawdust on the floor, hundreds of old pictures hanging from the rafters and the best-stocked bar you’ve ever seen. We pulled up stools, propped ourselves up against the oak bar and then sort of just forgot to leave. Their cocktails are all original and the woman behind the bar was happy to make recommendations, after establishing what kind of flavours I liked. Gary tried a few different beers and we soaked it all up with truffle parmesan fries. The vibe of the place was just spot on, a little bit unique.  And actually - one of the best bars I’ve ever been, so worthy of the titles. We stayed for the rest of the afternoon before stumbling back towards midtown in search of food.

Exploring New York's Financial District

Add your comment

@abellyfullofwords