NYC: Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry & Wall Street

On the Sunday we went for a leisurely walk across the East River, from Brooklyn's DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) to Manhattan's Financial District, over the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and was opened in 1883.
You get a fantastic view of some of Manhattan's tallest buildings from the bridge - the offices and headquarters of many major financial institutions - and in prominent position is One World Trade Center, now the tallest building in the United States and the 4th tallest in the world (The Shard in London is only 74th).
As it was the weekend the Financial District was eerily quiet, with the only people around being tourists and hot dog vendors. This suited us down to the ground! Visiting on a day when it's filled with high-powered business types wouldn't have been very ideal.
We walked down Wall Street, past The Trump Building and Federal Hall, round the corner to the New York Stock Exchange and over Broadway to Ground Zero. Unfortunately we weren't able to see the memorial this time but we did see this amazing bronze FDNY memorial wall, commissioned by the Fire Department of New York for all the fallen firefighters of 9/11.
Next we headed to the Staten Island Ferry, which provides a free ride between Manhattan & Staten Island around the clock, every day of the year. It also gave us the ideal alternative for getting a closer look at Lady Liberty whilst Liberty and Ellis Islands were closed, following damage from Hurricane Sandy. Although it's not the most glamorous of boat rides, you do get to see a pretty incredible view of Manhattan (and as you get further away you can see Jersey too), all for free!
After our quick trip to Staten Island and back we returned to Wall Street, with one aim in sight - to rub the bull's balls (which brings you good luck, apparently). The Charging Bull sculpture was originally an act of guerrilla art by the artist Arturo Di Modica, who installed it under a 60-ft Christmas tree in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York in 1989. The police did seize it but following public outcry it was re-installed in its new and current location, facing up Broadway.
People queue to have their picture taken with his front, and despite us Brits being renowned for queuing, we opted instead for a picture with his bum (and very well polished balls...), and then stole some other guys front shot! ;-)
As this day was officially St. Patrick's Day the Empire State building was lit up green for the day.
That concludes part 1 of our American adventure, next up is Washington, D.C!

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More posts from part 1 of our trip:

NYC: The Met & The Upright Citizens Brigade

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