New York Highlights – Part 2

The church is located near the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway. The first Trinity church was constructed in 1698.

If you want to visit – check out the website for opening hours. There is some renovation going on, so some areas may be closed.

NY Stock Exchange

I’ve always wanted to see the NYSE. The NYSE was founded on 17 May 1792 with the signing of Buttonwood Agreement on Wall Street. Imagine in the old days’ everything was paper-based – and now everything is fully automated. The trading day opening bell rings at 930 am and closing bell at 4 pm. Famous people who have rung the bell include Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan even celebrities like Snoop Dog.

Federal Hall National Memorial

The original structure on this site was built as NY City Hall – completed in 1703. Post the American revolution, and with the establishment of the US Federal Government in 1789, the building was renamed Federal Hall. The first congress was held here – and this was also where George Washington was sworn in as the first US president. One of the most important events held at the Federal Hall was the proposal of the US Bill of Rights on Sept 25, 1789. In 1790, the US capital moved to Philadelphia. The building was demolished later on in 1812.

The current structure was completed in 1842 to be used as the US Customs House for the port of NY. In 1939, the building was designated as the Federal Hall Memorial National Historic Site.

Charging Bull

I did not know this before – always associated the bronze bull with Wall Street. It was actually put in Wall Street (outside the NYSE) illegally by a Sicilian sculptor, Arturo di Modica to inspire fellow Americans to push through the tough times after the 1987 Black Monday Wall Street crash. 

He wanted to “give back” to America for providing people like him to make a new and better life in the country.
The sculpture was impounded but the city loved it (well some at least) – and in the end, the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation reinstalled the sculpture in Bowling Green. It’s now a famous tourist attraction.

Staten Island Ferry

You can get a good view of the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. The ferry is free and usually quite crowded, and you have to be on the right side to get good shots of Lady Liberty. Stand on the right when you depart from the Whitehall Ferry terminal and on the left on your return journey from Staten Island.

You get a beautiful view of the Manhattan Skyline also from the ferry. Worth the ride!

National 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The memorial was built to remember those who lost their lives in the Sept 11, 2001 terror attack on the World Trade Centre/Pentagon and the World Trade Centre bombing in 1993.

The names of those who died in the attacks are engraved into bronze panels edging the memorial pools.

One World Observatory

So in Part 1 of my blog – I mentioned that you could go up either the Rockefeller Centre Top of the Rock, or the Empire State Building. Another option is the One World Observatory. Note with Top of the Rocks there is likely lower number of people at any one time because your ticket has specific time slot. You also get a nice view of the Empire State Building and you have the indoor/outdoor viewing option. The Empire State Building of course has a lot of history and it also has an outdoor viewing option. One World observatory only has an indoor option but it’s a lot newer and more hi-tech. You also get a view of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Statue of Liberty

You can get tickets to Liberty Island from Statue Cruises.

I took a small group early access Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island tour (what a mouthful) because there were no early morning tickets available at the time. The tour would cost you slightly more, but it’s great to have a guide, and the cost covers pedestal access for the Statue of Liberty. Note you can book crown access via Statue Cruises. We had priority ferry boarding, and when we got to Liberty Island – there were not that as many people. So there were lots of good photo/selfies opportunities.

Tip: Leave your big backpacks at home. You can rent a small locker there for small/average sized backpacks/bags on the island. Small purses can be taken in with you.

Central Park

The park opens at 6am and closes at 1am. You can get a quick snack here at the cafes or from food carts or have a proper meal at the restaurant. Other than the usual stuff they have in a park like playground, they have board and lawn games, you can fish (catch and release), oh yeah – of course there is the zoo (you can see sea lions etc) – and they have seasonal events like live music, halloween celebration, film festival etc.

It's a wrap!

I was super tired but super happy. Had a good time in New York. Great city for a few days visit…and of course can’t leave without my Pandora charms!

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