In my seemingly never-ending tour of Manhattan neighborhoods, I said goodbye to the Financial District at the end of the month. I’d lived on Wall Street for about 7 months, 3 or more of those in captivity during the pandemic. While I was initially not convinced that this location was for me, I left the area with a deep sense of appreciation as a nifty neighborhood.
I had never really spent much time in Southern Manhattan, save a month-long stay across from Battery Park a few years ago. So, this was my first chance to really wander one of the oldest parts of the City. The streets in FiDi are decidedly not on a grid, and there are plenty of street names you’ve may be unfamiliar—Hanover, Pearl, and Maiden Lane, among others. They are as wander-worthy as any European neighborhood, I would argue. The area is filled to the brim with historic buildings ranging from the New York Stock Exchange to Trinity Church on Wall Street to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Close to City Hall, the Financial District saw quite a lot of action during the pandemic protest on behalf of “Black Lives Matter.”
One of the most cheerful surprises was the redeveloped South Street Seaport area. Back in the day, my oldest friend Sara Block (a self-described “fish cop” for the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Administration) would routinely come down to the Fulton Fish Market for various investigations. It was rumored that the Market was rife with mob connections. Each trip for her was filled with a certain amount of dread. She would never recognize the posh shops and cute restaurants that have been built in that location. There is an IMAX movie theatre and Sarah Jessica Parker has her shoe store on South Street! It has a charming feel of a Faneuil Hall Market in Boston. Below is a little video montage that I put together, a little love letter to this underappreciated neighborhood. And for now, on to Chelsea!