Neighborhood Watch

Spectator Senior Staff Writer

In the 1700s, under a buttonwood tree located next to the stone wall separating the English colonists from their Native American neighbors to the north, the colonists of the island of Manhattan met to trade securities. Today, the business of “Wall Street” has come to define this neighborhood in the southern tip of Manhattan—but there is much more to the Financial District than stocks. 

Financial District


Museum of the American Indian

Housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the New York branch of the Museum of the American Indian (the other is in Washington, D.C.) explores the culture of more than 1,200 indigenous tribes. Featuring a mixture of art galleries and historical exhibits, the museum balances historical and contemporary perspectives. Highlights include the ongoing “Circle of Dance” exhibition depicting traditional ceremonial and showcase dances. 

1 Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004

Bowling Green

The oldest park in New York City, the Bowling Green began its public service career as a meeting place for Native American tribes. Its central fountain sets a relaxed tone for this small patch of green amid the chaos of the Financial District. Twice a week, the park is dominated by the Greenmarket, which offers everything from organic fruits and vegetables to gluten-free baked goods.

Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

Trinity Church

Founded more than 300 years ago, Trinity Church lies at the center of New York and Columbia University history alike. King’s College was founded across the street from this church in 1754, and the neo-Gothic towers of the still-active church stand anachronistically against the Financial District skyscrapers. The church cemetery features an impressive array of American legends, including Alexander Hamilton, Franklin Wharton, and William Bradford.

74 Trinity Place
New York, NY 10004

Cucina Liberta

Known for reliable, classic Italian fare, Cucina Liberta offers everything from pizza and sandwiches to sushi. Quick service at an affordable price makes Cucina Liberta a favorite among Wall Streeters. Try the Margherita pizza and attempt to guess which companies the guys wearing suits are from. 

17 Battery Place
New York, NY 10004

Charging Bull

Living just inside the Bowling Green is the unofficial mascot of the Financial District. With the sneer that has become the model for those cutthroat traders, the Charging Bull has inspired countless copycats around the world as well as a thriving gift shop industry. Take a picture to remind yourself why you decided to major in economics. 

1 Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004