Financial District

Neighborhood Image

LOCATION: The southern tip of Manhattan bounded by the East River and the Hudson River and the area below Chambers Street. SUBWAYS: The 1/9, N/R, 4/5, and J/M/Z subway lines all pass through the neighborhood, as do several bus lines. Ferries run to points upriver and around the harbor. Subway stops: A, C, J, M, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fulton Street. HISTORY: This area is actually the oldest area in New York City—the first place Dutch settlers touched down in New York and also where George Washington was sworn in as president. After an initial period as a small village, lower Manhattan became a center of wholesale and retail trade, of shipbuilding and warehousing, and finally of financial services. The area below Canal Street gave birth to the nation's first stock exchange (1792), first chamber of commerce (1768), first public transportation system (1829), and first regularly scheduled packet service (1818). After 1800, lower Manhattan became the world's first "central business district," meaning that the citizens moved north as residential uses gave way to offices, warehouses, stores, and factories. CHARACTER: The Financial District is well known for its towering buildings built very close to one another. Some of the area's oldest buildings have been refurbished or replaced by luxury high rises. The area is packed during business hours and grows quiet after dark. Besides financial institutions, the neighborhood also holds grocery stores, restaurants, theaters, and hotels, and is home to the South Street Seaport, providing residents with a wonderful place to shop and eat. Though there isn’t an abundance of culture in the way of the arts, there are plenty of cultural institutions in the fields of finance and government. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are a boat ride away and of course, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange are found here. The best advantages to living in this area are the parks and the river views. Battery Park is an extensive area where people roller blade, jog and walk their dogs. Many locals tend to hit Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park or City Hall Park as well. Also found here is the Fulton Fish Market where people get up at the crack of dawn to get first dibs on the city’s freshest fish. FOOD/NIGHTLIFE: The financial district is not known for its dining scene. The restaurants that are here close a few hours after the business day ends as most of them are there only to service the working community during the day. The few bars in the area mostly cater to the “after-work” crowd where they spend a few hours and then move on to other areas in the city better known for a more active nightlife. Fulton, West, and Greenwich streets are best bets for nightlife and places to eat and shop