If you are very lucky, you will have a cubicle or office with a window. Below is my husband's window view, looking out towards the south.
The downtown heliport is not far from the back of his office building, along the East River. This is the heliport that the President uses when he visits NYC, and where his motorcade will meet him to drive him to his destination in the city. A portion of Brooklyn can be viewed in the background. It was an overcast gray day. unfortunately, so my photos might be a little dark.
The tour began in the afternoon, after lunch, and we had to walk to met the tour guide outside of City Hall. We had a fast scramble to be on time, but I couldn't resist taking some photos along the way.
Here is the elegant entrance to the new Tiffany & Co. located at 37 Wall Street.
Here are a few smiling special forces police guarding the New York Stock Exchange. Security is obviously very stringent in that area.
We finally reach City Hall and meet the group near the very pretty City Hall fountain.
It was an overcrowded tenement neighborhood teeming with newly arrived immigrants struggling to succeed in an alien city, along with tanneries, slaughterhouses, breweries, alms houses, and potteries, which all contributed to making the neighborhood less than desirable. Legendary Five Points gangs existed then — the Bowery Boys, the Dead Rabbits, the Plug Uglies, the Short Tails, the Slaughter Houses, the Swamp Angels.
On the top, above the middle section of the building, there are three tiered drums on top of another, flanked by four smaller pinnacle turrets, symbolizing the four boroughs joined to Manhattan. At the height of 177 m stands the 6 m high statue Civic Fame by Adolph A. Weinman, New York City's second largest statue after the Statue of Liberty. The statue holds a crown with five turrets, also symbolizing New York City's five boroughs.
We turn the corner on the right, and walked down the block to see "The Marble Palace" at 280 Broadway, which was built in 1846 as the site of America's first department store. It later housed The New York Sun newspaper, and is now used for municipal offices for New York City. Built by Alexander Turney Stewart, it was among the first to set fixed prices for goods, and drew female customers through special sales and fashion shows. According to our tour guide this store changed the way goods were displayed and sold, and had the first dressing rooms to try on garments.
We then walked to a area that is now the African American Burial Ground, but I will do a separate entry about that next blog entry, as it is very interesting, and I took quite a few photos there.
The New York State Supreme Court was established in 1691, making it the oldest continuing court of general jurisdiction in the United States. The courthouse rises above a 100-foot wide flight of steps to an imposing colonnade of 10 granite fluted Corinthian columns. Above the columns are engraved words of George Washington: "The true administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good government."
Foley Square was named named after a prominent Tammany Hall district leader and local saloon owner, Thomas F. “Big Tom” Foley. Its location was originally the Collect Pond, which was one of the original fresh water sources for the City of New York, but was drained and filled-in in 1811 due to its severely polluted state, and its implication in typhus and cholera outbreaks at the time. Besides The New York State Supreme Court, the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse surround Foley Square.
We then walked into the neighborhood known as Chinatown. Chinatown started on Mott Street, Park, Pell and Doyers streets, east of the notorious Five Points district, and is both a residential area as well as commercial area, with a dense population of more than 300,000 people. The housing stock of Chinatown is still mostly composed of cramped tenement buildings, some of which are over 100 years old. Today, many Chinese are moving to the boroughs and the suburbs as their standards of living improve.
The last stop of the tour was The Church Of the Transfiguration, which is also known as the "Church of Immigrants," as there has been an active church located here since 1801, serving successive waves of immigrants who have settled in New York. In 1801, the English-speaking descendants of German Lutheran emigres spent $15,000 to build the substantial stone church, before it passed into the hands of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The church was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York in 1853, as Father Felix Varela, a Cuban-born pioneer of Catholic journalism, had founded the parish in 1827. The church building is the oldest Catholic Church building in New York City.The streets are very narrow here, and there was too much traffic to get a good position to take a long shot of the church, but you can see photos of it here.
The tour was over, but most of the group walked a little longer to the Little Italy neighborhood to enjoy a tasty dinner! Very few Italians live in this area anymore, but there is a profusion of many wonderful restaurants competing for business, and it is a fun place to visit, along with Chinatown, and have lunch or dinner when you visit New York City.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of New York City, some of its historical evolution, and some of the rich tapestry of ethnicity's that make up its population.