The Financial District: Hectic During The Week, Relaxed At Night And On The Weekends

Yuliya Afanasyev

The Financial District in Manhattan is filled with high-powered, fast-paced people during the day time, but clears out to a peaceful and calm place at night. Located in the lower tip of the borough, the neighborhood is home to the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street, which gives it its name.

The Financial District is a hub of activity, and has excellent access to transportation within Manhattan and also to other boroughs – Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge or the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, and Staten Island via the Staten Island Ferry at the Whitehall Terminal. When most people think of New York City as a financial powerhouse, they think of the Financial District.

For much of the Financial District’s history, it was seen as a place where people would come to work in various financial industries during the daytime but then leave at night to head to their homes in other boroughs or neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Over the last 20 years, though, that has begun to change. The Financial District is now home to an estimated 61,000 full-time residents, which is more than double the 23,000 as of the 2000 Census. Some of that has to do with the fact that many buildings were converted from office space to condos and apartments following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The former World Trade Center towers were located in the Financial District.

Despite it being known for modern-day financial prowess, the Financial District is one of the most historic places in all of New York City. The Fraunces Tavern was originally built in 1719 and served as a meeting place for patriots during the time of the American Revolution. The Charging Bull statue that is located outside Bowling Green is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of the city. Further, the first paved street in all of the city, Stone Street, is located in the Financial District.

Because of its location right on the water, the Financial District can often feel like an urban oasis. Just a few steps from Wall Street and the Stock Exchange are plenty of places to enjoy nature, especially with your pets.

Maybe not coincidentally, the Financial District is a great place to relax and relieve stress by the water at nights and the weekends, after the hectic day at the job is over. While suits and ties are the dress code during the work days, much more relaxed attire is often seen in the neighborhood on weekends as residents like to leave the work week behind.

As such, the Financial District is home to more residential buildings and markets than it is to popular nightlife spots. Still, Stone Street is the epicenter of the neighborhood’s entertainment scene.

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