I have breakfast in a cafè, nearby, specifying that I need internet access. The guy gives me the password, so while I’m sipping the American coffee, I write the ad on the Couch surfing website, where I’m trying to find a place, urgently – in Manhattan!
I enjoy my croissant but feel a little stressed. While I wait for my coffee to cool, I notice that there are already some answers to my ad, even two! This time, I prefer to meet the person. I’m free all day and it is also a good way to meet someone and not be alone. So I make an appointment to meet Sid for lunch, while for Neil, a coffee – as soon as he finishes his work at 5pm. This is what I decide.
I don’t have a sim card for the mobile phone so I can’t afford to be late, because of the risk that they could lose their patience and go away.
It’s 11a.m. and I have an appointment with Sid at 14.00, but I prefer to leave right now, because he works on Wall Street and maybe I can take a quiet walk and be on time. As soon as I climb the steps of the Metro Green, I feel welcomed by the presence of a giant American flag, along with the skyscrapers – they’re like mirrors reflecting other skyscrapers. I am still well in advance of my appointment time so I look around and I found out, that this, was, Wall Street.
We all know that here is the permanent home of the New York Stock Exchange, and we probably would have heard about the crash of 1929. This place, in essence, is the hub of the whole financial industry in the United States, but why “WALL”? Simple; because before, this area, were the walls of the city. In fact, it was originally the northern boundary of the settlement of New Amsterdam. Manhattan was not British territory, but settled by the Dutch. The Company, Dutch West Indies, decided to build a wall, because of the outbreak of the war with the British in 1653. The wall was made of earth and timber 3.5 meters high and fortified with palisades. The wall, once created, was reinforced over time, and was used on many occasions as a defence against attacks, by various Indian tribes, settlers of New England and the English. In 1685, inspectors planned an extension of Wall Street along the lines of the fence. In 1699, the British dismantled the wall.
In the late eighteenth century there was an American plane tree at the end of Wall Street under which traders and speculators would gather to trade informally. In 1792, the traders formalized their association with the drawing up of the so-called Buttonwood Agreement. This was the origin of the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1889, the original daily bulletin, Customer’s Afternoon Letter, became The Wall Street Journal (with reference to its link to the road –Wall Street), and it is now a major international business newspaper published in New York. For many years it was the largest newspaper in the United States, although it is now second, in the USA Today.
The Financial District of Manhattan is one of the largest business districts in the United States, the second in New York, to Midtown. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, this area of New York was one of the main centers for the construction of skyscrapers (rivaled only by Chicago). The Financial District, even today, makes up a single horizon in the city of New York, separately, even if not much higher than the heights of the city center, which is located a few miles north.
It’s two o’clock and I interestingly have read the history of Wall Street, which is in front of the building, where I have an appointment with Sid.