Friday, July 20, 2012

Money, money, money - 19 July 2012

Although London seems to be the financial capital of the world, New York is inextricably linked with high finance so we started the day on Wall St which is just a short walk from our hotel. The area is protected to keep traffic out and is crawling with NYPD officers and you cannot even sit on a bollard without being moved on. The official reason was that I might fall off and injure myself but I suspect that I had sat just a few moments too long outside the Federal Reserve surfing the web on a smart phone. 

After wandering Wall St end-to-end and seeing the NY Stock Exchange we found an ATM on Wall St to cement the link between Wall St and money then wandered off for a look at Chinatown and on out the other side and into Little Italy. On the far side we deided it was time to ride the Metro and headed for Grand Central Station. Grand Central is a fantastic space, so typicial of the era and so different from the typical untilitarian functionality of many modern transport facilities.

At the station we discovered that there was a very convenient cross-town shuttle to Times Square so that was our next "money" stop as the centre of the entertainment spending for New York. To soak up the atmosphere we sat in the square and sampled the best hot dogs in New York as part of the NY experience. We knew that they were the best hot-dogs in NY because it said so on the side of the food cart that was selling them and they would not lie, surely?

After checking out all the incredible video billboards and the Times Square New-Year's-Eve ball we wandered back to 6th Ave to catch a bus up to 70th St to visit the Frick collection, put together by a monied titan of industry to satisfy his love of the finer things in life. The collection is housed in what was his home but which was built and furnished more as a museum to display the collection which he always intended to leave as a gift for all to enjoy. The collection has many fantastic paintings with most of the great names represented and, of course, the last of the Sevres pot-pourri ships.

Our next money stop was "5th Ave". As we left the Frick we were on 5th Ave and 5th Ave runs for many miles but when anyone says "5th Ave" it is the luxury shopping section that comes to mind. We avoided the cash registers and wandered down as far as 34th St to head over to the largest shop in the world, Macy's.

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