This post is part of the series USA Road Trip
Other posts in this series:
Travel Stories to Inspire Your Wanderlust
If you haven’t seen my previous post from New York, you can find it here:
Welcome to Lower Manhattan!
On the next morning we decided to use the 72h “Hop-on, Hop-off ticket” again – on our plan was Lower Manhattan! There is no New York City part which has greater historical influence than this neighbourhood. Here is where the history of NY began and there are so many historical places to be visited – 9/11 Memorial & Muse, The Wall Street, One world Trade Center, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Trinity Church,… and here you can take the ferry to Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty!
Back in the year of 1697 as this beautiful church was constructed by a small group of Anglicans at the end of Wall Street and so it became the first Anglican Church in the middle of Lower Manhattan. Trinity Church is best examples of the very first Neo-Gothic architecture in America and with its 86m it was the tallest building in NYC until the year of 1890. In October 2016, the Trinity Church celebrated its 250th anniversary! Its English-Gothic style is absolutely stunning outside – and unfortunately, we didn’t go inside as we had to follow the ferry schedule…
One World Trade Center
- The One World Trade Center (542m) is the tallest building in Manhattan, the tallest building in the United States and the tallest “only-office” building in the whole world!
- One World Trade Center contains more than 40.000 tons of steel.
- Its observation deck opened in 2015 and is very similar to the Twin Towers observation decks.
- The One World Trade Center is BIO – means that it was built exclusively from recycled materials. It also collects and reuses rainwater, and produces its own power.
Do you have the “Wolf of Wall Street” in mind, like I do, when hearing this one?! Wall Street is also used as a synonym for the financial part of New York, and although it sounds like a name of a neighbourhood, the Wall Street itself is only 2.5 km long, from Broadway to South Street (“8 blocks” street).
Some interesting facts:
- Wall Street used to be called “The New Amsterdam” by its former citizens (Dutch guys).
The Dutch guys build a “Wall” (the reason why “Wall Street”) in order to protect their settlement from the British guys.
- Its original name was “de Waal Straat” (Dutch)
- The Wall Street and its surrounding are the second largest financial center in the world; the largest is still in London, England.
- Well, an average finance employee (so to say, some colleagues of mine in field, but not in income … ) earns ca $ 363.000,00 … A good reason to relocate “my daily routine in going to work” in Lower Manhattan.
- If you had a Time Machine, you should travel back to 1956 and invest some $1.000 together with Warren Buffet – back to the feature in 2017 – you would possess more than $300 million!
- There is always a dark side in each story: during the Wall Street Crash (1929) several traders committed suicide by jumping out of the window after losing almost everything.
- The Charging Bull is the Brass Icon of Wall Street – this bronze monument weighs more than 3.5 tones and is 5.5 m long! The “Bull” is meant to be the symbol of “the power of the American people” and “American can-do spirit”.
- The Charging Bull trims the Wall Street since 1989.
- Tourists Love to make a selfie in front of, or behind the statue … It is also common to rub the bronze balls of Wall Street’s Charging Bull, it is considered to bring luck?!?
Staten Island Ferry
Definitely, one of the must-do’s in New York City is the Staten Island Ferry – a FREE Harbour Cruise (yes, free! There are not that many free things to do here …)!
- Many visitors take the free tour during their stay in NY, but actually the Staten Island Ferry offers a free transport for all people who live on Staten Island and work in Manhattan, and converse. According to official statistics, the ferry transfers 22 million people each year!
- One direction (8km) takes 25 minutes ride.
- The Staten Island Ferry offers a free boat ride, ON TIME, 24 hours a day!
- It is often called “One of the world’s greatest (and shortest) water voyages.”
- The best way to admire the Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge is from the harbour!
- The best way to admire the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island for free!
- Four boats are used for 88 trips each Saturday, 82 each Sunday, and ca 37.000 trips each year.
- Like we did, most travellers take the ferry to Staten Island and then go back to Manhattan.
- There are indoor and outdoor spaces – outdoor rocks!
- There is service on board, so you could have a coffee (bier) or a snack.
- Grab your camera and step outside to enjoy the view!
The Statue of Liberty
To be honest – it is absolutely enough to see the Statue from the Ferry … The only thing is that you need a good telephoto lens if you want to make a good shot! And if you saw the Statue of Liberty in France – this is absolutely the same one.
- The Statue of Liberty is French and it was a gift for the 100 year anniversary of the American Revolution.
- The statue is a symbol of the friendship between France and USA.
- The Statue of Liberty has ca 11 m waistline, is 34 m tall and weighs 225 tons – a bit more than a Top-Model …
- The statue has green colour, called patina – is a result of copper oxidation and natural weathering.
- In the one hand of the Statue is a torch, which is covered with 24k gold. Unfortunately, nobody has been allowed to go into the torch since its restoration.
- In the other – a tablet inscribed with the date “July 4, 1776”.
- The spiky hat, or her Crown, has seven rays which symbolize the liberty between the seven continents.
Here is the right time to mention that the weather we got during our stay in New York was barely perfect. The sun was shining, it was not rainy,.. or windy,.. or too hot! Since New York (and in this case Lower Manhattan) offers so much to be explored on foot, there is any better way to do this, especially when having such a perfect weather outside!
After having a coffee at the Ferry Station we headed to Brooklyn Bridge. We arrived at Manhattan’s end of the bridge and it took about half an hour in order to get to the Brooklyn’s side. Here is the right place to enjoy the view over the skyline of Manhattan! I enjoyed the beauty of the bridge too … Before coming to New York, Brooklyn Bridge was one of those things which I knew I’m going to visit for sure – and this place and architectural giant is absolutely worth the visit!
- Brooklyn Bridge was firstly called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. Later on, its name was changed to East River Bridge and since 1915 the bridge finally got the name Brooklyn Bridge.
- Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883.
- Back in the history the bridge was connecting two different cities New York and Brooklyn.
- Brooklyn Bridge is 1825 m long, 26 m wide and 85 m tall.
- It took 14 years and ca the work of 600 men to build the Brooklyn Bridge.
- During this period of time more than 30 workers died. They were working with their bare hands (the labour used hands to dig up the mud and get down to bedrock …) 24 hours per day, around the clock.
- When it gets extremely cold, the Brooklyn Bridge rises about 8 cm.
Do you have any tips for Free New York Activities?! Saving money for the next trip is always a good idea 😉
Next time we will visit the Top of The Rock – (probably) the best observation deck in Manhattan!
Enjoy the day!
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