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Manhattan Neighborhood Guide: Financial District
Financial District Neighborhood Guide
Situated on the southern tip of Manhattan, the Financial District, including Battery Park City, Wall Street, and South Street Seaport is home to almost 40,000 New Yorkers. FiDi, along with Greenwich Village and SoHo & TriBeCa to the north, comprises the 6th largest statistical area in Manhattan. This southernmost Manhattan neighborhood is known as the world’s financial epicenter thanks to the New York Stock Exchange and the rest of the Wall Street institutions. Once just a place for doing business, the Financial District has experienced explosive growth in the last decade as more and more people move into the area. Today, towering high-rises and new construction sit just blocks from some of the most upscale restaurants and shops you’ll find south of the Upper East Side.
The Financial District Location and Getting Around
The Financial District is located on southern edge of Manhattan, between the Hudson and East Rivers, south of Vesey St. and the Brooklyn Bridge. Whether you prefer public transit, walking, or riding a bike to your destination, you won’t have problems getting around this neighborhood or to other parts of the city. Numerous subway lines crisscross the neighborhood, including the Lexington Avenue Express on the 4 line and the Broadway-7th Avenue Local on the 1 line. There are also several bus routes, and the Staten Island Ferry takes riders across New York Harbor to Staten Island for free.
Financial District Neighborhood Landmarks
This historic neighborhood hosts several notable landmarks, including the 9/11 Tribute Museum, a moving memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Guided tours and three floors of exhibits educate visitors about the tragic events of that day, as well as the earlier World Trade Center bombing that occurred on February 26th, 1993.
The Staten Island Ferry is a living slice of New York City transit history; an extensive ferry network once transported people to and from Manhattan and its future boroughs before the bridges existed. Today, approximately 22 million people a year still ride the ferry.
Just west of the Staten Island Ferry terminal, Battery Park is one of Manhattan’s oldest parks. This 25-acre park offers visitors plenty to do: an urban farm educates both residents and visitors about sustainable farming, the Seaglass Carousel, a collection of 30 fiberglass fish, transports riders through a mystical, “undersea” world, and the Perennial Gardens offer a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Wall Street.
In the heart of FiDi sits Trinity Church, a parish church connected to the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Built in the Gothic Revival style, the church has been a part of New York City history for well over 300 years. Visitors may attend one of the daily worship services or take a tour of the historic building and grounds.
When many people think of Wall Street, they think of the busy trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It is the world’s largest stock exchange, with an average daily trading value of $169 billion as of 2013. The NYSE lists over 2,300 companies from around the world. While the Exchange is no longer open for public visitors, you can get your financial fill at the nearby Museum of American Finance or the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Best Financial District Restaurants
When they’re not buying and selling stocks, or relaxing in Battery Park, residents of the Financial District are dining at the neighborhood’s many excellent restaurants. Luke’s Lobster is a local hot spot for authentic lobster rolls, made with lemon butter and mayonnaise. Both Wall Street suits and casual diners head to Adrienne’s Pizzabar for lunch, where they enjoy thin-crust pizza while dining alfresco on Stone Street. At Antica Ristorante, the entrees are “solid” and so is the service. For special occasions, locals make Harry’s Café & Steakhouse their go-to; there is a wide variety of appetizers, mouthwatering steak options, and unlimited mimosas during the weekend brunch hours. Fishmarket Restaurant offers Asian fusion cuisine in a dive bar setting, making it a local favorite for casual dinners.
Best Financial District Gyms
To maintain their impeccable physiques, locals head to some of the neighborhood’s best gyms. Complete Body Fitness is an all-in-one workout destination, complete with a juice bar for a post-workout boost. Physique 57 is a barre studio founded by Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi, a former Wall Street professional who turned to fitness training when her favorite fitness studio closed. Church Street Boxing Gym is a no-frills boxing gym focused on delivering serious results; they offer a mix of classes and one-on-one training in boxing, Muay Thai, and kickboxing boxing styles. At Sculpt New York, locals work one-on-one with former musician and dancer Matthew Cole to improve their flexibility and get seriously toned. Nearby, Just Train is a boutique gym where locals are paired with a personal trainer to develop better exercise habits.
Local Financial District Coffee Shops
To make it through long days on the trading floor or working in real estate, Financial District locals rely upon the area’s best coffee shops for their caffeine fix. PROOF Coffee Roasters has garnered fierce loyalty from locals who swear by the shop’s flaky, buttery almond croissants and lattes. The Fulton Street subway stop houses Voyager Espresso. True to the shop’s name, the décor is futuristic, and the baristas serve up lattes in science-lab-style beakers. In the afternoon, locals go to La Colombe Coffee for a post-lunch caffeine boost: the draft latte draws lines that wrap around the block. R & R Coffee has ample seating and a laid-back atmosphere; it’s a prime choice for locals coming to meet with friends in an informal setting. Laughing Man Coffee & Tea has a big claim to fame: it’s owned by actor Hugh Jackman, and all profits go to charity. Despite the impressive backstory, it is a sweet, unassuming spot to relax with a hot cup of joe.
Nightlife in the Financial District
After the day’s work is over, you’ll spot Financial District locals wining and dining at the neighborhood’s best watering holes. A traditional Irish bar, the Dead Rabbit, has three floors, offering patrons a different bar experience on each one. Expect crowds at the first-floor Taproom, where locals come to fill up on pints of Guinness and nosh on the Sunday Prime Rib Roast. For cocktails, those in-the-know head to the Parlor on floor 2, while those seeking solace can rent out the private-event room on the top floor. The owners of the Dead Rabbit also manage Blacktail, a bar with a 1940s retro feel and an impressive menu of cocktails to boot.
On Cliff Street, the Iron Horse is a lively dive bar with an over-the-bar saddle-swing that lures guests to ride after a drink or two. Clinton Hall is a small German beer garden with big pretzels and life-size games like giant chess. Vintry Wine and Whiskey is located between some of the noisier pubs on Stone Street, but the atmosphere inside is decidedly quieter with low lighting, comfortable leather seats, and an array of wine and whiskey options that invite you to linger.
What These Businesses Love About the Financial District
Financial District is both a bustling financial hub and a residential catch. Convenient transportation, busy people, a reasonably-priced rental market, and fun attractions like South Street Seaport, CompleteBody Gym and a Brooklyn Bridge make FiDi a great neighborhood.”
– Oleksiy Melnyk, Digital Marketing Strategist – CompleteBody Gym
Being able to walk around. Battery Park is small but lovely with views of the water and the city. You can look out from the piers and see not much at all, or look in to the Financial District and see Freedom Tower and the Oculus. Financial District is a great combination of the chaos and beauty of New York City.”
– Rebekkah Dooley, Marketing Director – The Dead Rabbit
I love how people are starting to live in the Financial District instead of just working there, and as a result, so many interesting businesses are opening up.”
– Prudence Reid, Owner – Voyager Espresso
I have loved personally witnessing the way Financial District (now becoming known as Lower Manhattan) has changed over the course of even the last few years. It is primed to become — and in fact is already becoming — a thriving hub for more cultural, hip, and experiential goings-on; from new restaurants and coffee shops, to new headquarters for creative and tech companies in NYC, the area is experiencing an overhaul like none other, which is truly exciting.”
– Jeff Sale, Founder & CEO – PROOF Coffee Roasters
The Financial District is a great part of Manhattan. It is littered with the essence of Old Time New York, which is on display in the architecture and winding narrow streets, but also seamlessly fused with our modern city. It has a bit of everything for local residents, the weekday workforce and wide eyed tourists passing through. Also a great place to grab a Maine Style Lobster Roll!”
– Jeremy Kirchmer, General Manager – Luke’s Lobster FiDi – Luke’s Lobster
The financial district embodies the definition of a neighborhood. It’s friendly, personable, and has a strong sense of camaraderie. ”
– Laura Torres, General Manager – BlackTail Bar NYC
Financial District Movers
Small doorways, narrow staircases, and limited street parking: moving to the Financial District can be a challenge. For reliable and thorough movers, contact Imperial Moving & Storage. Named one of New York’s top moving companies, we have offered our professional moving services to Manhattan for well over a decade. We offer a full range of moving services including, residential and commercial moves, packing and unpacking, VIP moves, and short- and long-term storage. Our team will treat your belongings with professionalism and care to ensure that every detail of your relocating experience is a positive one. Give us a call today to get started!
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