New York's oldest public park, Bowling Green is a teardrop of a triangle cut out of the Financial District, just above the Staten Island Ferry and Battery Park. In 2006, the popular lunch-time destination of local works had a beautiful fountain installed in the center of the park, which is bounded on all sides by a grove of trees. The fence around the part—which dates from 1771, five years before the United States declared independence from England—is, along with the park itself, a historic landmark.
Bowling Green was also the starting point of the famous ticker-tape parades held for—to name a few—Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, and General Douglas MacArthur. Those parades, which New York City can claim ownership to since having the world's first in 1886 during the dedication of the Statue Of Liberty, also gave the stretch of Broadway from Bowling Green Park to City Hall Park the nickname "Canyon Of Heroes."
The park is also the home of the famous "Charging Bull" sculpture, which is often incorrectly associated with the financial firm Merrill Lynch. The bull—a symbol of prosperity in the financial world—was a non-commissioned sculpture that the artist drove into Manhattan and left in front of the New York Stock Exchange on December 15th, 1989. The early Christmas present from guerilla artist Arturo Di Modica, however, wasn't shown much appreciation by the city initially, with the police eventually impounding the sculpture. Ever the vocal fans of art, the people of New York raised their voices to City Hall until the Parks & Recreation—those wonderful custodians of many of New York's finer things—took the statue and installed it around the corner in Bowling Green Park. In the decades since, the Charging Bull has become one of the most recognizable and most photographed pieces of artwork in the city.
"The Sphere" sculpture—originally found in front of the World Trade Center—can also be found in Bowling Green.
Bowling Green is located in the Financial District neighborhood of Manhattan. The financial hub of the United States, the seat of New York City government, and home to some of New York's oldest buildings, the Financial District has an illustrious history. 17th century settlers began building here, and given the many seafarers of the time, boats could be conveniently docked at one of the slips right near the settlements of wooden homes. Right nearby, in the heart of the district is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in 1789, also the meeting site for the First Congress. New York City was both the capital of the United States and New York State at the time. The street names reflect the district's fascinating history: Fulton Street, named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat; Maiden Lane, originally called Magde Platje in Dutch; Beaver Street, recalling the once-significant beaver pelt trade, etc. The area today houses some great economic powerhouses, including the headquarters of major banks, the New York Stock Exchange, in addition to the World Financial Center. Contrasts are extraordinary, from old two- and three-story old brick buildings near South Street Seaport to the nearby modern mega-skyscrapers. Some of the numerous other attractions include Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bid farewell to his troops (also, they have a museum!); the newly-landscaped City Hall Park; the Museum of the American Indian and the US Custom House at Bowling Green; Trinity Church, the first parish church in New York City and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, among others; War Of 1812 strong hold Castle Clinton; the Staten Island-bound South Ferry; Battery Park; and the Federal Reserve Bank. Sadly, the biggest attraction since 9/11 has been the former World Trade Center site, although, thankfully, construction has finally filled the long-standing gouge in Lower Manhattan's face, and the stunning 9/11 Memorial and its attendant museum are welcome signs of a healing city. And, of course, soaring a symbolic 1,776 feet over the memorial is the new 1 World Trade Center!
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