Seeing New York City One Subway Stop at a Time
From my catalogue of good ideas is the notion of exploring a city one subway stop at a time. This approach works well with a city in which you happen to live, for those cities you happen to live near, and even for one-off cities you happen to be visiting. No need to traipse all over town; take in a city one stop at a time. With this in mind, I head down to the tip of Manhattan, a place where I tend to spend very little time. Today, I am exploring Bowling Green, a stop on the 4 and 5 trains.
Fresh out of the station, I see the actual Bowling Green, the oldest park in the city and purportedly the site of the sale of Manhattan by the Indians to the Dutch in 1626. I like the idea that American Revolutionaries tore down a statue of King George III that once stood here.
Directly across from the park is the National Museum of the American Indian in the old Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House — an opportunity to learn both about indigenous people and also about life before income tax in the United States. As a major port in the young United States, the Port of New York presented quite a nice revenue stream for the federal government, courtesy of the customs duties. The Custom House was completed in 1907, and it is a National Historic Landmark.
Afterward, if you are up for seeing a bit of very old New York, head south toward Pearl Street and Fraunces Tavern, which has been in business since 1762 and was the site of General George Washington’s farewell address to officers who served in the Revolution. The tavern is now both a museum and a restaurant. Other eating options include the Stone Street Tavern and the Dead Rabbit.
If your day is a bright one, continue your southerly walk and check out the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Water Street. Interestingly, a real estate developer donated $1 million for the memorial back in the 1980s. His name? Donald Trump. Jane Gross, New York Pays Homage to Vietnam Veterans, N.Y. Times, May 7, 1985.
Then trace your steps back to Bowling Green and find the defiant girl facing down the charging bull while she is still there—but expect crowds.
Circling back to that Hamilton theme, head north on Broadway to Trinity Church and find his grave along with other notables in the graveyard. The current church building has been around since 1846, although earlier structures were in existence prior to the Revolution.
Then hop on the 4 or 5 train at the Wall Street Station right by the church. Or, if you are still jonesing for more dish on Alexander Hamilton, you might also swing by the Museum of American Finance as ambition and interest allows.
National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, New York, N.Y. 10004
Fraunces Tavern, 54 pearl Street, New York, N.Y. 10004
Stone Street Tavern, 52 Stone Street, New York, N.Y. 10004
The Dead Rabbit, 30 Water Street, New York, N.Y. 10004
Vietnam Veterans Plaza, 55 Water Street, new York, N.Y. 10041
Defiant Girl and Charging Bull, Broadway and State Streets, New York, N.Y.
Trinity Church, 75 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10006
Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall Street, New York, N.Y. 10005
Exploring lower Manhattan? You might like these posts:
- Extraneous Learning at Duarte Square
- Make Time for the Tenement Museum
- Infrastructure Tourism: The Holland Tunnel