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Financial District - Manhattan

This is the oldest part of Manhattan, dating back to colonial days when the first Dutch settlers arrived around what is now Bowling Green. Naturally this area is rich in history as well as beauty: George Washington was sworn in as our First President at Federal Hall at Wall Street and Nassau. The Declaration of Independence was first read to the public at City Hall and subsequently ignited the Revolutionary War. Trinity Church, with its delicate, intricate spires, is located at Broadway and Wall Street. And, of course, there's the world-famous New York Stock Exchange located on Exchange and Wall.

The area is filledwith financial buildings and high-rises areaand boasts that it's the next great spot to live in New York.There are shops and restaurants-just not as abundant as uptown and a lot of delisYou can get your Banana Republic and Baby Gap fill at South Street Seaport, where rows of shops and restaurants are fairing well and of course the famous discount Century 21 department store is in the heart of the Financial District. The area may lack the larger grocery stores, but there are small groceries and delis on just about every block. There is proof that the area is trying to emerge as a legitimate neighborhood to live, with dry cleaners opening up shop and the area even has its own weekly paper, The Downtown Express.

You might think that rents would be down, but that is not the case. The Financial District claims to be the next big thing. and management companies are advertising special rates in effort to entice people to move downtown. Many of the apartments are converted office spaces that have been modernized-you won't find a charming brownstone down in these parts like you might find in most any other New York neighborhood, but a great lofty space is not hard to find. You'll probably live in a tall building, which will be next to another tall building with a sweeping view of the river.

The convoluted streets here are one sign that this area developed before the original settlers realized that they had an actual city growing on their hands. There is no easy grid pattern here like there is in much of the rest of Manhattan, and those who live and work here take a certain joy in watching even New Yorkers get lost in the somewhat winding streets.

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