Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wall Street -- a metaphor for moolah and a real place


Wall Street noun
U.S. financial world.
[After a street in lower Manhattan, New York City, that was once home to most of the major investment firms, banks, analyst firms, and theNew York Stock Exchange. The street got its name from the defensive wall that the Dutch colonists built in the area in 1653 to protectagainst the British and Native Americans.]

Counterparts of Wall Street in other countries are Bay Street (Toronto, Canada), Dalal Street (Mumbai, India), and The City of Londonor The Square Mile (London, UK).

"Eighteen paintings [of Alan Greenspan] were sold to mostly Wall Street types for $1,000 to $4,000."
-- Zinie Chen Sampson; Fed Chairman Inspires Virginia Painter; Associated Press; Aug 12, 2005.

Note: Though its meaning transcends place, the reality of Wall Street is brought home when you visit Trinity Church, at one end of Wall Street, and see in its graveyard, among others, Alexander Hamilton, the architect of the U.S. financial system, Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, and John Jay, one of the nation's first diplomats and the 1st chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
St. Paul's Chapel, nearby, was where George Washington prayed after his first inauguration.
Trinity Church was narrowly spared in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and became a headquarters for relief and recovery efforts that followed.

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