Every morning on my walk to work, after my stop at Dunkin Donuts, I pass by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The building itself it quite impressive, but the security that patrols the area is the real sight to see. Guards armed with machine guns, bomb sniffing dogs, and road barricades are constant reminders that we are living in a post 9-11 world. Thankfully, there are other reminders that this is a neighborhood where people live, work and go to school.
Everyday at 8:30am and 3:00pm, the streets are taken over by children streaming into and out of our building. The usual scene of men in suits is replaced by children in preppy uniforms and strollers clogging the sidewalks. Children, who are so accustomed to the site of tourists snapping photos of the historic sites in the neighborhood, they don’t even attempt to avoid being in the picture. The most impressive site, is when all 500 of our students and 100 staff members stream out of the building at the same time during our fire drills. I remember fire drills growing up, where we fled the building and lined up in rows in a field next to our playground. Here our kids walk around the corner to Starbucks. I am sure some of those 5-year-old would love in run in and grab a latte or cappuccino.
Some mornings, various companies sent up displays outside of the Stock Exchange. Sometimes they are announcing their listing debut on the NYSE or other times they are celebrating various events taking place. My favorite display was when Caterpillar set up giant machines on the street in front of the building. Walking by it, you felt like you were an ant in a sandbox with toy bulldozers and backhoes. My second favorite was the Super Bowl Half Time party that was set up Friday before the big game, by Ritz Crackers. They brought in a giant inflatable football helmet and various football themed games and of course, tasty treats. The only problem with these types of events is that they are always set up on the other side the security check point, so you can only experience them if you are a NYSE employee or badge holder. Unfortunately, I am neither. The last event worth mentioning was when a company (not sure what it was) trucked in a few cows and a bull. Not something you expect to see on Wall Street at 7:30 in the morning.
Some companies don’t set up great big displays, but rather, a simple banner is placed along the building. I still get a kick out of these which is why this is today’s “little thing.”
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