I don't think I had ever been to Wall Street before today. For the average person, there exists little need to go to a place spewing of prestige yet muddled in certain corruption. So, by the time I got pass the "minority stops" of the 7 train, the simple thought of going to the financial district, absent of a proper suit and slimy hair, had me feeling oddly proud but worthless. It was an odd combination, for sure, but not many cities in the world can boast of having an entire nation's economy compacted into a few blocks of street. The men dressed in tidy outfits soon began to fill the train, stop after stop, until the conductor finally stopped at Wall Street. Slowly, people began filing out and I was left wondering which exit would take me closest to Broadway. But I didn't go to Wall Street to do anything related to finances; instead, I was simply going to the Board of Elections. Still, the flaunted cars and multitude of people who all looked like Goldman Sachs brothers was intriguing to say the least. The power of the name "Wall Street" was undeniable - even the people in plain t-shirts seemed slightly important somehow, in the slightest chance they were actually CEOs and high-profile investment bankers. There was the greatest of chance, more than in my entire life, that I walked by a few millionaires on the streets of Manhattan. The real question was whether they'd give me a dollar if I asked. At least the pretzel and halal stands were slightly familiar. I quickly crossed streets to find the correct building number. No matter how much I wanted to seem like I belonged, the whimsical size and placement of building numbers had me beat. Eventually, I found my way, past overpriced taxis and even more expensive luxury cars.
It was a quick visit to the Board of Elections, probably highlighted by the lackluster security in the lobby, prompting me to wonder if I had already mastered socializing in a Wall Street-like manner (that's probably not even a thing). I left the building a little disheartened by how fast everything happened, almost as if I expected an intricate process. The streets greeted me with a chorus of people, grasping onto their ten dollar salad, and muttering things to another friend smiling down at a cellphone. One thing was clear during my ten minute visit: this is the epitomized American lifestyle. There's just something that attracts people to buy $3 bread and $5 coffee. At the end of the day, I was just a regular citizen. I didn't get any inside trading information, nobody told me Facebook's stock was going to jump 30% in one day when I wanted to buy at $22 a share, and I couldn't even conjure up the desire to entertain a conversation with any of these people. What Wall Street basically assumed, at least to me, was the depicted and modern American Dream. Whether there exists any truth in that... I don't know.
Maybe I'll rent a Mercedes and wear a suit next time just to see how it's like.