FiDiaries: A Film Nerd Waxes Wall Street and Talks Hotspots Between Cold Calls
Confession time: sometimes I fantasize that I’m an ambitious, fabulously handsome Bud Fox. If you haven’t see the 1987 classic “Wall Street,” let me set the scene for you. He’s a fresh-faced stockbroker clawing his way to the top. Through a whirlwind of ethical dilemmas, he must form alliances with feckless corporate raiders turned out impeccably in crisply collared and cuffed pink and white check Vichy shirts. In reality, nary a French cuff will you find in my office at William and John (although at least a few Williams and Johns). Actually, I do cold calls and prospecting for a company that helps connect programmers and developers online, and any of my colleagues will tell you that the perception of the Financial District as a dog-eat-dog playground for influential banker barbarians is outdated. Nowadays, FiDi is more of a mixed bag, buzzing with friendly tech folk and youthful startups. This storied neighborhood’s supposed ethos of underhanded plots and Machiavellian takeovers has been replaced with an upbeat vibe and loads of lunch-worthy hotspots and chicly cozy cocktail bars, but a guy can still dream.
When we’re short on time but long on appetite, my workmates and I flock to Veronica’s Kitchen food truck, where we fuel up on heavenly Jamaican sustenance. From jerk chicken to boneless beef rib with candied Yams, this stuff will have you walking on West Indian sunset-caliber clouds. For lighter nourishment, Just Salad does the trick with a fiscally sound proposal of 10 salad items for $10, and Nanoosh knocks my socks off with their Mediterranean eats. They first won me over with the hot olives and bread they bring to your table while you wait. When I’m feeling decadent, I order their almond-topped rice pudding to-go and secret it away at my desk. While we’re lunching our way around the world, let’s make a stop at Dos Toros taqueria, whose menu features ingredients grown in the Oaxaca region on smaller-scale farms. I partake of their sustainably sumptuous tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and salads weekly (usually not all at once, but never say never).
For the many who linger in FiDi after work, the East River Waterfront Esplanade serves as a social magnet, drawing locals and visitors alike with its classic vista and edgy urban greenway appeal. During NYC’s infamously blustery winter months, many take shelter at Lovelace Cocktail and Gin Bar. Allegedly the best-stocked gin bar in the world, this art deco gem is set along the Fraunces Tavern Block, which was rescued from demolition in the mid ‘70s after being determined a historical landmark. If you go a little harder than usual with your nocturnal indulgences, pat yourself on the back knowing that you can’t hold a candle to “Wall Street” femme fatale, Darien (played by Darryl Hannah in an asymmetrical ‘80s jersey dress), and her valium-addled transgressions. After which, you should head to The Blue Spoon for morning-after reparations in the way of coffee and flakey pastries.
And there you have it: my modern rendition of FiDi peppered with a few throwback references. If you catch a hankering for that archetypal Wall Street experience after throwing a themed viewing party (highly recommended), mosey over to the neoclassical New York Stock Exchange building at 18 Broad Street where honest-to-goodness traders keep the dream alive. Lore holds that director Oliver Stone was permitted a paltry 45 minutes to shoot scenes on its trading floor when filming “Wall Street.” They say you can’t rush genius, but if you have to rush lunch every now and then, FiDI is as good a place as any to do it.
PHOTO: Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, 1987. Photo by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock.