Friday, August 2, 2013

July 30, 2013: Reception on the floor of the NYSE

Date: July 30, 2013
Event:  Reception on the Floor of the NYSE
Location:  New York City, Wall Street
Cost: FREE (though I had to get an invitation)
Summary:  I knew this was probably a once in a life time chance to see this place, to walk into this building.  I enjoyed every moment of it.

This was something I was super duper excited about. And it did not disappoint. Last week I got an email at work that said my company was hosting a reception for New York based employees -- on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Yes. ON THE FLOOR OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE. I could scarcely believe it was true. I mean, *on the floor* on the floor? Really? And I'm invited?  I RSVP'd immediately.

See, my company (I suspect you'll be able to guess what company that is based on the pictures that follow) recently switched from being listed on NASDAQ to being listed on the NYSE and this was a reception to celebrate that. And for me and many other employees, this was a once in a lifetime experience that we'll be grateful to our employer for!

Coolest things about the night (as well as pictures, of course!) below:

1) Being let in. Yes, just being let in. Walking up to the security checkpoint I'd seen others go through but believed I'd never go in myself and having the security guard check my name on a list then wave me through -- yes, that was cool.

2) The building. The BUILDING. It was such a stunning, grand building. It's got all this high tech, ultra modern machinery everywhere but the more than century-old shell is still there and it is amazing. Marble walls, wonderful arches, war memorial plaques, and the ceiling. The CEILING! Spectacular! They don't build buildings like this anymore (sadly). Kudos to the NYSE for making that history and workmanship still as visible as possible, even with all the modern trappings that make that difficult.

3) The tickers. It was like Times Square on a much smaller scale and dealing with nothing but stock prices. Everywhere you were surrounded by lights. All the monitors (and there were MANY) were lit up with quotes. Company logos and prices everywhere. Big boards, small boards, moving, stationary, charts, graphs, numbers. Even with the market closed, the place wasn't quite asleep.

4) The modern machinery was there but...sort of not there. The place was airconditioned, of course, but you couldn't hear it. You could barely even see it. There were security cameras everywhere to be sure, but they weren't easy to spot. The pits, though empty, you could just imagine the chaos that must surround them every day. Litterally 8 computer screens, 3 computer mice, 6 keyboards, and a phone or two all on one small counter -- and that was just on one small section of each pit. And all the wires and electronics needed for that? Completely hidden.

5) Everyone was a bit giddy. I knew *I* was going to celebrate with my co-workers, yes, but I was also going to see the NYSE.  But, as it turns out, I wasn't the only one that was there for that reason, wasn't the only one by far.  So many people were taking pictures.  Pictures of their surroundings, and pictures of themselves in their surroundings.  Even as New Yorkers in New York, we were all tourists on the Floor.  And that was fun.

6) The closing bell balcony. THEY LET US GO UP THERE! THEY TOOK OUR PICTURES UP THERE! LOL! After wandering a bit and grabbing some hours d'overs (yummy, btw) I saw some people up on that balcony where you always see people banging a gavel to close the trading day. And then someone said I could go up there. My response? POINT ME WHERE I NEED TO GO! And, the line to do it was long but worth it (again, we were all tourists on the Floor).

7) Thank you, Oracle.

How about some pictures.

This was my journey to the Floor...

After clearing outdoor security they literally had a red carpet for us. And what is not to like about having a red carpet?

There was more security and then registration for the reception. That allowed me a little time in the lobby where they had some historic tickers on display. Who knew it was a museum, too?

Then, we were taken up an elevator, and shown through a lobby. Then through these doors.

We then turned down the hall and...and there it is!

LOL, my first shot on the Floor itself -- perfect that it was of someone else taking a picture. I *told* you we were all tourists!

Here are just some overall shots of the place. It really is very, very impressive.
This is pretty much the entire place -- it's perhaps not as big as you might think.

This is a view when you first enter and can give you an idea of how long any one side of the room is. Also, in this picture you can see some of the marble arches and stone work of the building along the right side.

CNBC's broadcast booth on the floor. Soooo many lights!

As I said, the details of the building itself were also amazing. Here are a few shots of that.
A shot of the ceiling as a whole. Yeah, you don't see ceilings like that much anymore.

Look at these details around the lights and the column heads and just the carvings and painting of it all. Beautiful!


A couple of the memorials for the World Wars. Not to mention the MIA-POW flag that hung from the rafters. It really reminded you of how much this building had seen, how much history it had lived through. It was pretty awe-inspiring.



And, of course, The Balcony (with a capital T and capital B, naturally). This is about when I discovered I, too, could get my geek on and go up there for a picture!

Speaking of pictures of *me*...
Getting my geek on, part 1. Look, ma, no hands! :)

Getting my geek on, part 2. This is going in a frame and then onto my wall. Yep, yep.

Misc shots from around the Floor
Because I'm not just a tourist but a photographer at heart, here are some of my favorite shots I got from the night. I hope each one tell a bit of a story.

This is one 'pit'. Imagine the chaos. This is what I described at the opening: monitors, tickers, keyboards, mice. How crowded must this get during the day? How fun would that be to see?

It's like when the day ended, when that closing bell rang, they litterally just dropped everything and left.

This is a table in the middle of one of the pits -- Tabasco Sauce?  Really?  As if it wasn't hot enough in there already?  ;)

I have no idea if these phones are still actually used or are only there for historical purposes. Even if it's just for history, then props once again to the NYSE.  Because history is awesome.

Yes, this is the NYSE and it works during NY hours. But there are international markets and currencies that move and change though all hours of the night.

This is one of just many many monitors with all the various companies of the NYSE. It's like a movie, but.... but real!

And, even with all the history, this location is, at its core, the seat of the modern capitalist market economy.
And as such, OF COURSE, it would have a Starbucks...

And then the night was over. A great couple of hours. Knowing I may never be there again, I tried to make the most of it (even enjoying my trip to the bathroom (and yes, I took pictures of the bathroom, LOL!!)).  But all good things must end and eventually they showed us to the exit...another door I've seen many many times and never thought I'd ever come out of. Ahhh, yes, a great evening.


No comments:

Post a Comment