By Laurence Zuckerman and Frank Yunker
COMMUNITY – that’s the middle name of Fulton Montgomery COMMUNITY College. And it was in that spirit that the annual FMCC Wall Street (Investments) Club and the Biz Hub (Business) Club trip to NYC was conducted on Friday, October 25, 2019. In attendance were five members of the extended FMCC Community – the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium. Forty-five students, teachers and members of the community boarded a packed Brown Charter Bus – at 6:00 a.m. that sunny Friday.
Some students came for the guided tour of Wall Street, China Town, Little Italy, Chelsea, and mid-town Manhattan led by Wall Street Club faculty advisors and co-founders Frank Yunker and Laurence Zuckerman. Some came to explore popular NYC attractions, such as the famed Times Square, on their own. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Women’s Consortium was there for a different reason. They wanted to see the famous “Fearless Girl” statue, in conjunction with their planned speaker, Kristen Visbal, the sculptor of the iconic statue, who will speak on March 28, 2020 at the Johnstown HFM BOCES. Formerly placed before the famed “Wall Street Bull,” it now stands proudly – fiercely – facing the New York Stock Exchange.
The guided tour started at the famed Trinity Church, now under renovation. The cemetery holds the remains of Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton, the inventor of the very steam engine that helped spark the Industrial Revolution and for whom Fulton County is named. Later in the day, the group toured St. Paul’s Chapel where General Richard Montgomery (for whom Montgomery County is named) is buried. Next was Federal Hall, a national park building where George Washington took the Oath of Office to become the first president of the United States.
Of course, students walked down Wall Street and saw remains of the “wall” and the New Yok Stock Exchange, where stock trading has taken place for over 200 years. Other historic stops included the New York Federal Reserve Bank headquarters. The Fed establishes the monetary policy of the country, as taught in Macroeconomics courses at the College. Lunch was at Chinatown, where authentic Chinese cuisine proved to be a real hit. Where else can you buy three NY Yankee baseball hats for just $10.00? Ferrara’s famous Italian bakery, a landmark of Little Italy since 1892, was also voted world’s best cannoli by many.
Several of the trip participants had never been to NYC before and many were there just to take their first subway ride, including transfer, to Chelsea Market, one of the largest eatery and shopping urban malls in the United States. Across the street from Chelsea Market is the massive Google headquarters. Undoubtedly, they knew our every move. Then, the group took a 1.4-mile walk on the New York High Line – an elevated railroad track that has been converted into a park with trees and foliage as well as residential and commercial skyscrapers fascinated all. A final stop was Bryant Park, the backyard of the renowned New York Public Library.
Fresh air, history, economics, and nearly 20,000 steps of exercise. It was a long, fun, and highly educational day. And at just $20.00, a real NYC bargain. A trip is being planned for Philadelphia, PA this spring that will include stops at the Philadelphia Mint, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the first Congress, Ben Franklin Museum, and much more. So, as they say in the famous New York New York, Sinatra song, START SPREADING THE NEWS.
Frank Yunker is Professor of Computer Science and Laurence K. Zuckerman, CPA, MST is Associate Professor of Business and Accounting at Fulton Montgomery Community College/State University of New York