Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ringing the Opening Bell at the NYSE - Sept 6, 2012

Another busy and exciting day as Princess!  I woke up around 6am at my parent's house (closer to NYC) to get ready in my gown and everything, then we hopped in the car and braved some traffic to drive into the city - to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.  My parents were great for driving me, especially because they didn't know if they'd have to wait inside - plus they got me a donut and a caramel mocha iced coffee from DD (clearly I was sleep deprived because that night I was still shaking from the caffeine).

We parked, and walked to the NYSE building.  Plenty of people stopped and stared at me in my gown, which I find strange since there are plenty of people in more outrageous outfits in the city (though maybe not near Wall St).  We saw Kirsten and her dad waiting holding her gown and then we waited...and waited.  I was getting nervous for Kirsten that she wouldn't have time to change!  The rest of the Committee and guests showed up, including one of the Grand Marshals, Norbert Schramm.  After a while, Lars Halter (Chairman of the Parade) brought us to the gate before the entrance, and got me and Kirsten in through the VIP entrance (with the door hidden in a glass wall) and up to a conference room by his office so she could change and we could "suit up".

The famous NYSE building with the German and Steuben flags added

We were brought down to the trading floor again.  It was awesome - I was literally awe-struck.  My dad put it best, that it was like being in (a very clean) casino.  And really, isn't the stock market a glorified casino in a way?
It was pretty fun walking by and having everyone saying hi and welcoming us.  We got some "beautiful ladies" comments and one guy joked asking if there was a beauty pageant going on - and of course the guard at the front who, when told we needed to get changed, said we shouldn't change a thing.  Flattery is always nice :^)

The court on the trading floor.

We went up to a banquet room, got some instructions, thank yous, and Lars, Norbert Schramm, and Kirsten were presented with medallions.  I got a souvenir in the form of a pretty cool metal/magnetic nametag (which has become a fridge magnet for now).  There was some picture-taking before we went back down on the floor.

The whole group before the bell ringing

Medals presented to the Queen, Grand Marshall, and Chairman of the Parade

From the floor, were brought upstairs to the bell platform where we were placed and given more instructions. The Grand Marshal was the one to "ring the bell", which consisted of pushing a button and holding it down for 10 seconds according to the clock in front of us.  The rest of us had to watch the clock to know when to smile and clap and cheer.  We did everything right!  You can be the judge looking at the video from the bell ringing:

The group on the platform during the Bell Ringing

After pictures on the platform, we were brought to the floor and 2 men were waiting at the bottom of the stairs to greet me.  I found out they are sons of my grandmother's friends.  We talked briefly and they took some pictures to send to my grandmother.  Once back on the floor, the group had more picture taking and then stood in the background of a TV report by Lars and another by a different journalist/reporter.  Both were in German and broadcast to Germany:

On German TV!
My parents and I on the trading floor

We were then brought back to the banquet room where we left our things and saw the clip playing on the tv in the room.  The other tvs in the building were advertising the parade.  A few more pictures and it was time to leave.

My parents drove me back to their house and then I sped (shhhh) a little after hitting some traffic on the way back to school.  Made it to class with a few minutes to spare!

It's pretty cool that days after us opening the market, I've had friends come up to me and ask me about it - of course a lot saw the pictures posted on facebook.
The best part is definitely this though:

Here's an article explaining how it was a 4-year high

We should open the market every day.

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