Friday night, Glamadad and I attended a private screening of Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps at Regal Cinema Battery Park Stadium. After the film, we were ushered, via double-decker bus, around Lower Manhattan to the physical Wall Street for a cocktail reception at the New York Stock Exchange.
As a member of the generation labeled “the children of Gordon Gekko,” I was eagerly anticipating the follow up but reserving myself for the inevitable disappointment. Money Never Sleeps, Oliver Stone's first ever sequel, begins with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas, for those who have been living under a rock, gecko-style, snort) emerging from prison and is loosely based on the financial crisis of late.
The general consensus from insiders (and out) is that Wall Street 2 fails to deliver due to the lack of insight into the financial collapse it depicts and its sappy, Hollywood ending, but is entertaining, especially the inspiring images of Manhattan's skyline. A surprise for me was that Shia LaBeouf, despite conjuring up images of steak every time I hear his name, didn’t offend nearly as much as I thought he would. Same applies to the rest of the cast, with the exception of Susan Sarandon. Oh. Dear. Susan. What dialect coach approved that Long Island accent? You should have called me!
Following the screening, we were treated to double-decker bus accommodations (my first ever) to the New York Stock Exchange. At nine at night, the streets downtown are mostly abandoned and dark except for the street lights and florescent office windows. The weather was warm and foggy, making the ride feel almost dream-like. Passing Ground Zero, then the cemeteries of St. Paul’s and Trinity Church, added to the eeriness of the commute. Arriving at Broadway and Wall, the long security line at the NYSE provided yet another reminder that Lower Manhattan has forever been transformed.
Inside the NYSE, we were free to roam, enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and pretend to be stock brokers. Well, I pretended to be Maria Bartiromo, naturally.
Inside the NYSE
It was a unique evening and a sobering reminder of how different the world is since I saw the original Wall Street and first arrived on Wall Street 12 years ago with big dreams. Our economic future remains uncertain and continues to beg the question, is greed good or the root of all evil?
P.S. I highly recommend seeing Manhattan from atop a double-decker bus!