September 28, 2016 by Ed Kennedy
America’s 3 Most Influential Streets: Wall Street, K Street, and Sand Hill Road
3 streets in the USA determine much of the nation’s national affairs; and as a result much of the world’s political, economic, and tech outlook. Sure, other cities like LA for media and Detroit for autos have made large contributions to the wider national landscape, but these 3 streets are unique offering a ‘one stop shop’ factor to anyone who visits.
An awareness of these streets is important, what comes thereafter – whether celebration of the achievements of residents on this street or some cynicism surrounding their shortcomings – is up to you.
Rather, just like the way high fashion, night clubs, or sporting facilities often cluster around a certain part of town, so too is the shared street address of finance, politics, and tech powerhouses in the US just something that simply is. Let’s begin…
This one street at the southern end of a island in New York shall always be synonymous with global banking. Owing the origins of its name to the time in New York history where Dutch settlers began building a city – and for a time had an actual wall in place along the street’s surrounds to protect from pirates and others challengers to the growth of the street and city.
For better or worse, Wall Street has long been identified with an immense sense of energy and activity. When a economic meltdown like Black Monday has occurred, this energy has surely been ascribed as similar to that of a hurricane or tidal wave.
Conversely, the street and its surrounding industry has also been the site where numerous global brands have first launched their shares for public sale, opening up the opportunity for everyday investors to get a stake in the next giant of industry.
It’s not news to many lobbyists call Washington home. Outside of political circles though, few may be as familiar with this landmark street. Washington is held to have around 10,500 lobbyists, and this is notably actually less than previous highs of almost 15,000 in 2006 and 2007.
So, while it may be said American life is split between life in Washington DC and ‘outside the beltway’, just like how Manhattan Island is famed for the diversity of its culture and residents well beyond the banking sector but does hold Wall St at its southern land, so too does K street represent a sizeable concentration of the city’s political advocates.
Just a stone’s throw from Stanford University in Menlo Park, California lies Sand Hill Road. Of the streets on this list, this one is arguably the lesser-known, but as the host to a abundance of venture capital firms that cater to the burgeoning Bay Area tech community, it certainly holds a status on par to Wall and K street for global influence.
When people think tech startups they shall often think San Francisco, and the Bay Area more widely. Rather than being just a broad canvas of startups and tech business spread across Northern California, the tech community can be indeed be concentrated around the campuses of landmark brands like Facebook and Google with their headquarters nearby.
One of those landmark destinations in the Bay Area that draws a huge sum of new startup owners seeking funding, many businesses like Microsoft, Airbnb and Twitter that have gone on to become global behemoths have caught the exit off the Junipero Serra Freeway and sought funding along the way from a VC firm in this long winding street.
Chicago is one of those cities that just wins fans near and far. Sure, you read the news and it’s known the city is one (like any metropolis) with challenges, but having long ago won the tagline the ‘Most American of Cities’ for those who find themselves in the Midwest a trip to Michigan Ave is essential.
Alongside its fame as a global destination for shopping just like Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive, Michigan Avenue plays host to a rich variety of Chicago architecture like the gorgeous Tribune Tower, and also an array of eclectic shops for like Dylan’s Candy Bar for those who seek out a treat they’ll not find anywhere else.
Also among Michigan Ave’s appeal it its centre location to the lure of wider Chicago, with great surrounding streets like Dearborn Street (where Ferris Bueller’s famous parade scene was filmed), State Street (made especially iconic in a song of its own) and landmarks like Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, Chinatown, and more. So, If you find yourself aspiring to see one of the world’s great thoroughfares and are not keen on politicians, bankers, or tech-gurus at present, Michigan Ave may well be your ideal stretch of street.
The Road Map
Cravings for a Chicago deep dish pizza right now notwithstanding, an awareness of America’s 3 most influential streets – especially Sand Hill Road given the burgeoning power of tech in news, social media, and other aspects of our lives- is worthwhile whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur, a investor, or even a public watchdog.
It is something to keep in mind if you are a young and ambitious finance graduate keen to make a career on Wall St, just the same as if you’ve an app idea that California’s tech investors simply must hear of, or even if you’re a young guy or girl that is civic minded and bound for DC, these are the streets where it all happens.Ed Kennedy is a journalist and web designer proudly from Melbourne, Australia. Say hi to Ed via firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Edkennedy01