No day of live blogging from Wall Street would be complete without a stop at the famed ‘Charging Bull’ bronze sculpture. I can’t begin to explain how excited tourists get when they get near this thing.

Would you ever think of touching, grabbing, or possibly licking a bull’s testicles in real life? No? Well once you get to the Financial District in New York, I guarantee it will be the first thing you do. There’s some perverse spirit that draws you to.

Contrary to popular belief, this sculpture has nothing to do with the Merrill Lynch logo, but rather it’s an homage to the aggressive financial optimism and prosperity that can be found on Wall Street. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any of either on the Street today. Ba dum ching!

But seriously, folks, did you know the bull wasn’t an officially commissioned piece of art for the city, but a piece of guerilla artwork made by an Italian sculptor? Check out the full story and our photos from today’s very public bull molestation after the jump:

From a 1988 NY Times article about the bull:

Italian artist Arturo Di Modica spent some US$ 360,000 to create, cast, and install the sculpture following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the “strength and power of the American people.” The sculpture was the artist’s idea, not the city’s. In an act of “guerrilla art”, he trucked it to Lower Manhattan and on December 15, 1989, installed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York.

The police seized the sculpture and placed it into an impound lot. The ensuing public outcry led the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to install it two blocks south of the Exchange in the plaza at Bowling Green. It faces up Broadway.

While our brave photographer was fending off seemingly endless aggressive solicitations from tourists trying to get their ‘photo with da bull!’, he managed to capture these gems:

I spoke to this couple (girl next to bull, guy taking picture) from Southern California who were visiting New York. When asked about all the recent Wall Street woes, as those of us pretending to be ‘in the biz’ call it, they responded that ‘Wall Street didn’t seem too sad today.’

Those guys were all wearing ‘FBI’ hats. Classic! Well, at least they weren’t the ‘Female Body Inspector’ ones, right?:

God, this one is so good it gives me chills:

Photos by Brendan