September 11, 2009

New York Celebrates Its Quadcentennial

On September 11, 1609, Henry Hudson's ship sailed into New York's harbor and saw an extraordinary island fronting a massive river which now bears his name. Thus, today is the unofficial 400th birthday of what we now know as New York City.

The 13.5 mile island he found was named Mannahatta, which translated means "island of many hills". Though it didn't have anywhere near the 2 million people who live here today, Hudson did find some Lenape Indians who were its original inhabitants. They even allegedly killed one of his crewmen in what was New York's very first homicide.

Hudson also discovered a hard to imagine natural wonderland filled with soaring trees, countless streams and some gorgeous flora and fauna. To celebrate NYC's b-day, you can see what your block looked like 400 years ago by checking out
The Mannahatta Project website and typing in your address. Most likely you will find a field of trees, maybe a stream and, if you're lucky, perhaps even a swamp.