Native Village Youth and Education News
March 1, 2009 Issue 195 Volume 1
New York: What did the city
look like 400 years ago?
New York City, NY: F. Scott Fitzgerald once called the landscape that greeted Henry Hudson 400 years was as the “fresh, green breast of the New World. That pristine landscape has been recreated by ecologist Eric W. Sanderson from the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Sanderson has painstakingly redefined Manhattan’s rolling landscape which was called Mannahatta (“island of many hills,”) in an American Indian dialect. Those hills were leveled when street grids were imposed in the 1800s.
Mr. Sanderson not only reimagines Manhattan, he also offers a vision of what New York may look like 400 years from now.
“New Yorkers in 2409 will still be loud, direct and pushy,” he predicts, but also “warm and generous and involved in what happens in the world.” He envisions a city where fossil fuels will have long since been exhausted and where humans and nature coexist.
Mr. Sanderson’s new book, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, is being published this spring. A companion exhibit will open at the Museum of the City of New York in May.
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