This page of the book is from "The New Student's Reference Work: Volume 3" by Chandler B. Beach, Frank Morton McMurry and others.
NEW YORK CITY
NEW YORK CITY
unoccupied portions, New York's resident population averages 50,000 to the square mile. In the lower East Side, below 14th Street and east of Broadway, is to be fo,und the most densely populated spot in the world.
To the nonresident New York City seems a hopeless confusion. The mountain-like ridges of skyscrapers at the lower end of Manhattan dominate a scene that has not its match for impressiveness of wealth, power and human achievement anywhere in the modern or the ancient world. Its tangle of waterways is arched high with bridges, tunnelled under with subways, swarming with shipping and woven by flying shuttles of ferry-boats. Its islands and bordering main-
lands bristle for miles with docks and slips. Farther than the eye can see, in every direction, stretch endless streets of tall, crowded buildings, filled with processions of millions of restless human beings.
All its confusion, however, will fall into lovely order if you erase from mind the works of man and catch your first glimpse of the region as it appeared to the eyes of Henry Hudson, the English navigator in the employ of the Dutch East India Company in 1609. No outlook on Sandy Hook noted his arrival in New York's lower bay. He sailed through the Narrows, the mile-wide strait between Long and Staten Islands that is used to-day by oceangoing steamers. In the middle of the 12 square miles of the upper bay is Bedloe's Island, where now
Bartholdi's statue of Liberty holds_ her torch 305 feet in the air. Farther in is Ellis Island, where emigrants are now landed. Lying to the right is Governor's Island, now headquarters of the military department of the Atlantic. At the northern end of the bay, exactly opposite The Narrows, its length forming the eastern bank of Hudson River, Manhattan Island occupies the center of the stage.
In 1609 it was a wild and beautiful spot, the lower end covered with forests and sloping pasture. A clearly defined ridge extends up its center along the line followed by Broadway to-day, rising to rocky hills known later as Harlem Heights, Mount Morris and Murray Hill. In the northeast are marshy plains known now as Harlem Flats. The entire island is underlaid with rock, sometimes a hundred feet below the surface, that supports the weight of the city to-day. Hudson would not recognize the island now, for its hills, which rose 2 50 feet in the north, have been cut down and graded and built over with residences of moderate height, while ridges, ranges and peaks of skyscrapers, with ravine and canyon-like streets between, have risen from 300 to 600 feet in the lower end.
Land at Battery Park where the Dutch built a warehouse fort in 16 2 3. All the shores around the harbor maybe seen from this point. To the west, beyond the Hudson, lies the Jersey shore, covered by Jersey City and Hoboken. To the northeast, over the Harlem, lies the mainland of New York state; and to the southeast is Long Island with Brooklyn. East River, which separates Manhattan from Long Island, is not a river but a strait connecting upper New York Bay with Long Island Sound. It is long and winding, a mile wide at its narrowest point, and contains three large islands — Ward's, Randall's and Blackwell's — that are occupied chiefly by the city's institutions and prisons. Brooklyn Navy-Yard occupies three miles of the Long Island shore of East River. Since the blowing uo