On a hot August afternoon last summer, I left the office early and caught the 5 train north. My objective was to locate the site of the Ursuline Convent in what had once been the rural village of Melrose, and was now the heart of the South Bronx.
When racing in a cab down West Street trying to make it in time for a meeting, how many people think back just a few decades when an elevated expressway ran down the western edge of the city from the Henry Hudson Expressway to Battery Park?
What made New York a prosperous port – its deep saltwater rivers – made its drinking water lousy. But this was also a problem of human error, dating back to when Europeans first settled in what was to become Manhattan.