It happened here

And here, and here, and here, and here---for a good New York story, just look everywhere.

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Photograph: Beth Levendis

Not to get all sentimental and Ken Burns--y, but what makes something "history"? We wondered that while putting together this issue, inspired by "It Happened Here," our long-running column about pivotal (and often trivial) events in NYC's past. In the end, we came up with an answer: Everything's history.

Not to get all sentimental and Ken Burns--y, but what makes something "history"? We wondered that while putting together this issue, inspired by "It Happened Here," our long-running column about pivotal (and often trivial) events in NYC's past. In the end, we came up with an answer: Everything's history. But what's worth reporting are those moments when someone else does something that you could never imagine doing yourself.

George Washington's here, along with John Roebling, and we've got characters those old timers would have found intriguing—Castro, Son of Sam, Seinfeld, Tupac—and some obscure ones, too (including Soviet spies!).

Do you have interesting factoids? We want to add those, too. Write us, giving the historical story and the address associated; if we consider it enlightening (and can verify the facts), we'll add it to our ever-growing Google map.

PREHISTORIC  |  HISTORICAL  |  CRIME  |  ENTERPRISE  |  ARTS AND CULTURE

View the comprehensive "It happened here" Google map

PREHISTORIC


1 A little while back—1.6 billion years, to be exact—rock formed. New York was born.

2 One of the world's oldest formations is in the Bronx: The Fordham gneiss came into being 1.1 billion years ago when a landmass collided with North America. Catch a glimpse of the black-and-white-banded rock by gazing across Spuyten Duyvil Creek from Inwood Hill Park.

3 Four hundred thirty million years ago: underground volcanoes. Next time you're on the Staten Island Expressway, pull over and check out the bedrock below: You'll find traces of greenish volcanic deposits, called serpentine, there to this day.

4 All hail the Wisconsin ice sheet, a 300-foot-thick glacier that covered New York City.

5 When the monster ice cube made it to New York 50,000 years ago, it deepened the Hudson River and pushed a ton of sediment and boulders into present-day Central Park, giving the place its varied landscape.

6 In what is now the Rossville area of Staten Island, knuckle-draggers stabbed animals and ate them 14,000 years ago. Similar activity can be observed today at the Woodrow Diner.

7 Native Americans made NYC a home some 3,000 years ago, but in 1609, Henry Hudson arrived and started naming everything after the Dutch.

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