Posted on 07/17/2013

Photo taken on June 12, 2011

See also...


World Without Us
Alan Weisman

Authorizations, license

Visible by: Everyone
All rights reserved

40 visits

Spring Street NY

Spring Street NY
Eric Sanderson sees water flowing everywhere in town, much of it bubbling from underground (“which is how Spring Street got its name”). He’s identified more than 40 brooks and streams that traversed what was once a hilly, rocky island: in the Algonquin tongue of its first human occupants, the Lenni Lenape, Mannahatta referred to those now-vanished hills. When New York’s 19th-century planners imposed a grid on everythihng north of Greenwich Village – the jumble of original streets to the sough being impossible to unsnarl – they behaved as if topography were irrelevant. Except for some massive, unmoveable schist outcrops of Central Park and at the island’s northern tip, Manhattan’s textured terrain was squashed and dumped into streambeds, then planed and leveled to receive the advancing city.

Later, new contours arose, this time routed through rectilinear forms and hard angles, much as the water that once sculpted the island’s land was now forced underground through a lattice of pipes. Eric Sanderson’s Mannahatta Project has plotted how closely the modern sewer system follows the old watercourses, although man-made sewer lines can’t wick away runoff as efficiently as nature. In a city that buried its rivers, he observes, “rain still falls. It has to go somewhere.”

As it happens, that will be the key to breaching Manhattan’s hard shell if nature sets about dismantling it. It would begin very quickly, with the first strike at the city’s most vulnerable spot: ‘ its underbelly. ~ Page 22-23 (The World Without Us - Alan Weisman )