Times Square – Urban Swamp

Talking of the evolution of the species, it’s amazing how far it can travel in time in respect to the behavior within the natural environment. We know that a few million years ago North America, South America and Africa were one compact piece of land, which kept slowly separating in different pieces by climate changes, the big old asteroid’s crash and the tectonic plates movement, causing more climate and geographical transitions. Of course these events affected the existence of so many kinds. New York was a central breaking point. We could say the region is the birth place of the Atlantic Ocean. Before, dinosaurs used walked from Africa to New Jersey and were able to stop by Times Square and drink some water!

Once the lands stayed quite as we know them so far, the natural environment remained until only a couple hundred years ago. Then, the so called civilization happened; but how did New York City look like before? Did you ever imagine it all being like Central Park? The whole island of Manhattan used to be a huge forest that hosted countless species. Thanks to the very first maps drawn by the English when they took over the Dutch Colony and a thorough archeological work, there are studies that show exactly how the original topography looked like. 

One of the results shows Times Square being the main swamp of the island, where all kinds of vegetation and species got together in wild coexistence. Isn’t it curious that beyond everything that happened in between, it behaves in a similar way? Isn’t Times Square the swamp and the melting point of it all within Manhattan for its inhabitants and visitors? It does look and feel like it still is. 

It’s so fascinating to know that the natural identity of a place may remain the same throughout history. The regional archeology shows us the trace of time as far behind as the one big piece of land if you see the cliffs along the edge of the Hudson River, just a few miles north west of Manhattan. This is way back in time and a crystal clear picture of it. 

We walk on and exist in a very ephemeral window in the timeline of the planet. An inch of time is an inch of gold but you can’t buy that inch of time with an inch of gold.