Thursday, March 31, 2016


Let us here turn towards the interior of the island, drive to the verge of Harlem Plains, and then make a brief tour through the finished portions of the Central Park. Our road will be a little unpleasant a part of the way, for this portion of the island is yet in a state of transition from original roughness to the symmetry produced by art and labour.

 Here, on the southern verge of the Plains, we will leave our wagon, and climb to the summit of the rocky bluff, by a winding path up a steep hill covered with bushes, and take our stand by the side of an old square tower of brick, built for a redoubt during the war of 1812, and now used as a powder-house. The view northward, over Harlem Plains, is delightful. From the road at our feet stretch away numerous "truck" gardens, from which the city draws vegetable supplies. On the left is seen Manhattanville and a glimpse of the Palisades beyond the Hudson. In the centre, upon the highest visible point, is the Convent of the Sacred Heart; and towards the right is the Croton Aqueduct, or High Bridge, over the Harlem river. The trees on the extreme right mark the line of the race-course, a mile in length, beginning at Luff's, the great resort for sportsmen. On this course, the trotting abilities of fast horses are tried by matches every fine day.

- The Hudson, From the Wildness to the Sea, Benson J. Lossing, 1866

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