lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Oct 29 15:11:13 MDT 2019
Just started reading Samuel Stein's "Capital City" as background for an
article on the political economy of homelessness for Counterpunch.
Really interesting book filled with tidbits like how Broadway became an
exception to the grid pattern of NYC's avenues and streets. Turns out
that it was originally a Munsee path that predated the colonist project.
Broadway was originally the Wickquasgeck trail, carved into the brush of
Manhattan by its Native American inhabitants.[notes 2] This trail
originally snaked through swamps and rocks along the length of Manhattan
Upon the arrival of the Dutch, the trail was widened and soon became
the main road through the island from Nieuw Amsterdam at the southern
tip. The Dutch explorer and entrepreneur David Pietersz. de Vries gives
the first mention of it in his journal for the year 1642 ("the
Wickquasgeck Road over which the Indians passed daily"). The Dutch
called it the Heeren Wegh or Heeren Straat, meaning "Gentlemen's Way" or
"Gentlemen's Street" – echoing the name of a similar street in Amsterdam
– or "High Street" or "the Highway"; it was re-named "Broadway" after
the British took over the city, because of its unusual width.
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