I took this photograph of New York from an aircraft window, as I was making my way home from California on the weekend. Prominent in the centre is the lower part of the island of Manhattan, with the Hudson River and New Jersey below it in the frame, and the East River, Brooklyn, and the Atlantic Ocean above it in the frame. Coincidentally, I am working in New York this week.
When I see features known to me from maps leap out in real life like this, I think about the land and its history. This island of Manhattan was where tribes of the Algonquian nation lived for hundreds of years. This is where Peter Stuyvesant governed the colonists of New Amsterdam. This is where my ancestors, the United Empire Loyalists, embarked in Admiral Digby’s fleet in 1783 to voyage to Nova Scotia, expelled from their homes as refugees for being on the losing side in the first American civil war. Some events may have transpired here since then, but you’ll have to see if you can find such a thing as an opinionated New Yorker to find out more.