Friday, March 02, 2007


The Original Sin. . .
Ever heard of Pump Street in Manhattan?

Pump Street. Or what used to be Pump Street and is now Canal, existed around 1829. This name was adopted from the Teawater Garden which was a resort near Chatham Sq. that was built around the Teawater Pump. What is the Teawater Pump you might ask? Why it’s a relic of the good ol’ Collect Pond. The Collect existed before Europeans decided to perform surgery on the landscape of Manhattan Island. The freshwater spring was a sanctuary for Native Americans and Colonists alike until it became polluted and overrun with mosquitoes. This is most certainly a result of the destruction of an ecosystem.

It must suck to die in Jersey
Meanwhile, Alexander Hamilton was shot on the banks of the Hudson River in a duel with rival Aaron Burr over a comment made in a New York campaign statement. Burr goes on to found the Manhattan Company and wins the contract to fill in the old Collect Pond and build a canal to drain it. Reports of the day sight the filling of the Collect Pond as more like a garbage landfill.

Canal and Broadway 1805
Once the pond was filled in, the apple had been bitten. A stinking marsh arose and the buildings that were built above it sank. The Five Points were born. Cursed by the island this site remained one of the worlds worst neighborhoods for decades.
Oh and the Manhattan Company merged with a company called Chase and they are still draining Manhattan. Only now they drain your pockets every time you withdraw from a non-Chase ATM.