Ric Burns (brother of the famed documentarian Ken Burns) presents an exhaustive history of New York City from the settling of the area by th...更多>
voice: Most of the big shore places were closed now. And there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of the ferryboat across the sound. And as the moon rose higher, the inessential houses began to melt away till gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors' eyes, A fresh green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams. For a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent. Face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to its capacity for Wonder. - F. Scott Fitzgerald. voice: From the ruins, lonely and inexplicable as the sphinx, rose the Empire State Building and, just as it had been a tradition of mine to climb to the Plaza Roof to take leave of the beautiful city, extending as far as eyes could reach, so now I went to the roof of the last and most magnificent of towers. Then I understood - - everything was explained: I had discovered the crowning error of the city, its Pandora's box. Full of vaunting pride the New Yorker had climbed here and seen with dismay what he had never suspected, that the city was not the endless succession of canyons that he had supposed but that it had limits - - from the tallest structure he saw for the first time that it faded out into the country on all sides, into an expanse of green and blue. That alone was limitless. And with the awful realization that New York was a city after all and not a universe, the whole shining edifice that he had reared in his imagination came crashing to th! e ground. - F. Scott Fitzgerald. Narrator: On September 2nd, 1609, an English explorer hired by the Dutch to find a faster route to the riches of the Orient steered his 80 ton ship off the surging currents of the North Atlantic and into an immense sheltered bay. Sailing into the mouth of the mile-wide river that flowed into it from the north, he pushed 100 miles upstream, hoping it led to China. It didn't. Mario M. Cuomo: We had this fantastic contradiction of people who hated you so much, they were willing to give up their life to take yours - and people who loved humanity so much, that they were willing to run into the darn building, in the smoke and flame, just to save the life of somebody they never met.