Swamp white oak trees create a rustling canopy of leaves over the plaza.

Looking down this great harbor I like to think of the countless number of inbound vessels that have made this port. I like to think of the men and women who—with the break of dawn off Sandy Hook—have strained their eyes to the west for a first glimpse of the New World.

Eventually, the only space not occupied by enormous buildings in Lower Manhattan would be the streets.

The savannas and deserts spread and the forests shrank, leaving fewer and fewer trees for the fast-growing populations of nonhuman primates. For many of them, either crowded out of the trees or seeking wider ranges and a more varied diet, there was no place to go but back to the ground.